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New insurance option for UberX drivers approved by California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones

News: 2015 Press Release

For Release: January 28, 2015
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
New insurance option for UberX drivers approved by California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones
Commissioner urges insurance companies to offer additional products

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones has approved a filing that will allow UberX drivers purchasing coverage through Metromile to add a new coverage endorsement to their personal auto policy. That endorsement will provide insurance coverage during the pre-match period when the ride hailing application is open but the driver is not matched to a passenger. This portion of Transportation Network Company (TNC) driving is commonly referred to as Period 1. The product should be available to consumers in mid-February. Metromile is partnered with National General Assurance Company.

"Metromile is leading the way to expand the insurance coverage available to UberX drivers and passengers," said Commissioner Jones. "We encourage other insurance companies to offer insurance coverage to California drivers who drive for UberX and other transportation network companies."

This insurance filing by Metromile is the first in California to provide liability coverage to TNC drivers on their personal auto policies when the UberX app is on but before a match with a rider has been made. It also keeps in force during Period 1 any optional coverages such as medical payments, comprehensive, collision and uninsured/underinsured motorists that the driver may have purchased on their personal automobile insurance policy. UberX and all other TNCs are required by California law to provide drivers $1 million in liability coverage from the time a match is accepted until the passenger exits the vehicle. TNC's are also required by law to provide a lesser amount of coverage for Period 1, in the event that the driver's own personal auto insurance does not provide coverage, which is the case for many personal auto insurance policies written in California.

Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones called on other insurers to offer additional innovative products in this area. "This first TNC endorsement provides Period 1 coverage whenever the UberX app is open, but it does not provide any TNC coverage for drivers partnered solely with Lyft, Sidecar or other TNCs. Our door is open for automobile insurers to propose new products that provide drivers with additional choices," Jones added.

Assembly Bill 2293, authored by Assembly member Susan Bonilla, encouraged insurers to create a new type of coverage for TNC drivers. In November 2014, nine months before the deadline set by the new law, Commissioner Jones announced the department would began accepting filings to create new commercial coverage or endorsements to personal auto insurance policies. 

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Media Notes:

Livery Exclusion: Virtually all personal auto policies contain a livery exclusion which excludes all coverage while the car is being used to transport passengers for a fee other than a share-the-expense carpool. The insurance issues surrounding TNCs like UberX, Lyft and Sidecar have been confusing because those livery exclusions are worded differently from one insurer to another and because insurers may not have been aware of their insureds' TNC driving activities. For more information, see http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0400-news/multimedia/0030VideoHearings/upload/TNCBackground.pdf

Periods: There are three distinct time periods involved with TNC applications (Apps):

Period 1: App open, driver waiting for match

Period 2: Match accepted through passenger pick-up

Period 3: Passenger in the car

Metromile/UberX Endorsement Summary Chart

Period Covered for TNC Driving

Optional coverages such as uninsured/underinsured motorist, comprehensive, collision

Liability Coverage for TNC services

Covers drivers with multiple apps open?

Cost

Period 1 only.

UberX's policy covers Periods 2 and 3. 

These coverages are provided in Period 1 only if driver opts to purchase these coverages.

Coverage amounts and deductibles are based on what driver buys.

UberX's policy provides uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage during Periods 2 and 3 and provides comprehensive and collision only if driver has purchased these coverages on personal policy. 

Driver's liability limits are the same as those purchased for personal use miles. 

UberX limits must meet statutory mandates for TNCs in AB2293.

Yes, as long as the UberX app is open. No coverage if the UberX app is off.  


Per-mile charge based on miles driven.

 



The California Department of Insurance, established in 1868, is the largest consumer protection agency in California. Insurers collect $289 billion in premiums annually in California. Since 2011 the California Department of Insurance received more than 1,000,000 calls from consumers and helped recover over $394 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP or 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.

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