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New Ridesharing Companies Create Insurance Nightmare

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New Ridesharing Companies Create Insurance Nightmare

Someone looking at a rideshare app on their phone

Uber is a tech-based ridesharing company that connects passengers and drivers using a smartphone app. While not yet available in Wisconsin, the company offers its services in most major cities, including Minneapolis.

The concept offered by Uber and other similar companies has been largely praised for providing inexpensive transportation while reducing fuel consumption and emissions.

However, because the service involves drivers who are essentially working as independent contractors using their own vehicles to cart around passengers when they feel like it, it presents an insurance nightmare when tragedy strikes.

Essentially, the services offered by companies like Uber fall into a gray area between personal and commercial insurance coverage, which can lead to a lot of finger pointing when a serious accident occurs.

Such is the case in a lawsuit following a fatal accident in California that involved an Uber driver. The fatal accident claimed the life of a 6-year-old girl who was struck by the Uber driver on New Year's Eve.

The family of the 6-year-old filed suit against Uber, but the company has denied liability because the driver did not have an Uber passenger on board at the time of the accident. The company says their million-dollar insurance policy only kicks in when Uber drivers get into accidents with passengers in their cars.

But the driver's personal auto insurance company is also crying foul. They say personal insurance policies aren't intended to cover drivers who are providing a livery service, or driving for pay. They argue that Uber drivers should have to pay extra for commercial policies.

Unfortunately, innocent accident victims are the ones to suffer when they fall into the gap between personal and commercial insurance. That's why many states and cities are working quickly to implement better policy surrounding the ridesharing companies.

Source: Insurance Journal, "Transportation Network Companies, Uber Liability Gap Worry Insurers," Don Jergler, Feb.10, 2014

SEE HOW NICOLET LAW MAKES A DIFFERENCE IN OUR CLIENTS’ CASES

CAR ACCIDENT

Result with Nicolet Law 
$1,200,000.00*

CAR ACCIDENT

Offer before Nicolet Law
$50,000.00*

VEHICLE ACCIDENT

Result with Nicolet Law 
$1,117,000.00*

VEHICLE ACCIDENT

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115,000.00*

MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT

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$1,100,000.00*

MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENT

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$650,000.00*
More Than
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PEDESTRIAN HIT BY CAR

Result with Nicolet Law 
$1,050,000.00*

PEDESTRIAN HIT BY CAR

Offer before Nicolet Law
$0.00 - denial*

DRUNK DRIVING ACCIDENT

Result with Nicolet Law 
$815,000.00*

DRUNK DRIVING VICTIM

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$0.00*

UTV ACCIDENT

Result with Nicolet Law 
$550,000.00*

UTV ACCIDENT

Offer before Nicolet Law
$75,000.00*

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Wisconsin Locations:

EAU CLAIRE:

402 Graham Ave.
Suite 305
Eau Claire, WI 54701

Phone: (715) 835-5959
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HUDSON:

517 2nd Street
Unit #205
Hudson, WI 54016

Phone: 715-226-6158
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LA CROSSE:

205 5th Avenue S, Suite 209, 
La Crosse, WI 54601

Phone: 608-527-0876
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NEW RICHMOND:

1500 Madison Ave.
Suite 220
New Richmond, WI 54017

Phone: 715-226-6164
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RICE LAKE:
337 North Main Street
Rice Lake, WI 54868

Phone: (715) 790-1114
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RIVER FALLS:
215 S 2nd St #20
River Falls, WI 54022

Phone: (715) 716-5869
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SUPERIOR:
1200 Tower Ave.
Superior, WI 54880

Phone: (715) 718-2969
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WAUSAU:
408 3rd Street
Suite 303
Wausau, WI 54403

Phone: (715) 716-5092
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Minnesota Locations:

DULUTH:
306 West Superior Street,
Suite 606 West
Duluth, MN 55802

Phone: (218) 729-0628
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HIBBING:
Howard Court Bldg.
302 Howard Street, Suite 123
Hibbing, MN 55746

Phone: 218-217-0659
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MINNEAPOLIS:
23 - 4th Street SE
Suite #213
Minneapolis, MN 55414
Phone: (612) 446-3999
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WOODBURY:
724 Bielenberg Drive
Suite 126
Woodbury, MN 55125

Phone: (651) 815-0017
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