Uber, Lyft and other ride-hailing service drivers are now covered by the company’s liability insurance at all times when they’re on duty — but could still be saddled with costly collision damages. (Courtesy Sarah, a Lyft driver)
You’re a driver working for Uber or Lyft. You have the app (or both apps) on, but haven’t been matched with a passenger. You’re cruising around and you hit another car. Both cars are damaged. Are you covered?
The answer is both yes and no, though many drivers mistakenly think they are fully covered. A driver’s liability — damage to others — is taken care of, but damage to their own car is not.
In response to new laws going into effect in 19 states Wednesday, Uber and Lyft both recently bumped up their liability insurance coverage to primary — meaning it steps in first, before other policies — for that on-duty-but-unmatched period, a no-man’s-land they had resisted covering for years.
That’s good news, but it still leaves many drivers partially uncovered. That new insurance is only for liability and doesn’t cover collision or other damages to the driver’s car. (Drivers themselves are also not protected if they are hurt in an accident that is their fault, though the companies’ policies cover bodily injury to passengers and others.) And under a new California law, a driver’s personal policy is expressly prohibited from paying for any claims that happen when a driver is logged into a ride-hailing app, so their personal policy won’t cover collision either.
The only way to have collision coverage during that pre-ride period — dubbed Period 1 by lawmakers — is to buy a new, special insurance policy that explicitly allows for work on Uber, Lyft or a similar platform and agrees to cover accidents during personal driving and Period 1.
Insurance companies across the U.S. are starting to offer these poli....

And so, drivers boast on the internet about beating Uber's driver background screening, and only a few months ago , under legal pressure, did Uber and Lyft start offering almost adequate insurance coverage in nineteen of the fifty states of the United States.