Answering the Apps’ Call: Uber and Its Auto Insurance


Uber has exploded into popularity as an affordable option for passengers and a side job for extra cash for drivers. Passengers in need of a ride simply hail an Uber from their smartphone app to arrange for a car to pick them up. Local drivers respond to notifications from the app and pick up passengers in their own vehicles.

But perhaps it’s not as uncomplicated as it sounds: Uber does not own the car, and the drivers are not directly employed by Uber. So how exactly does the auto insurance work?

For those who may be interested in driving for Uber or a similar company, note that vehicle insurance policies are usually written for personal coverage and likely will exclude driving for hire. Therefore, Uber drivers may need supplemental commercial insurance for proper coverage.

That said, Uber provides some coverage for drivers, and liability coverage to protect passengers and others. While the Uber app is on, the drivers are protected. For passengers, the Uber liability insurance covers them when they step into the vehicle and applies until they get out.

Indeed, Uber-type services typically have huge liability policies that cover claims personal auto insurance wouldn’t cover. However, the policies may not cover damage to drivers’ cars. So drivers likely will also need a solid personal auto insurance policy.

Before transporting passengers for an Uber-type service, be sure to review your auto insurance with your agent. As for passengers, you may want to ask Uber drivers about their insurance coverage.