Erie Insurance has launched what it believes to be a first-of-its-kind coverage to protect drivers who use ridesharing services like Uber and Lyft. The new car insurance coverage solves a longstanding problem for drivers in the ridesharing economy by eliminating confusion over what's covered and when.
With ERIE’s new coverage, the driver has insurance coverage during every part of the trip — before, during and after the hired ride.
"The Erie Insurance motto is ‘Above All in Service’, which means we put customers first and provide them with the best possible protection," said Cody Cook, auto product vice president, Erie Insurance. "In this case, we saw a need in the sharing economy and filled it."
With ridesharing apps, instead of using a taxi service, people summon private car owners to pick them up. But while ridesharing is becoming increasingly popular, it’s also controversial due to the lack of clarity around whom, if anyone, provides insurance coverage.
The new Erie Insurance coverage is available to people who put a "business use" designation on their personal car insurance policy.
"’Business use’" traditionally has covered people who use their personal cars for things like delivering pizza or flowers, but has historically excluded — meaning not covered — people who use their cars as taxis," said Cook.
"We are removing that exclusion, so now if you use your car for a ridesharing service like Uber or Lyft, there’s no confusion over what’s covered and when. You’re covered during every part of the trip — before, during and after the hired ride. We know of no other insurance company that is offering something like this."
The new Erie Insurance coverage is initially being offered in Illinois and Indiana. It will become available in others states depending on consumer response.
Coverage is subject to limitations and exclusions.