By Jerry Barron – Owner, Barron Insurance
This month’s information is going to cover a new subject in the insurance world: Uber driving. This subject is also very unclear to insureds on how their current auto policy covers or does not cover this exposure because most insureds either don’t think about or don’t want to hear the answer. Let’s explore this further with a familiar story: Times are tough and you are looking for ways to supplement your income. You here about how being a Uber driver can really help you earn some extra cash. You have also contacted a local pizzeria to deliver pizza’s in the evening. Most would consider you quite the go getter!
Unfortunately, because of all the wear and tear your current vehicle has some engine problems and you take it in for servicing. The shop will need it for a week to take care of the problem..how am I going to make my extra money? You go to your local Enterprise rental car dealer and rent a replacement vehicle. You even bite the bullet and pay an extra $20 per day for collision waiver just in case you have an accident and you don’t want to turn a claim into your current company or take a chance in having any gaps on your current auto policy for a rental car.
Three days into your rental you are in a hurry and you park the car to run a pizza delivery up to an apartment building. For some reason you leave the car running because you will be right back. You return to find the rental vehicle is missing..maybe you parked it somewhere else..you just can’t find it!! Eventually you call the police and report the car stolen. Your next call is to Enterprise to let them know there is a claim to turn in. While you wait for the adjuster, the car is found the next day totally destroyed. The vehicle is deemed totaled out and the value of the car was $15,000. Thank goodness you have insurance!
Within 24 hours the adjuster for Enterprise calls to advise you there is no coverage for a vehicle stolen while leaving the car running and you are responsible for the entire damage..are you kidding me! Your next call is to your insurance agency to turn in this claim because you had full coverage on your policy for the car in the garage. Am I covered for this?
After answering all questions from your insurance adjuster explaining why you had a rental car and what you were doing with it you receive a letter denying the claim. The reason? The auto policy clearly excludes vehicles that are used for the hire of transporting passengers and deliveries..even most business activities are excluded without proper endorsement!
How many people do you know that are doing one if not both or all of these with their personal auto’s? You must notify your agency and get special insurance to cover such exposures. If your vehicle is being used for business purposes..a separate commercial auto policy may be the best solution. Don’t take a chance that nothing will happen..this story is true and the young man was out $15,000 because he was NOT covered for this.