Challenging the old way of doing business can get expensive.
Ride-sharing service Lyft is introducing three new types of insurance coverage for its drivers, it announced in a blog post today.
If an uninsured or underinsured motorist is at fault in hitting a Lyft vehicle in an accident, coverage will amount to $1 million. And Lyft drivers with collision coverage on a personal car insurance policy can get as much as $50,000 in collisions if they pay a $2,500 deductible. That’s on top of the $1 million in excess liability protection that Lyft has provided since September 2012.
But new insurance options that might be more advantageous to Lyft and its services could be on the way.
Lyft said in the blog post that it will take part in a new organization called the Peer-to-Peer Rideshare Insurance Coalition. The California Public Utilities Commission, insurance companies, and other regulatory organizations and transportation companies will also participate. The organization is meant to “address how the insurance industry can continue evolving to support the growing peer-to-peer economy.”
These are interesting steps for driving companies like Lyft to take.
The companies must meet standards from governmental agencies that have long dealt with different business models and practices. The companies must keep drivers content. And surely the companies want to minimize unnecessary spending, so they can focus on bringing on more users.
And then there’s the public perception of driving services. The companies need to at least look like they take safety seriously, especially as more accidents make headlines. In an accident involving an Uber driver on New Year’s Eve in San Francisco, a six-year-old girl died. And in mid-January, a pedestrian got hit in an accident involving a Lyft driver.
Perhaps the new organization will lead to insurance policies that don’t hamper the fast-growing services, while ensuring that pedestrians, passengers, and drivers all get adequate protection.