With the growing number of rideshare options in Colorado, Lyft users may be surprised to learn they might not be covered in a Colorado Lyft accident. Specifically, a Lyft driver’s personal automobile insurance will not cover an accident when a vehicle is being used for business purposes. Moreover, Lyft recently amended its insurance policy to remove uninsured motorist (“UM”) and underinsured motorist (“UIM”) coverage.
What is Bodily Injury Coverage?
Following a car accident in Colorado, an at-fault driver’s bodily injury (“BI”) coverage will pay for the harms and losses of an injury party. This coverage may also help pay legal fees if the injured party sues the at-fault driver. Colorado law requires all drivers carry a minimum of $25,000.00 in BI coverage per person and $50,000.00 per accident.
Does Lyft Offer Bodily Injury Coverage in Colorado?
Yes. However, in the event of a Colorado Lyft accident, the type and amount of liability coverage depends on the driver’s status. The following BI coverage is applicable for Lyft users:
- Offline: When a driver is offline, Lyft does not provide insurance. Drivers are responsible for carrying the above-referenced state minimum insurance coverage.
- In–App: When a driver has logged into the Lyft digital network in anticipation of securing a ride, but has not accepted a ride, Lyft provides up to $50,000.00 in BI coverage per person and $100,000.00 per accident, and $25,000.00 for property damage.
- In–Ride: When a driver is in route to pick up an accepted ride or carrying a passenger, Lyft provides up to $1 million in BI coverage per accident. This policy coverers passengers, a driver, and even cyclists and pedestrians struck by a Lyft driver.
What is Uninsured Motorist Coverage?
UM coverage will pay the harms and losses of an injured party after a car accident with a driver who did not have BI coverage. UM coverage works by filling the gap between an at-fault driver’s insurance and an injured party’s losses in a Colorado car accident. For example, if someone incurs $50,000.00 in medical expenses following an accident, and the other driver failed to carry BI coverage, the injured party could pursue a UM claim through their insurance. If they carried $50,000.00 in UM coverage, their policy would cover the medical bills. This insurance also works if the at-fault driver is underinsured. If an at-fault driver had $25,000.00 in BI coverage, the injured party could collect $25,000.oo in BI coverage and an additional $25,000.00 in UIM coverage.
In 2007, the Colorado Legislature amended the law to require insurers to offer UM/UIM coverage equal to the BI limits. However, the law did not require drivers to carry UM/UIM coverage. As a result, it is estimated that 16.3% of Colorado motorists are uninsured. Unfortunately, the number of Lyft drivers without UM/UIM coverage is likely significantly more.
Does Lyft Offer Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage in Colorado?
No. Most people assume they will be covered in the event of a Colorado Lyft accident. This assumption was once true. In a blog posted by Lyft on April 11, 2014, the company highlighted the fact drivers carried $1 million in UM/UIM coverage. Lyft even created the below-graphic to tout how and when UM/UIM coverage would be applicable.
Notwithstanding Lyft’s representations, the company made changes over the last few years. In 2019, Lyft deleted the blog from its website and contracted with Indian Harbor Insurance to provide UM/UIM limits of $50,000.00. Lyft remained compliant with Colorado law because UM/UIM coverage is optional. Interestingly, towards the end of 2020, Lyft switched insurance carriers to Mobilitas Insurance and eliminated UM/UIM coverage entirely.
What Should Colorado Lyft Drivers Do?
Lyft drivers should speak to their insurance agents about adding a rideshare endorsement to their personal insurance policy. Without a rideshare endorsement, insurers may cancel a policy or deny a claim, as using a vehicle for Lyft might constitute a policy violation. Drivers are responsible to inform their insurance company they are driving for a rideshare service. Driving for a rideshare company without proper insurance could put the driver at risk for a personal lawsuit and damages.
Contact a Colorado Lyft Accident Attorney
Click here for more information regarding UM/UIM coverage in Colorado. At Bowman Law, we provide legal representation to Colorado Lyft accident victims and their loved ones. Our lawyers understand the legal nuances involved in these types of cases. Please contact Bowman Law at 720.863.6904 or email us for your free initial consultation.
Owner and Managing Attorney
Jerry Bowman, J.D., M.A., Owner and managing attorney of Bowman Law LLC, takes his responsibility to the legal profession seriously and dedicates his time and effort to providing quality and competent legal representation to clients in Denver and throughout all of Colorado. He holds an MA in Political Science from Wayne State University and earned his law degree in two and a half years from Michigan State University College of Law.