Ride-sharing has taken the nation by storm, with estimates that more than 200,000 people are earning their primary income, or supplementing other income, by working for such companies as Uber, Lyft and Sidecar, among others. It can seem like a pretty easy and relatively safe way to earn a few extra bucks, but individuals who turn their private motor vehicles into taxis should take the time to carefully read their auto insurance policies—they may be engaging in activity that voids the policy.
Here’s what you need to know. New Jersey is a no-fault insurance state—if you are involved in a motor vehicle accident, you look to your own insurer, rather than the at-fault party’s insurer (though your insurer may ultimately seek reimbursement from the other insurance provider). Most insurance companies, though, make a distinction between personal auto insurance policies and commercial auto insurance policies, and typically have different premium structures for what are considered to be commercial vehicles. The long and short of it—your policy may have a provision that allows the insurance company to deny coverage for medical expenses if you were using a personal vehicle for commercial or for-profit purposes at the time of the injury.
The top ridesharing companies—Uber and Lyft—offer insurance coverage to drivers, but you need to carefully read the policy to determine whether the policies cover the costs of medical treatment for injuries suffered while on the job. If not, you’ll have to look to your personal motor vehicle accident policy, which may not apply.
Contact the Law Offices of Mallon & Tranger
To learn how we can help you if you have been injured, contact us online or call us at 732-410-6094 (toll free at 877-320-0692). There is no charge for your first meeting. We have offices in Freehold, Toms River and Point Pleasant.