Avvo - Rate your Lawyer. Get Free Legal Advice.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

UberX's Insurance Gap Can Create Nightmare Scenarios for Bikers

UberX is marketed as a low-cost alternative to taxis and UberBlack.  You get the same on-demand service at a cheaper price.  Seemingly, the only trade-off is that you don’t get the limo vibes associated with UberBlack.  Instead, you’ll be taxied around in your neighbor’s Prius.  There are, however, some serious legal consequences caused by UberX.

While the UberX driver is on the clock, he/she is driving in a commercial capacity, creating nightmares for bicyclists who don't have their own auto insurance.  According to Uber guidelines, UberX drivers are only required to carry personal auto insurance.  That means their coverage comes from their household policies.  Most personal auto insurance policies, however, include a “business use” exclusion.  Meaning, the auto insurer will deny coverage if the vehicle was being used as a taxi at the time of the accident.  Some auto insurers are slowly introducing supplemental coverage to address this very problem.   

This “gap” can create headaches for car accident victims.  Indeed, there is often a dispute as to who will cover the accident- Uber or the personal auto insurance.  Further complicating matters is the fact that Uber claims that its UberX and UberBlack drivers are independent contractors, and not employees.  These conflicts can potentially delay compensation and payment of medical bills for the cyclist.

If you’re struck by an UberX or UberBlack car, you’ll want to speak to a bicycle accident attorney experienced in handling insurance coverage disputes.  Call Philly Bike Lawyer for a free consultation: (267) 423-4464.