Confused about insurance coverage and liability when it comes to Uber drivers and taxis? You are not alone. But the situation is actually quite a bit simpler than it might seem. Over the past few years, Uber and its competitors have taken steps to ensure passengers and drivers who use their service, as well as people who share the roads with them, are protected. In Chicago, owners of taxi and limousine services must meet certain insurance requirements, while Uber drivers do not need to do so. However, Uber drivers are covered by Uber’s Illinois insurance policy which provides up to $1,000,000 of coverage when a passenger is in the vehicle.
In June of 2016, the Chicago City Council passed new rules regarding requirements for drivers who use ridesharing platforms such as Uber to offer rides. The rules require that anyone who wants to drive for Uber or one of its competitors must have a chauffer’s license that can be obtained by completing an online course and renewed each year. They must also have a vehicle no more than six years old, or have the vehicle tested frequently, and display a sign informing passengers of how to report complaints if there are issues during the ride.
Uber itself provides insurance in addition to any insurance that a Chicago-area driver has, which helps in case of a collision or accident. As soon as an Illinois Uber driver activates the app to begin looking for passengers, the Uber insurance covers them for $50,000 per person in injury insurance and $25,000 in property damage. If the driver has a passenger in the vehicle, or is en route to an appointed pick up location for a passenger, then the coverage increases to $1,000,000 in combined comprehensive coverage. That is far in excess of the $350,000 of combined coverage that Chicago requires for taxi and limousine services.
Whenever an Uber driver is involved in an accident, the insurance provided by Uber should cover the vast majority of situations. As far as civil liability for a lawsuit, however, that would depend a great deal upon the details of a particular situation. In general, it would be very difficult to prove that Uber is liable for any damages that occur due to a driver’s actions – even more so than to prove a taxi company is liable for a driver’s actions, since taxi companies usually oversee vehicle maintenance.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a vehicle crash with an Uber driver, contact Mitchell S. Sexner & Associates LLC today. Call us at (312) 644-0444 to speak with one of our experienced Chicago car accident lawyers and discuss your case before signing any insurance documents or agreements.