A major property/casualty insurance trade group is lauding Georgia legislators’ action on a bill mandating insurance coverage for ridesharing companies that covers an existing gap, mirroring similar moves taken in California and Colorado.
The Georgia House recently passed the bill by 141 to 26, requiring ridesharing companies including Uber and others have insurance coverage that addresses the time drivers turn on a ridesharing app until they are matched with passengers. Next, the state’s Senate will consider and vote on the bill.
A statement issued by the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America said the bill is important in that it allows the fast-growing ridesharing business to keep operating in Georgia with proper property insurance coverage.
“This bill allows for innovative companies … to continue operating in Georgia and puts important insurance protections in place,” Logan McFaddin, PCI’s state government relations counsel, said in prepared remarks. “Most personal insurance policies will not cover any damages or losses if a vehicle is being used for commercial use. House Bill 190 closes gaps in coverage through the entire time the vehicle is being used for hire.”
Last June, Colorado led the way with a law to mandate insurance coverage for ridesharing drivers from when they turn on their ridesharing apps until they are matched with a passenger. California followed suit in September, though states such as New York have been more wary of ridesharing companies.
With the laws in place, insurers are starting to follow. Farmers Insurance and USAA, for example, launched ridesharing coverage endorsements in Colorado in recent months.
Gus Fuldner, head of insurance and risk management at Uber, updated members of the Federal Advisory Committee on Insurance in Washington, D.C. in February about steps that Uber has taken to address coverage concerns where it operates.
He acknowledged to committee members that the biggest challenge for insurance coverage is when a driver is available but not on a trip. He said that Uber tries to address this with minimum liability coverage that includes $50,000-$100,000 injury total and $25,000 property damage.
“It is a minimum for rideshare partners but higher in some cities and states due to local regulations,” Fuldner explained.
He noted that cities and states are creating regulatory structures to address ridesharing, including three states and 15 municipalities.
“We support thoughtful legislation for ridesharing,” he said.