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Rideshares race to comply with new rules

SEATTLE — Rideshare companies Uber and Lyft have announced that they are expanding insurance coverage for their drivers.

MAG_LYFTAccording to The Seattle Times, Uber and Lyft are making sure their drivers are covered not just from pickup to drop-off, but at any time they are live on their companies’ smartphone apps.

Uber’s changes went into effect on Friday while Lyft planned to roll out its expansion state by state. Sidecar said it is working on a similar insurance policy.

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick spoke with The Seattle Times about the insurance announcement and said his company wanted to be in good standing with lawmakers.

The announcement, of course, followed a well-publicized debate between the rideshares, taxi drivers and the City of Seattle. Taxi drivers have pushed for the city to instill regulations on rideshare companies concerning insurance coverage and how many rideshares should be allowed to operate in Seattle.

The rideshare companies had said that too many regulations could hurt business and some customers worried rideshares would even leave Seattle altogether.

Seattle city leaders want to put a cap on all rideshare companies, allowing each to have only 150 cars on the road at any time. Until recently, Uber had kept quiet on how many drivers it has working in Seattle but then  disclosed that it has 900 active drivers in the Uber-X system.

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1 Comment

  • ClaimsAdjuster

    If UberX and Lyft are going to provide back up insurance, that is good. But the Seattle City Council still should mandate that these vehicles be required to carry commercail insurance just like taxis.

    "[Uber CEO Travis] Kalanick said that in most cases, drivers’ personal insurance would pay for damages. But in the event it doesn’t, Uber’s insurance coverage will pay for damages, he said."

    What Kalanick means is that drivers' personal insurance would sometimes pay for an accident because the driver is hiding his taxi business from his insurer. But if the insurance company finds out what the driver is up to, it will deny the claim and cancel the policy. If it is a big enough accident, the insurer will find out because it will be looking for exclusions to avoid paying up.

    This statement demonstrates once again what an what a sleazeball Kalanick is. He is still asking the City to wink at insurance fraud. Allowing Lyft/UberX driver to routinely dump their liabilities on the personal auto insurance pool will drive up rates for John Q Public.
    http://blogs.kqed.org/newsfix/2014/01/20/ride-sha