Uber insurance 'coverage gap' leaves questions about who pays for problems

Moments before driver picks up passenger are those worrying lawmakers

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – Questions about insurance coverage when it comes to ride-sharing services, like Uber or Lyft, are a hot topic among state and local lawmakers -- and Local 10 News viewers.

Many have contacted the Call Christina hotline with questions about insurance implications if a ride-sharing driver working for a transportation network company gets into a crash. 

According to Logan McFaddin of Property Casualty Insurers of America, Uber passengers will be covered. The company has a million dollar policy that covers the entire ride.  

"The policy is a good policy," McFaddin told investigative reporter Christina Vazquez. "Taxis and limos aren't held to that million dollar standard."

But the moments regulators and insurance companies are worried about are those when a driver has logged onto the app, but has yet to be matched with a passenger. During that time, Uber's coverage policy is 'contingent.' 

"[If an] Uber drivers or a TNC driver hits you during that period in the process, it would be up to their personal insurance policy to first deny the claim before the TNC insurance will take over." 

Many personal policies are likely to deny the claim because the driver is logged onto the app, which is considered a commercial activity.

The coverage gap has captured the attention of insurance companies and elected officials at different levels. 

"If currently you got hit by a TNC driver, you would have difficulty settling that claim quickly," said McFaddin. "You might not ever get the medical provisions because uninsured motorists are not included in that coverage."

Florida lawmakers had been considering new insurance requirements and ride-sharing regulations, but ended the regular legislative sessions without approving the proposals. 

Uber has created an online petition "Support Uber Florida" lobbying lawmakers to take up the issue during June's special session. 

The Senate President's office told the Call Christina team, it has not received a formal request to add ride-sharing legislation to the calendar. 

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Follow Christina Vazquez on Twitter @CallChristinaTV