Are Passengers Using Ridesharing Services Covered by Insurance?

by Matthew Willens on Sep. 03, 2015

Accident & Injury Accident & Injury  Car Accident Accident & Injury  Personal Injury 

Summary: Will your financial and personal injury losses be covered by insurance if you are involved in a car accident while using a ridesharing service?

Whether you frequently use prearranged ridesharing services from companies such as Lyft, SideCar, and Uber, or work as a part-time driver in one of these companies, it is a good idea to know the laws regarding automobile liability insurance requirements in Illinois.

Understanding the Illinois Transportation Network Providers Act

The Transportation Network Providers Act was passed in Illinois in December 2014. Under the Act, which took effect in June 2015, a Transportation Network Company (TNC) is defined as “an entity operating in this State that uses a digital network or software application service to connect passengers to transportation network company services provided by transportation network company drivers. A TNC is not deemed to own, control, operate, or manage the vehicles used by TNC drivers, and is not a taxicab association or a for-hire vehicle owner.” Under Section 10 of the Transportation Network Providers Act, TNC drivers need to comply with either of the two following insurance requirements.

Insurance Requirements

The first set of insurance requirements applies from the time a TNC driver officially joins a transportation network company’s digital network until he or she accepts a request from a passenger. The second set of requirements applies to a driver from the time he or she accepts a request from a passenger to when the work is completed. Under the first set of requirements, the driver needs to have an automobile liability insurance policy that provides a coverage of $50,000 or more per person for personal injury or death, another $100,000 per incident for personal injury and death, and $25,000 for property damage. At the same time, the transportation network provider needs to have a contingent insurance policy providing the same amount of coverage in the event the driver’s policy fails to provide for the required financial compensation.

Drivers that need to comply with the second set of insurance requirements must have an automobile insurance policy that provides $1,000,000 for personal injury, death, and property damage. The policy also needs to provide uninsured motorist and underinsured motorist coverage of $50,000 or more. There are mainly three ways for the TNCs and their drivers to meet the insurance requirements. First, both the driver and the provider may choose to have insurance with a collective total coverage amount of $1,000,000 or more. Second, only the driver may have the insurance, or third, the transportation provider can have the insurance coverage.

Driving History and Background Check

The Illinois Transportation Network Providers Act also requires that all TNCs check the driving history and background of all their drivers in order to secure the safety of the passengers. All drivers working under a transportation network provider must be at least 19 years old, have a valid drivers license, and the necessary insurance policies. In addition, drivers with a history of violating traffic rules or a criminal background are not allowed to work in a TNC.

If you unfortunately fall prey to a motorist accident claim while riding in or driving a car of a transportation network company, contact a Chicago personal injury Willens Law from Willens Law Offices to know whether you are entitled to receive any financial compensation. Call us at (312) 957-4166 for a free consultation.

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