Columbus based Grange Insurance has developed insurance coverage for motorists who engage in ridesharing or transportation network companies, such as Uber and Lyft.
The company realized it was not only important that drivers are fully insured from the time they turn on the ridesharing app until the time they deliver the passenger to the destination, but while the app is on and before they have accepted a fare.
To address the shortcoming, Grange now offers ridesharing gap coverage that enables those drivers to remain fully insured at all times.
“There are three distinct periods for rideshare drivers,” said John North, Grange’s Personal Lines president. “The first is after they turn on the app and are waiting for a fare. The second is after they accept a fare and are on the way to pick up the passenger, and the third is while the passenger is in the car.
“Right now, transportation network companies only provide full coverage in periods two and three, meaning drivers are likely to be underinsured during period one. If there is an accident during period one, the driver may be liable for some liability damages and have no coverage to repair their vehicle.”
North explained that for most drivers, their personal auto insurance carriers exclude coverage when their vehicle is in use for a transportation network companies, which begins as soon as the driver turns on the ridesharing app.
These companies typically provide limited insurance coverage before a fare is accepted and full insurance coverage from the time the driver accepts a fare until the time the passenger is delivered to the destination, creating the coverage gap between the time the driver turns on the app and the time the driver accepts a fare.
He said drivers who turn on the app and drive while waiting for a fare may be unaware they are not covered during that time by their personal auto insurance or that their transportation network company provides limited liability coverage and no physical damage, uninsured motorists or medical payments coverage during that time.
The new Grange coverage allows the driver to be fully protected against liability, uninsured motorists, medical payments and collision losses related to accidents they cause, no matter when they are driving or what period they are in, a press release detailed.
The coverage currently is available to transportation network company drivers in Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Tennessee and will be launched in other states within Grange’s footprint throughout the year.
With $2 billion in assets and more than a billion in annual revenue, Grange offers auto, home, life and business insurance protection.
The company and its affiliates serve policyholders in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin.