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Iowa auto insurance for UberX drivers?

Have you acknowledged driving for Uber to your personal auto insurance policy provider?


  • Total voters
    8
  • Poll closed .

UberIowa15

New Member
A previous thread was created Aug. 31 about potential issues with insurance for Iowa UberX drivers. No one responded, so I thought I would ask a similar question. I'm a relatively new Uber driver (I started in Aug., so I didn't suffer the 30% fare decrease, and for now I'm only driving part-time after a layoff until I find more stable employment or contract work).

As UberX drivers in Iowa, are you confident that your personal insurance will cover you in an accident—even if it's not Uber-related? At least two passengers from the insurance industry insisted to me that if a driver mentions he or she is an Uber driver, every Iowa insurance company will cancel your policy. If you get into an accident, insurance companies will ask if you are or have ever driven for Uber. If yes, they will deny the claim. If no, and they find evidence to the contrary, you can be prosecuted for insurance fraud.

This article focuses on California, but the issues are similar in Iowa (apologies, since this is my first post, I cannot post links):

Uber maintains that isn’t a problem, because drivers’ personal insurance will cover the trolling period. The company’s website claims that “during the time that a ridesharing partner is available but between trips, most personal auto insurance will provide coverage.” In response to queries last week, Uber maintained that “when the app is on but no ride has been accepted, many personal policies provide coverage.”

Not so, say Allstate, State Farm, Progressive, and Geico. Those companies insist that their policies do not cover ridesharing activities of any type, including when the driver is logged in to the app but has not been matched with a fare. Indeed, they have denied such claims, and some have begun canceling policies of people found to be driving for rideshare services.

If an insurance company determined that a driver got in an accident while trolling for a fare, it could decline to pay, leaving the Uber driver entirely responsible for any medical treatment that he might need. The driver would also have to pay for any damage to his or her own car.

What’s more, anyone not in the Uber car injured during such an accident could also be at financial risk. That’s because Uber’s third-party bodily injury liability insurance for the trolling period, which kicks in if the driver’s policy won’t pay, is capped at $50,000 per person — far less than what a serious injury might cost in medical bills.​

More from Forbes:

Drivers hear constant mixed messages about proper insurance. Uber and Lyft tell drivers that personal insurance will suffice, but personal insurers, unwilling to cover commercial activity, have started canceling drivers’ policies if they’re discovered. Full commercial insurance, which can cost up to 10 times as much as personal insurance, is too costly for most drivers. Hybrid insurance policies are months away from market, and drivers will give tens of millions of rides in the meantime.

For many drivers, the only solution is to buy personal insurance and hide their status from their insurer. Sometimes that means just not mentioning it. But as more insurance companies are catching on and asking drivers directly if they work for Uber, Lyft or a similar company, more drivers are forced to lie or risk losing their policy.​

I don't feel comfortable asking my insurance provider if I can get covered as an Uber driver because they will likely cancel the policy. I pay about $140/mo. for car insurance, and I doubt I could even afford twice that with the low rates Uber pays, as commercial policies can be 2-10 times as much as for individual policies.

I've heard this cautionary advice from people who work at Progressive, Nationwide and State Farm. I don't see any policy options in Iowa for ride-share drivers (search "rideshare options for drivers" on Google. Several states, including Illinois, offer policies that explicitly cover rideshare drivers).

The insurance industry actively lobbied against Uber in Iowa last legislative session, and the Iowa insurance commissioner has basically confirmed the problem last July:

"If you are considering becoming a driver/ride provider, the Iowa Insurance Division suggests that you visit with your insurance company or insurance agent before you sign up for car-sharing or ride-sharing," the statement read.​

So, UberX drivers in Iowa, what do you do? Hope you never get into an accident? Mislead your insurance provider? Perhaps in the 2016 legislative session, lawmakers will pass a uniform bill on regulations so the company can expand to other cities. The bill passed the House but failed in the Senate.

But the main issue that I have with Uber is that you basically have to lie to your insurance company to be a driver. Until an Iowa insurance company steps up to explicitly cover Uber drivers with an affordable policy, I don't see that changing anytime soon. Thoughts?
 
D

DSMUberite

Guest
In an honest nutshell... you are not personally covered when driving for Uber. If you crash... take down you Uber sticker, log off the driver app and frankly don't tell your agent you are with Uber. Like never. Never tell them, they may cancel your policy just because you are a driver and would most certainly deny all claims. Period. For now, that's all you need to know.
 

Jeff Mathias

Active Member
I talked to my State Farm agent about coverage. He said they would not cancel my policy if I have an Uber accident but they also will not cover accidents while ubering. The Uber coverage has a $1,000 deductible & the first thing their adjuster asked me after I hit a raccoon was whether I had submitted a claim to my own carrier. I spoke to an agent about a Progressive policy for Uber drivers that is available in Iowa, it was a lot more expensive than my existing State Farm. I know there are some other insurance companies starting to offer policies specifically for Uber drivers but I don't think they are avail in Iowa yet. They may need more data on how much risk they are assuming before the policies become widely available. At a minimum, we need to drive like grannies and be aware of the risk of uninsured drivers and esp. starting now, deer since they are going to be moving about more in October. If we leave town on any 2 lane highways we need to really watch our speed.
 

Willzuber

Well-Known Member
The insurance industry is as big a scam as Uber duping people into driving. On the positive side, I get to get out and enjoy Iowa fall colors and weather. Thank you Heavenly Father.
 

Jeff Mathias

Active Member
A client told me this week State Farm is rolling out a policy for Uber drivers. I don't drive anymore but this is a step in the right direction.
 

Ryan Wikstrom

New Member
A lot of companies are beginning to offer endorsements on auto insurance policies for a few more bucks a month. I work for an Agent at State Farm and it is super simple and cheap as long as the vehicle is not used for more than 50% transportation. Let me know if I can help any of you get covered the right way!! Because you know Uber is not going to cover your a$$........
 
A lot of companies are beginning to offer endorsements on auto insurance policies for a few more bucks a month. I work for an Agent at State Farm and it is super simple and cheap as long as the vehicle is not used for more than 50% transportation. Let me know if I can help any of you get covered the right way!! Because you know Uber is not going to cover your a$$........
I have State Farm and the endorsement is available to drivers who use them. I had my agent add it to my personal insurance and it only costs me about $50 every 6 months.

Branstad recently passed the Senate bill into Law and Uber is now required to provide $1 million in coverage to any driver who is currently on their way to pick up a rider or is in route to drop a rider off. My understanding from the insurance agent is that the endorsement covers you personally whenever you are driving around and looking for a ping, but once you are on your way then Uber's insurance kicks in as long as you can prove you were on your way to pick up a rider (which is fairly simple to do, you just have to contact Uber to provide the records.).
 

Dback2004

Well-Known Member
Insurance is one of the biggest myths on this site.

Several months ago Uber changed their policy so they now cover in Phase 2 & 3. Where the rideshare addendums, endoresements, gap insurance, whatever you want to call it is for Phase 1. It all depends on how your carrier handles "business use". Most insurance carriers forbid livery which is Phase 2 & 3 and now covered by Uber. Phase 1 is a gray area. You're not engaged in livery at that point, but you are operating your vehicle for business purposes. My carrier is American National Property & Casualty and I have a separate rider for "business use of a vehicle" which covers me in Phase 1 and when I drive my car for my full-time job. My assumption is the State Farm rideshare endorsement is a similar coverage.

The way you get screwed with Uber's policy is the James River policy has a $1000 deductible (most personal policies are $500) and they may requrire you to first submit through your personal carrier, get denied, then submit to James River. Some insurers aren't too happy about ride sharing and will drop your coverage for Ubering. My carrier has stated they will deny any livery claims under the exclusion in my policy (which then the James River policy kicks in), but won't drop my coverage.

Also keep in mind that the James River policy only covers comp & collision if you already have that on your vehicle with your personal policy. So if you have liability only coverage on your car and have an accident with Uber, they'll cover your liability (the guy you hit) but don't expect them to fix your car.

I recommend drivers talk to their carrier (anonymously at first!!) about coverage for driving Uber. I'm sure there are differences between full-time and part-time drivers as well. If they flat out say they will drop Uber drivers (I've heard Geico does that, but that's just hearsay) then you might want to shop around. You may find like my carrier they'll just deny livery claims but you won't lose coverage. Or you may find there are additonal addendums such as the gap policy or business use you need to add.

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There are some questions out there around medical coverage in Phase 2 & 3 which I have not yet found a good answer to yet.
 

Hokie1

New Member
Surprising the carriers have not latched onto this as a money maker by offering coverage at low cost and make money based on volume. There are thousands (if not millions) driving for uber. I will need to call State Farm, would like to be protected but not raped. The whole point of this is to make money after all.
 
Surprising the carriers have not latched onto this as a money maker by offering coverage at low cost and make money based on volume. There are thousands (if not millions) driving for uber. I will need to call State Farm, would like to be protected but not raped. The whole point of this is to make money after all.
Check my post above. I have State Farm and it's just an endorsement that you have to buy. It's only about $50 every 6 months so it isn't bad at all and it ensures you have coverage when Uber isn't covering you.
 
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