Over the past decade, there has been a rise in the number of people working for transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft. There is a big misconception among new drivers that all you need to begin is your vehicle; however, this isn’t the case. For drivers in Texas, you must also maintain the minimum amount of auto insurance coverage during different periods.
Finding the right rideshare insurance policy that works with your existing auto insurance can be difficult if you don’t know where to look. Insurify makes the process of selecting the right rideshare insurance quick and easy. By simply answering a few questions, you will be able to compare quotes and deductibles all from one screen.
How Rideshare Insurance Works
Many people who start working for a TNC, like Uber or Lyft, assume that all they need is a vehicle to start; however, this isn’t the case in the state of Texas. In fact, drivers who don’t have rideshare insurance coverage may have their claims denied if they don’t proactively tell their insurance agent that they are offering rideshare services.
Generally, both Uber and Lyft will offer some form of rideshare insurance while you are driving passengers around. The coverage typically offers the following protection while you are transporting a customer:
- Bodily Injury Protection
- Property Damage Liability Coverage
- Collision Coverage
- Comprehensive Coverage
- Protection for Uninsured Motorists
Even though this seems like a comprehensive list of coverage areas under the supplied rideshare insurance policy, there are a few major holes that leave drivers unprotected. For example, most protection plans provided by Lyft and Uber won’t cover you when you are not operating on their platform or when you are waiting to match with a rider.
Since you won’t always have a passenger in your vehicle, it is important that you maintain protection for you and your vehicle. That is one reason why it is important to maintain a personal auto insurance policy with a rideshare add-on in addition to the rideshare insurance add-on.
The state of Texas requires that drivers maintain a minimum coverage amount, regardless of whether you drive for a company or not. However, those who are working for a rideshare company have other standards of coverage they need to maintain. These requirements are generally broken down based on the rideshare period you are in.
Rideshare drivers who are not on the ridesharing app or platform are considered to be in “period 0.” Since you are using the vehicle for personal purposes instead of business purposes, you will only need to have auto insurance that covers the minimums set forth by the state of Texas.
These minimums include $25,000 in liability coverage, $30,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per person, and $60,000 in bodily injury liability coverage per accident. You will notice this is the period with the lowest required insurance minimums. As you move up the scale to period 1, 2, or 3, you will be required to have more insurance.
The next level up in insurance requirements occurs during period 1. For motorists working for a TNC, this is the period where you are using the rideshare app and are waiting for a passenger to request a ride. The state of Texas requires higher minimum insurance for drivers in this period that include:
- $100,000 of bodily injury liability coverage per accident and $50,000 per person injured in the accident
- $25,000 of liability coverage to protect any property damage that occurs from an accident
Depending on which rideshare company you drive for, there may be an option to obtain coverage for period 1. Checking with the company is the best way to find out what insurance is available for drivers.
It is also important to note that not every insurance company will offer you a rideshare insurance plan to cover a specific period. Instead, you will need to purchase car insurance that has high enough coverage to meet all the minimums for each period.
While on the ridesharing app, once you accept the request of a passenger and are on the way to the pick-up, you are considered to be in period 2. The state of Texas requires all drivers operating in period 2 to carry $1 million of insurance for property damage and bodily injury per accident.
Luckily, if you are driving for Uber or Lyft, then you most likely won’t have to worry about obtaining the minimum coverage. In addition to $1 million in uninsured motorist coverage, Uber also offers collision and comprehensive coverage for its drivers.
Similar to period 2, period 3 has the same high insurance minimums but only takes effect when a driver is actively transporting passengers. Since drivers have riders in the vehicle, most TNC companies will cover any incidents that might happen on the road, including accidents. It also helps lower the insurance burden that rideshare drivers have to pay.
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Texas Laws on Rideshare Insurance Requirements
As mentioned above, Texas has a few laws in place on the minimum auto insurance a rideshare driver must carry, depending on the period. There are also other regulations and guidelines that you should keep in mind when it comes to your auto insurance company. For instance, it isn’t legally a requirement, but not reporting your new driving activity can have consequences.
Many insurance carriers such as GEICO, Progressive, and Liberty Mutual will often refuse to cover any claims you file while working as a rideshare driver if you don’t make them aware of your activity ahead of time. That is one of the reasons why you should discuss with your insurance agent any time you begin driving more for work or take on a rideshare position.
Rideshare Insurance Companies in Texas
There are many insurance companies in Texas that offer rideshare insurance. Here are just a few you should consider when looking for an affordable rideshare insurance policy:
|Texas Insurance Company||Average Monthly Premium for Rideshare Insurance|
Check out Insurify for a list of personalized rideshare insurance quotes, tailored to your location and driver profile.
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Texas Requirements for Rideshare Drivers
In addition to Texas rideshare insurance, there are several other requirements rideshare drivers need to meet to begin their new career. Generally, Uber and Lyft have the same requirements, but it’s always a good idea to review any guidelines they provide you with.
Here is a list of the basic requirements you will need to meet to become a rideshare driver in Texas:
- Obtain and maintain a valid Texas driver’s license.
- Carry the minimum state-required auto insurance during personal use and when driving for your TNC.
- Pass a DMV check.
- Have a vehicle that is registered with the state of Texas.
- Be at least 21 years of age.
- Successfully pass a background check.
Another important requirement that a potential driver must meet is the vehicle they drive. For both Uber and Lyft, the vehicle you use to transport passengers must be no more than 10 years old. It also has to be in good condition with no known defects or performance issues.
Unfortunately, drivers who want to use a vehicle with two doors won’t be able to. Only vehicles that have four doors and a minimum of five seats are permitted to be used when working on the app. Depending on what level of driver you are, there may also be requirements on what you have to have on the interior of your vehicle.
With each platform having different guidelines, it’s a good idea to research the requirements before making the leap into driving for a rideshare company.
>>> MORE: Car Insurance Without a License
Filing a Claim after an Accident As a Rideshare Driver in Texas
Being in an accident, regardless of whether it’s during your personal time or while driving for ridesharing companies, can be a scary experience. The most important thing is to make sure you and anyone else involved in the accident are OK. After you ensure your safety, there are a few things you will need to do in order to file a claim.
First and foremost, you will want to make sure you report the accident to both the company you drive for and the police. Generally, you will have a section in the rideshare app that will provide you with detailed information on the period you were in when the accident occurred. This is a great place to start, but to quicken the claims process, you should collect the following:
- Everyone’s license plate number
- Insurance information from other drivers involved in the incident
- Names and phone numbers of people at the scene
- Vehicle registration numbers
- Other motorists’ driver’s license numbers
Find Cheap Rideshare Insurance in Minutes
Uber drivers and Lyft drivers alike have many perks when it comes to working as a rideshare driver. Not only do they have the freedom to experience different parts of the state, but they also get to interact with customers. However, as fun as it may be, it is important that you have the proper driver coverage before starting on your adventure into the world of ridesharing.
If you are planning on working for a transportation network company like Lyft or Uber, it is important you have the correct insurance in place. Insurify can help you quickly compare car insurance quotes from reputable insurers all in one place. Simply answer a few questions, and select the perfect auto insurance coverage for you.
Rideshare Insurance in Texas: Frequently Asked Questions
Do you need rideshare insurance in Texas?
Texas has very strict laws when it comes to rideshare insurance. Anyone who is going to be a rideshare driver will need to carry a more comprehensive auto insurance plan. Most insurance providers will also require that you pay additional fees as a driver of a ridesharing network such as Uber or Lyft. In some cases, you might need a special policy as well.
How much does rideshare insurance cost in Texas?
The actual price you pay for rideshare insurance will depend on a couple of factors, including your driving history, the carrier you buy your policy through, and your location. For drivers in Texas, the average cost of rideshare insurance is $256 a month. This places Texas in the middle of the group when comparing the average cost across all 50 states.
Which insurance companies in Texas provide rideshare insurance?
Since ridesharing insurance is required by the state of Texas to offer rideshare services, many large and regional insurance providers offer the coverage. Often, it is best to start shopping around with big-name car insurance companies, such as Liberty Mutual, State Farm, Allstate, and USAA, before moving onto smaller regional carriers.