Driving for a rideshare company is a quick and easy way to make some extra cash (or a living), but there are some caveats that every new driver should know.
Before you sign up and start driving, you should know about these four things.
1. Personal Auto Insurance Won’t Cover Accidents
It’s easy to assume that your personal auto insurance policy would cover you if you get into an accident while driving for Uber or Lyft. But unless you have a specific rideshare policy or a policy that has a rideshare endorsement, your policy won’t cover you.
Uber and Lyft do provide liability coverage to drivers after they’ve accepted a ride and have a rider in the vehicle. However, that collision coverage is completely contingent.
What happens if you get into an accident before you accept a ride request? Uber or Lyft will probably tell you to check with your insurance provider. Unless you have rideshare coverage, your insurer will likely tell you that you’re not covered.
Personal auto insurance policies do not cover commercial use of your vehicle, and driving for a rideshare company is considered commercial use.
If you don’t have the right coverage, you may be on the hook for damages to your vehicle.
Not worried about an accident? You should be.
“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that approximately 128,000 people die annually in the United States due to motor vehicle crashes,” says the David Boehrer Law Firm
2. Regulations Vary from City-to-City
Every state and city will have its own regulations when it comes to rideshare companies and drivers. You may not be able to pick up fares in certain areas, and there may be driving restrictions that you need to know about.
You may not be able to pick up passengers from an airport, but you may be able to drop them off there. This was a regulation at Boston’s Logan Airport, but both Uber and Lyft now have permission to pick up passengers at the airport.
Cities also have their own requirements as far as background checks are concerned.
Do your research, and make sure that you understand local rideshare regulations.
3. You Can Drive for Multiple Companies
Rideshare drivers aren’t obligated to drive for one company exclusively. You operate as an independent contractor, which means you can drive for whichever company you please.
Many drivers make a living by driving for multiple companies. If rides are slow on one app, you can use another to reach your daily goals.
If you plan to work for more than one company, make sure that you understand the vehicle and driver requirements for each one. Failure to meet the company’s requirements may get your account deactivated.
4. Keep Friend and Family Rides to a Minimum
Giving friends and family a ride from time to time probably won’t get you deactivated from Uber or Lyft. Just don’t make it a habit.
Some drivers take advantage of the system by using family and friends to meet minimum ride requirements during guarantee hours.
Uber uses an algorithm to detect fraud, and humans review each case. Giving too many rides to friends and family could land you in hot water and get your account deactivated.