Ridesharing has quickly become a mainstream way for people to get around. It’s also become a viable means for drivers throughout Vermont to earn extra money. Before driving for a ridesharing service, however, Vermont drivers should first check their car insurance to make sure they’ll be properly protected. In some cases, drivers might need to purchase additional coverage.
Is Driving for a Rideshare Service Covered by My Vermont Car Insurance?
Ridesharing Programs’ Car Insurance Coverages May Be Limited
Most ridesharing programs of their drivers some car insurance. The policies they offer, however, are frequently limited.
To start with, drivers usually aren’t able to customize these policies to their liking. Since the policies are offered by ridesharing services, it’s the ridesharing services that select the policies’ deductibles, limits and coverage -- and drivers normally don’t have an option to change them.
Since drivers typically don’t have control over these policies, the policies sometimes don’t provide as much protection as drivers want. In some cases, the difference between what a policy offers and what a driver wants can be quite large.
For example, a driver might want a deductible of $500, but a policy might only offer a deductible of $1,000. That’s twice as much as the driver wanted. Similarly, a driver may want a specific coverage’s limit to be set to $500,000, but a policy may include a limit of $300,000 for that limit. In this situation, the driver would only have 60 percent of the limit they wanted.
Ridesharing Programs’ Insurance Coverages May Contain Coverage Gaps
The policies that ridesharing programs offer also may contain coverage gaps.
Specifically, policies might only cover drivers when they’re actively going to pick up a passenger or have a passenger in their vehicle. They might not provide coverage when a driver is logged into a ridesharing app and waiting for passengers. This may leave drivers dangerously exposed and without protection if they’re logged into their ridesharing app, but don’t have any passengers to pick up or drop off. (Exact terms and conditions of policies vary, and some ridesharing policies may not have this coverage gap.)
Personal Auto Insurance Often Doesn’t Cover Ridesharing
Unfortunately, drivers in Vermont often can’t rely on their personal auto insurance policies to make up for any shortcomings their ridesharing service’s insurance policy has. Personal auto insurance policies are designed to insure vehicles while they’re being used for personal reasons, which generally doesn’t include earning money by driving ridesharing passengers to their destinations. In fact, just being logged into a ridesharing app may call into question whether you’re driving for personal or business reasons.
Specialized Policies Are Available to Ridesharing Drivers in Vermont
Thankfully, several insurers have begun offering auto insurance policies that are designed to meet the unique needs of drivers who participate in ridesharing programs. Many of these policies don’t have the limits or gaps that policies offered by ridesharing companies sometimes do. Instead, drivers can select their own deductibles, limits and coverages, and they can usually find a policy that provides coverage the entire time they’re driving for a ridesharing service.
For help getting one of these specialized car insurance policies, contact your independent Vermont insurance agent. Your independent agent will be able to check what insurers are offering these kinds of policies, and they can request quotes for you. Once you have quotes in hand, your agent can assist with comparing coverages and selecting the one that offers the protections you need while driving passengers around.