Does your Insurance Company know you drive for Uber or Lyft? They should! Uber's website and the Michigan SOS site are where I have gathered my most of my information for this Blog.
Transportation Networking has become a huge business coast to coast, the companies that you drive for are not as strict as most of the city and state laws where you live or the insurance companies that you have chosen to place your private passenger automobile with. I personally used the services of a major transportation networking company, being in the insurance industry I was very curious how the individual driver was getting coverage for her car. The very nice young lady who drove me Downtown for a ball game was kind enough to answer what she could about my questions. It was a little unsettling for me to find out that she had not even had a conversation about her business venture with her Insurance Agent. I asked her if she had a policy provided by her parent company and she "thought so". When I asked her why she would think that her liability coverage would be provided by the company she had been representing she replied "they charge me $1.00 per ride and they did not require me to get any other insurance". I did not want to press the subject any further, so I recommended she call her agent ASAP.
I also went to the same transportation networking company website to see exactly what it would take to become a driver. The site was proud that you could be on the road making money in "less than 4 minutes". That seems a little hasty, I would hope they would take at least 15 minutes...like the online insurance carriers.(don't get me started on that, FYI if your agent can get you a rate in less than 15 minutes YOU ARE NOT INSURED PROPERLY and there is no way he/she knows you drive for Uber or Lyft!) Anyway to get approved to drive in under 4 minutes you will need a valid proof of insurance, valid license, and registration, and necessary information for the background check. Which I believe is, if you are 21 and not a felon welcome aboard. Your personal automobile policy may not be the best place for individuals who are actively driving for any Transportation Networking Company to be insured'. If you or someone you know is involved with a Transportation Networking Company please call your agent ASAP. Here is some information you might want to talk with your agent about.
"MDOT put Uber and Lyft on notice in December that, as it stands now, state officials believe the companies should be regulated under the state's Limousine Transportation Act. That law, which took effect in 1990, requires that vehicles with a seating capacity of 15 or less undergo an inspection before a certificate of authority is issued for the vehicle to be operated on the road. The vehicles then must undergo yearly inspections and the law requires proper personal protection and property insurance, as well as minimum coverage for bodily injury and property damage liability insurance." MLIVE
Besides Michigan basic no-fault coverage, the following levels of coverage are required:
- For limousines with seating capacity of 1 to 9 passengers including the driver – bodily injury and property damage liability with a minimum combined single limit of $1,000,000.00 for all persons injured or for property damage
- For limousines with seating capacity of 10 to 15 passengers including the driver – bodily injury and property damage liability with a minimum combined single limit of $2,000,000.00 for all persons injured or for property damage
The state will also require the drivers to obtain a chauffeur license. Per the SOS website a Chauffeur license is required if you:
- Are employed for the principal purpose of operating a motor vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 10,000 pounds or more. (See note below.)
- Operate a motor vehicle as a carrier of passengers or as a common or contract carrier of property.
- Operate a bus or a school bus.
- Operate a taxi or limousine.
NOTE: Michigan law considers someone to be employed for the principal purpose of operating a motor vehicle "when the person's employment customarily involves the necessary use of a motor vehicle for hire or for transporting passengers for hire, or for transporting for gain or hire any merchandise for display, sale, or delivery." (MCL 257.6(2))
Aaron T. Moore CIC
Metro Agency Inc