Maryland is one of several states with gaps in rideshare liability insurance. A loophole in rideshare insurance allows the company to avoid payments for passenger injuries during an accident. On Sept. 12, 2020, a car hit a Lyft car and drove off, and a Lyft customer ended up with six crushed vertebrae and a broken jaw. The company’s insurance doesn’t have to pay expenses or medical bills for passengers. The man needs more surgeries to fix his jaw but can’t afford them.
A new rideshare bill
Several lawmakers see that rideshare accident insurance gaps hurt the people using the apps. If a proposed Colorado bill goes through, rideshare companies in the state would need at least $1 million in uninsured motorist coverage for passengers. The coverage helps passengers without enough auto insurance against uninsured drivers or hit-and-runs. Some states reduced the amount of uninsured coverage to $300,000 to give drivers a raise and sick days. Ten states have expanded the minimum uninsured coverage of rideshare companies.
Reasons surrounding the proposed bill
The proposed legislationwill help passengers in situations such as hit-and-runs. Current bills don’t offer help for passengers without auto insurance. Constituents told senators they thought they had coverage in a rideshare car. Critics of the bill insist that the extra insurance would raise rates by about $1.60 per ride. Lyft wants the governor to veto the bill and keep negotiating. Backers of the bill explain that many Uber and Lyft drivers don’t own the car they drive, and passengers assume they have coverage.
Rideshare companies argue that other drivers don’t have the same insurance requirements. Low-income areas are 42% of rideshare rides, and fees may go up by 6%. States that offer MedPay allow rideshare companies to pay for medical bills. Riders may still sue for pain and suffering or lost wages.