California is a beautiful state with breathtaking views, activities, and career opportunities—over 39 million residents agree. The state also welcomes over 300 million visitors each year to explore the many historic sites, nature trails, and neighborhoods of the rich and famous. Due to the influx of visitors and residents, many have turned to rideshare apps like Uber and Lyft to make a second income.
Sharing the road with millions of visitors and residents carries many risks, even if you’re a careful driver. This is why you must have personal auto and rideshare insurance. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about rideshare insurance and how rideshare companies affect car insurance rates.
What Is Rideshare Insurance?
Rideshare insurance is additional coverage to your auto insurance policy when working for companies such as Lyft, DoorDash, or Uber. However, many rideshare companies insure drivers only after they’ve accepted a ride request.
In return, many auto insurance companies created new rules and regulations to accommodate rideshare drivers to protect them throughout the ride, not just when they’ve accepted a request.
However, remember that the following information applies to rideshare drivers, not taxi, limousine, or commercial drivers. They have their own set of rules and auto insurance requirements.
How Rideshare Insurance Works
If you drive with a rideshare company, you must understand how rideshare companies can affect your car insurance rate and how the policies differ. California requires rideshare drivers to carry insurance when they sign up for the app. The “period” you’re in determines how much insurance you need during each stage of the ride.
Period 0: The Rideshare App Is Offline
When your rideshare app is offline, you’re in “period” zero. During this stage, you need your auto insurance only. To drive legally in California, you must obtain auto insurance with these minimum requirements:
- $5,000 of property damage
- $15,000 of bodily injury coverage per person injured
- $30,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident
Period 1: You’re Online Without a Request
When you decide to turn on your rideshare app and make your icon available, you’ve reached period one, which requires the following amount of rideshare insurance:
- $30,000 property damage liability per accident
- $50,000 bodily injury liability coverage per person
- $100,000 total injury per accident
This is when your rideshare insurance or additional rideshare coverage kicks in. Always confirm the stipulations regarding your coverage with your rideshare and insurance companies. If not, you could get in trouble with California law and risk getting your rideshare account deleted.
Periods 2 and 3: You’ve Accepted the Ride Request
As soon as you accept someone’s ride request, you’re in period two, and when the passenger enters your car, you’re in period three. The rideshare company, according to California law, must provide you with a $1 million liability insurance policy. This will cover you and your passengers during the entire duration of the ride.
Depending on which rideshare app you use, you may also receive additional coverage during these stages. For example, Uber provides comprehensive collision insurance coverage with a $2,500 deductible if you have collision coverage on your personal auto plan.
California Requirements for Rideshare Drivers
California has requirements for those who want to start ridesharing. These requirements can vary between companies and cities. However, by state law, all drivers must always display their company’s decal in the windows. You must also have a special decal if you operate at airports.
What Happens if You Don’t Report Your Rideshare Job?
You could face negative consequences if you start ridesharing without notifying your insurance company. Your auto insurance covers you, your family, and your car. If you got in an accident while secretly ridesharing, your insurance company could reject your claim. This is because you don’t have a rideshare policy or endorsement to cover you.
Becoming a rideshare driver requires additional coverage because it puts you, the passenger, and your car at risk. Hiding your driving gig could financially hurt you and get you dropped from your insurer. To avoid that, always inform your insurance company of any changes in your driving record or habits. This way, they’re up-to-date on your insurance needs and can help you in any way possible.
Rideshare Car Requirements
Your insurance may vary based on the car you drive. Transportation companies like Uber and Lyft have car requirements to ensure it’s safe for passenger use. Here are the following requirements:
- Vehicles must have four doors and be in good condition
- The owner must have the car insured and registered in California
- Owners cannot have a rebuilt or salvaged car
- Cannot have aftermarket seat modifications
- The vehicle must go under an annual inspection
- The vehicle must have air conditioning and working windows
Rideshare Driver Requirements
To become a rideshare driver in California, you also have a few requirements to pass. You must have a California driver’s license, a clear photo to verify your identity, and California car insurance. Some cities in California will require a business license if you’ve driven for a rideshare company for 30 days in the last year. Also, those seeking to become a luxurious rideshare driver will need a commercial driver’s license.
You also have to go through an annual background check. This way, rideshare companies can review your records to see if you’ve committed a violent crime, drug offense, theft, or sexual offense. They will also check your driving record to ensure you have no charges of DUIs, reckless driving, and more on your record.
We Provide Affordable Auto Insurance
Saferoad Insurance wants all of our drivers to be safe on the road. That’s why we offer affordable insurance for all, including rideshare drivers. With over 27 million licensed drivers and 300 million tourists visiting annually, you share the road with numerous types of drivers. Tourists and residents alike share similar concerns when it comes to driving.
Accidents can happen when we least expect it, so we must protect ourselves with high-quality auto insurance. Whether you have a spotless driver record or you’re a high-risk driver, our agents are here to ensure that your policies fit your needs. Contact us for a California car insurance quote for more information about your additional coverages.