Navigating auto insurance as a ride-hailing driver

Posted at 6:34 PM, Feb 05, 2018
and last updated 2018-02-05 18:34:25-05

Kathryn Cheehan from North Tonawanda recently got into her first ever car accident. It happened while she was on her way to pick up a passenger for an Uber ride and she only realized after the accident that her personal auto insurance wouldn't provide any coverage.

"The worst part was the not knowing and having your bottom fall out when you're told by your insurance, 'sorry there's nothing you can do'," she explained. "I had no idea that was an issue. I have full coverage on my car. It doesn't matter."

When signing up for Uber, Cheehan assumed her personal policy would still provide coverage, even while driving with passengers. But she says her policy with Geico doesn't cover her anytime the Uber app is turned on.

7 Eyewitness News reached out to several other auto insurance providers that explained they maintain similar policies when it comes to ride-hailing.

Cheehan isn't the only Uber driver in WNY who was a little confused as to how insurance works for ride-hailing drivers. She knows of several other drivers who were also under the impression personal policies would still provide coverage while driving on the app.

Uber, however, does maintain insurance through a third-party company. According to its website, drivers are covered under certain situations when the app is turned on.

You can read more about the coverage Uber's policy offers drivers at its website here. For more information about insurance for Uber drivers as it relates specifically to New York State, you can visit this link.

When it comes to Cheehan's specific situation, Uber is aware of the incident and is reaching out to the proper insurance company to handle her accident. Repairs to her car and a temporary rental car will be paid by the other driver's insurance company, according to Cheehan.