If you drive for Uber, Lyft or another Transportation Network Company (TNC), there’s good news on the insurance front. Several insurance carriers are now offering a personal auto insurance policy endorsement to close a coverage gap that exists for TNC drivers. Two companies that we work with, Plymouth Rock Assurance and Mapfre Insurance, now offer such endorsements.
Massachusetts law requires that drivers inform their insurer if they are driving for a TNC. Because there are often insurance gaps, drivers need to clearly understand the details of how the TNC provided insurance and their personal auto insurance coverage work and take action to resolve any issues.
What causes the gap in coverage?
When Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft came into being it created a new insurance risk because Personal Auto Insurance policies exclude coverage when a vehicle is being used as a public or livery conveyance for a fee. Massachusetts has passed laws requiring TNCs to provide insurance for their drivers; however, there remains a coverage gap.
As soon as you are signed on the TNC app, but haven’t matched up with a fare (referred to as Period 1: App On), your personal auto policy stops providing coverage, and the TNC offered insurance policy may only provide limited coverage during this time period; however, you don't want your protection to fluctuate depending on the circumstance. You want it to be consistent and reliable.
The personal auto insurance policy endorsements offered by Plymouth Rock Assurance and Mapfre Insurance allow your auto insurance coverage limits to be extended to cover drivers during the TNC Period 1 when you’re signed into the TNC App but haven’t yet matched up with a fare. The endorsements vary slightly regarding the rules of eligibility and applicability, but essentially provide the same coverage.
Our insurance associates can help you to evaluate which company offers the best solution depending on your overall needs. If you’re already driving for a TNC or are thinking about doing so, please contact us to discuss your options.