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Commissioner Jones approves new ridesharing insurance option for Lyft drivers

News: 2015 Press Release

For Release: October 12, 2015
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Commissioner Jones approves new ridesharing insurance option for Lyft drivers
MetLife Auto & Home ridesharing insurance for Lyft drivers

SACRAMENTO, Calif. - Lyft drivers have a new ridesharing insurance option covering all three ridesharing periods and offering liability coverage with the option to add additional coverages. The new product, approved by Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones, is available beginning October 15, 2015. 

"As demand for ridesharing services increases, making sure ridesharing drivers are able to obtain insurance to protect themselves, their passengers and pedestrians has been a top priority," said Commissioner Jones. "I want to acknowledge the leadership of MetLife Auto & Home in responding to our request that insurers develop products to fill ridesharing insurance coverage gaps."

MetLife Auto & Home's product is the first to offer a personal auto policy designed for Lyft drivers that provides coverage for drivers at every stage of the ridesharing transaction-while the driver is waiting for a passenger request, is en route to pick up a passenger, and during the trip with the passenger. 

"MetLife Auto & Home is focused on adapting to new consumer needs in today's sharing economy," said Kishore Ponnavolu, President, MetLife Auto & Home. "Using fewer resources by sharing existing ones can have a positive effect on our environment, as well as providing additional flexibility for consumers. The insurance we are announcing today helps to provide Lyft drivers in California with convenience and extra peace of mind. We'd like to thank Commissioner Jones and the staff of the Department for their hard work in helping to make this product available in the Golden State."

Commissioner Jones has long been a leader in encouraging innovation in the insurance marketplace, most recently in response to the emergence and popularity of ridesharing or Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) in California. Jones identified insurance coverage issues associated with the ridesharing model. Jones issued a set of strong recommendations which were included in rules issued by the Public Utilities Commission and in AB 2933. AB 2293 (Bonilla), which took effect on July 1 of this year, requires TNCs to provide liability coverage or make sure drivers have liability coverage during all periods the TNC application is on. AB 2933 does not require TNCs to provide collision or comprehensive auto insurance for drivers.

Commissioner Jones encouraged insurers to develop auto insurance products for TNC drivers. Jones directed the Department of Insurance to begin accepting ridesharing insurance product filings from insurers nine months before the new law went into effect.

"California is Lyft's birthplace and the state has long been a pioneer in embracing innovative new industries like ridesharing. We're encouraged by industry leaders like MetLife Auto & Home that have created products tailored specifically for drivers who want to share rides and are excited for the Lyft community to have access to this new option," said David Estrada, Vice President of Government Relations for Lyft.

Media Notes:

  • Learn more about MetLife's new insurance product here.
  • The premium charges for the Lyft endorsement vary by the number of annual miles driven for Lyft in conjunction with the vehicle's total annual miles driven.
  • MetLife's policy limits will be the primary coverage for Lyft drivers that purchase this coverage. Lyft's policy limits will provide excess coverage after the MetLife policy limits are exhausted.
  • If a Lyft driver is driving in Period One for multiple TNCs, one of which is Lyft, the driver will be covered. If the driver is driving in Periods Two or Three for another TNC, the driver will not be covered for that activity under this endorsement.
  • Transportation Network Company services generally fall into three periods:
    • Period One: App open - waiting for a match.
    • Period Two: Match accepted - but passenger not yet picked up (driver is on his/her way to pick up the passenger).
    • Period Three: Passenger in the vehicle and until the passenger exits the vehicle.
  • AB 2293:
    • Requires the TNC, the driver or some combination of the two to maintain primary liability insurance as follows:
      • Period One $50,000 for injury to a single person
      • $100,000 for injury to multiple persons
      • $30,000 for property damage
      • Periods Two and Three: $1 million
    • TNCs must also maintain $200,000 in excess insurance during Period One.
  • View graphic of new coverage from MetLife.

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 $469 million in claims and premiums. Please visit the Department of Insurance web site at 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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