By: Michael J. Merwin
NEW JERSEY DRIVERS WHO PROVIDE RIDE SHARING SERVICES WITH THEIR PRIVATE PASSENGER AUTOMOBILE NEED TO KNOW
It is very possible your personal automobile policy will not provide coverage while you are providing Ride Sharing services. The typical personal automobile policy excludes coverage for business use via a personal vehicle.
WHAT IS RIDE SHARING?
Ride Sharing is a transportation service. It is the sharing of private motor vehicle transportation with another person or persons. The driver of the vehicle receives a fee for their service and the passenger gets an inexpensive ride to their destination.
WHERE IS THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY LEGISLATIVELY ON RIDE SHARING?
February 2017 Governor Christie signed legislation on Ride Sharing to fill in some of the coverage gaps with Ride Sharing.
Under the new law, once a transportation network driver (Uber, Lyft driver) is logged into the TNC application and is available to receive a prearranged ride but is not providing a prearranged ride, the coverage provided is $50,000 for death or bodily injury per person, $100,000 for death or bodily injury per incident and $35,000 property damage. In addition, personal injury benefits and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is provided to the extent required under the current law.
When the driver is providing a prearranged ride the coverage requirements increase to $1.5 million for death, bodily injury and property damage. Insurance for medical payments benefits in the amount of $10,000 must also be provided.
THE COVERAGE GAP ON YOU PERSONAL AUTOMOBILE POLICY EXISTS WHEN?
The gap in coverage exists under any circumstance when the insured is logged into a transportation network application platform, whether or not a passenger is occupying the vehicle.
WHAT SHOULD YOU DO IF YOU PROVIDE RIDE SHARING SERVICE?
It is always best to contact your current agent and inform them that you are providing Ride Sharing services. They should be able to respond to the different Ride Sharing situations.
In closing, we would be happy to provide coverage quotations and recommendations to close the coverage gaps that currently exist.
Please feel free to contact me at our office: Merwin & Paolazzi Insurance Agency, Inc., 201-460-8400 ext. 302