WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Maryland Officials Warn Of Insurance Pitfalls With Ridesharing Services

Play associated audio
Insurance concerns linger for drivers using services like Lyft.
Alfredo Mendez: https://www.flickr.com/photos/bootleggersson/9603965456
Insurance concerns linger for drivers using services like Lyft.

Maryland is now the sixth state to issue a warning about popular ridesharing services that connect drivers to passengers through smartphone apps.

When you order a ride through Uber, Lyft, or Sidecar, a cab will pick you up, but these cabs are actually the drivers' own personal cars. The tech companies call them ridesharing services; regulators call them private sedans for hire. The drivers have insurance, but Vivian Laxton at the Maryland Insurance Administration says not the right kind.

"Well, Maryland's insurance commissioner Therese Goldsmith issued a notice to alert drivers in a common exclusion in most personal auto policies for claims that arise while driving for hire," Laxton says. "She suggested you consider whether a commercial auto policy is appropriate."

Uber, Lyft and Sidecar are running into trouble with insurance officials and regulators across the country who say the drivers, passengers, pedestrians, and other motorists may not be covered by the tech firms' umbrella or excess insurance plans that are supposed to "drop down" if the driver's insurance doesn't cover injuries and damage suffered in a crash.

Drivers who work for transportation network companies may not be covered by their personal automobile insurance policies.

Uber, Lyft and Sidecar say their insurance plans are better than what metered taxicabs are required to carry.

NPR

Bill Cunningham, Iconic 'New York Times' Photographer, Dies At 87

Cunningham worked at the Times for almost 40 years, capturing the fashion trends of the day with a timeless eye.
NPR

With A Zap, Scientists Create Low-Fat Chocolate

Scientists say they've figured out how to reduce the fat in milk chocolate by running it through an electric field. The result is healthier, but is it tastier?
NPR

Tracing The 43-Year History Of The U.K. In The European Union

The U.K. joined the European Union in 1973, hoping to gain from the booming economies on the continent. Historian Timothy Garton Ash explains the reasons why, and how the relationship soured.
NPR

President Obama Acknowledges 'Brexit' To Silicon Valley Crowd

President Obama delivered a speech Friday at Stanford University, and remarked on the Brexit vote in front of a crowd of young, tech-forward, pro-globalization attendees from 170 countries.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.