Rideshare Insurance in California (2024)

California requires rideshare drivers to carry rideshare insurance. The average monthly cost of rideshare coverage is $139 for liability and $281 for full coverage in the Golden State.

Amy Beardsley
Written byAmy Beardsley
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Amy BeardsleyInsurance Writer
  • 3+ years writing about auto, home, and life insurance

  • 7+ years in personal finance and technology

Amy specializes in insurance and technology writing and has a talent for transforming complex topics into easy-to-understand stories.

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Katie Powers
Edited byKatie Powers
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Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

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Updated June 12, 2024

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Cheapest recent rates in California for rideshare drivers

Drivers using Insurify have found quotes as cheap as $49/mo for liability only and $101/mo for full coverage in California.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users from California within the last 10 days. Last updated on June 12, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from June 12, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users from California within the last 10 days. Last updated on June 12, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from June 12, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

Personal insurance policies typically exclude coverage when using a vehicle for commercial purposes, such as driving for a rideshare service. That’s where California rideshare insurance steps in. It provides coverage when you’re driving for Uber, Lyft, or another transportation network company (TNC).

Since 2015, California law requires rideshare drivers to have insurance through all three phases of the driving process.[1] Here’s a look at the different phases so you understand when your policy kicks in and when the rideshare company’s policy may cover you.

Quick Facts
  • Mile Auto has the cheapest full-coverage insurance in California, on average.

  • California requires higher liability insurance limits for rideshare drivers waiting for a ride request.

  • California rideshare insurance starts at $138 per month, on average.

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Rideshare insurance requirements in California

Regular personal auto insurance policies in California don’t cover TNC activities.[1] If an incident occurs, your insurance coverage depends on what phase you’re in, so it’s essential to understand how to choose the right protection.

But Uber and Lyft now define the phases like this:[2] [3]

  • Phase one: The driver hasn’t logged into the app and is driving for personal use.

  • Phase two: The driver has logged into the app and is waiting for a ride request.

  • Phase three: The driver has accepted a ride request and is on the way to pick up the passenger or is taking the passenger to their destination.

When rideshare drivers are logged into the app and waiting for a ride request, California requires the following liability insurance:[1]

Additionally, TNCs must provide $1 million in liability insurance for drivers when they accept a ride request and when a passenger is in the vehicle.[1]

Uber and Lyft requirements in California

Requirements for insurance drivers and vehicle types can vary by TNC and city. If you drive with Uber or Lyft, the vehicle you drive plays a role. For instance, only certain vehicles qualify for UberXL, Uber Black, Uber Black SUV, and Uber Comfort due to additional eligibility criteria.

Rideshare car requirements

Uber and Lyft only allow certain types of vehicles. To start, the car can’t seat more than seven people (including the driver) or have substantial modifications. For instance, TNCs don’t accept extended or “stretch” vehicles.[4] Cars with torn seats, interior stains, or paint oxidation won’t qualify, either.

To become an Uber rideshare driver in major California cities, your car must meet several requirements, including:

  • Four-door vehicle

  • 16 years old or newer

  • License plate

  • Well-maintained with no exterior damage

  • Able to pass a vehicle inspection

  • Working seat belts for all seating positions

  • No commercial advertising on the vehicle

  • UberX and UberXL may have additional requirements

Lyft rideshare car requirements are similar to what you’ll find at Uber, but the age of the car can vary. Your vehicle must meet specific criteria, including:

  • Four-door vehicle that can seat at least five passengers

  • 2007 model or newer in Eureka, Chico, El Centro, Merced, Redding, San Luis Obispo, Victorville, and Yuba City

  • 2008 model or newer in San Francisco and San Jose

  • 2009 or newer in all other California cities

  • A California license plate or a temporary plate with the caveat that you must get a California plate within 60 days

  • Able to pass a vehicle inspection

  • Lyft Lux and Lyft Lux Black may have additional requirements

The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) also requires you to display the company’s logo in the front and back of the vehicle. It can be a decal on the door, roof, or grill on the front of the car. But it doesn’t have to be permanent. The CPUC allows you to display a magnetic or removable decal.[4]

Rideshare driver requirements

Both Uber and Lyft mandate that drivers have a legitimate driving license, but the criteria are a little different between the platforms. Here are the essential qualifications for becoming a driver for Uber and Lyft.

When considering eligibility to become an Uber driver, consider the qualifications the rideshare company requires, including:

  • At least 21 years old

  • Valid license

  • One year of driving experience (three years if you’re younger than 25)

  • Proof of local residency

  • Proof of insurance coverage

  • Forward-facing driver profile photo

  • Pass a driving record and background check

To qualify as a Lyft driver and join its network, you must meet a series of comprehensive eligibility criteria, including:

  • At least 25 years old

  • Valid license

  • One year of driving experience

  • Proof of insurance coverage

  • Driver profile photo

  • Pass a driving record and background check

Learn More: How Uber and Lyft Affect Car Insurance Rates

Learn More: How Uber and Lyft Affect Car Insurance Rates

How much does California rideshare insurance cost?

California rideshare insurance costs an average of $281 per month for full coverage. If you’re looking at liability-only coverage, the average price drops to $138. While a liability policy will meet the state’s minimum requirements, it doesn’t offer as much protection. Here’s a look at the average cost of rideshare coverage from various California insurance companies:

The below rates are estimated rates current as of: Saturday, June 1 at 12:00 PM PDT
Insurance CompanyFull CoverageLiability Only
Mile Auto$127$68
Mercury$190$101
Anchor$249$109
Sun Coast$249$83
USAA$260$122
Dairyland$320$116
National General$342$145
GEICO$347$163
Allstate$359$169
Farmers$370$173
State Farm$400$188
Direct Auto$403$170
Travelers$420$198
Bristol West$458$227
21st Century$458$215
Nationwide$565$265
Disclaimer: Table data sourced from real-time quotes from Insurify's 50-plus partner insurance providers and quote estimates from Quadrant Information Services. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer's unique driver profile.

Cheapest recent rates in California for rideshare drivers

Drivers using Insurify have found quotes as cheap as $49/mo for liability only and $101/mo for full coverage in California.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users within the last 10 days. Last updated on June 12, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from June 12, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

*Quotes generated for Insurify users within the last 10 days. Last updated on June 12, 2024

Rates shown are real-time Insurify user quotes from 100+ insurance companies and Quadrant Information Services data. Insurify’s algorithm excludes anomalous quotes and anonymizes personal details, then displays refined quotes by price, date, and insurer popularity up to 10 days ago from June 12, 2024. Actual quotes may vary based on the policy buyer’s unique driver profile.

How much coverage you need

You have a few choices when buying rideshare insurance. Talk with your insurance agent about coverage options to ensure adequate protection.

Each type of insurance coverage serves a specific purpose and offers a unique form of protection. Here are coverages you should consider with rideshare insurance:

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/169fdfde11/liability-coverage.svg

    Liability coverage

    Liability insurance is the most essential protection and the only coverage state law requires, covering the other party’s bodily injury and property damage. It’s worth noting that it doesn’t cover your own injuries or vehicle damage.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/5285c4cd74/uninsured-or-underinsured-motorist-coverage.svg

    Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage

    If you’re in an accident and the driver doesn’t have enough coverage (or no insurance at all), uninsured/underinsured coverage can step in. It pays for medical expenses and may even cover damage to your car.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/665da91bf7/comprehensive-coverage.svg

    Collision and comprehensive coverage

    Collision and comprehensive coverage are part of a full-coverage policy. Both protect your vehicle regardless of who’s at fault. Collision coverage applies if you’re in an accident with another car, while comprehensive covers damage from events like theft, vandalism, and natural disasters.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/c822f20cb3/billing-related.svg

    Deductible options

    A deductible is what you pay before your insurance coverage kicks in for a claim. Insurance companies typically offer several options, allowing you to choose a cost that fits your financial situation and risk tolerance. Higher deductibles usually lead to lower monthly premiums but higher out-of-pocket costs when you file a claim.

California rideshare insurance FAQs

As a rideshare driver in California, you may have questions about insurance requirements and processes. This section can answer some of the most common questions to help you protect yourself financially.

  • Do you need rideshare insurance in California?

    Yes, rideshare insurance is mandatory in California. A personal auto policy doesn’t cover TNC activities. You must have a rideshare policy that meets the state minimum liability requirements for rideshare drivers if you’re using your vehicle to drive for Uber, Lyft, or another TNC.[1]

  • Do Uber drivers in California have to carry commercial auto insurance?

    Commercial auto insurance and rideshare insurance are similar, but they’re for different purposes. Both Uber and Lyft require you to carry a policy that meets California’s minimum requirements, which includes a personal policy and a rideshare endorsement from your insurer. If you’re a commercially licensed driver, then you need commercial auto insurance.[2] [3]

  • Do you really need rideshare insurance if you have personal auto insurance?

    Yes, you need rideshare insurance even if you have a personal policy. Personal auto insurance policies in California don’t cover your car when you’re using it for ridesharing. You must have rideshare insurance, which is a specific policy type that fills this coverage gap.[1]

  • What happens if you get into an accident while ridesharing without insurance?

    If you don’t have proper insurance while ridesharing and are in an accident, you may be financially responsible for damages and medical costs. Additionally, you may face penalties from both the rideshare company and the state, which may include fines, license suspension, or other legal consequences.

  • Does DoorDash count as rideshare for insurance?

    Yes. While not a rideshare service in the traditional sense, California considers DoorDash to be a TNC company. If you plan on driving for DoorDash, ask your insurance agent about a rideshare insurance rider or policy to protect yourself and meet the company’s policy guidelines.[5]

  • How does a California rideshare insurance claim work?

    Claims for California rideshare insurance depend on which phase of driving you’re in when the incident happens. It starts by reporting it to your insurance company. It’ll determine whether your policy or the rideshare company’s policy is responsible for the claim.

Methodology

Insurify data scientists analyzed more than 90 million quotes served to car insurance applicants in Insurify’s proprietary database to calculate the premium averages displayed on this page. These premiums are real quotes that come directly from Insurify’s 50+ partner insurance companies in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. Quote averages represent the median price for a quote across the given coverage level, driver subset, and geographic area.

Unless otherwise specified, quoted rates reflect the average cost for drivers between 20 and 70 years old with a clean driving record and average or better credit (a credit score of 600 or higher).

Liability-only premium averages correspond to policies with the following coverage limits:

  • Bodily injury limits between state-minimum rates and $50,000 per person, $100,000 per accident
  • Property damage limits between $10,000 and $50,000
  • No additional coverage
Full-coverage premium averages correspond to the same bodily injury and property damage limits in addition to:
  • Comprehensive coverage with a $1,000 deductible
  • Collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible

Quotes for Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, State Farm, and USAA are estimates based on Quadrant Information Services’ database of auto insurance rates.

Sources

  1. California Department of Insurance. "New insurance rules for ride-share companies and drivers take effect today."
  2. Uber. "Auto insurance to help protect you.."
  3. Lyft. "All things insurance, all in one place.."
  4. State of California Public Utilities Commission. "Basic Information for Transportation Network Companies and Applicants."
  5. California Public Utilities Commission. "Progress Report."
Amy Beardsley
Amy BeardsleyInsurance Writer

Amy is a personal finance and technology writer. With a background in the legal field and a bachelor's degree from Ferris State University, she has a talent for transforming complex topics into content that’s easy to understand. Connect with Amy on LinkedIn.

Katie Powers
Edited byKatie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
Photo of an Insurify author
Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

Featured in

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