New Jersey New Legislation Impacts Rideshare Drivers
The state of New Jersey released new rideshare legislation that entered into effect in May of 2017. The law makes some measures to improve upon the type of insurance coverage that is available to Uber and Lyft drivers in the state.
Health Care Coverage for Drivers
It is encouraging that, under the new state law, there is an ability for Uber and Lyft driers to have some form of coverage for medical expenses that occur while driving for the company, but the efficacy of the set limits that are available may not be enough in the event of a serious accident.
Under the new law, Uber and Lyft are mandated to carry Personal Injury Protection coverage (PIP) during Period 1, which is when a driver has his Transportation App open and waiting for a possible passenger to hail a ride.
In the state of New Jersey, the standard limit of PIP is set at $250,000, but limits can go as low as $15,000. Another question is how much of the deductible does Uber and Lyft offer to their drivers? In New Jersey, the minimum deductible is $250, but that deductible can be as high as $2,500. The certificates of insurance provided by Uber and Lyft on their websites do not provide a PIP limit or deductible, so if you are an Uber or Lyft driver, check with them to understand what coverage is being provided.
Drivers in Period 2 and 3 must be provided by Uber and Lyft with $10,000 coverage of medical payments.
The driver is able to pursue PIP and medical payments coverage from his or her own personal car insurance policy, but coverage is far from guaranteed. The new law does not mandate a personal auto insurance company to provide courage unless you have a ridesharing endorsement under your policy.
Minimum Age of Driver
Parents of young drivers who are eager to use their vehicles for Uber or Lyft can celebrate because the new state law requires that the minimum age of a rideshare driver is now 21. This means that if your son claims he wants to be an Uber driver, you can tell him that it is against the law, and he will have to wait.
No Declination of Coverage from the Driver’s Car Insurance Provider
Under the new law, Uber and Lyft drivers are not required to obtain a declination form his insurance provider in order to engage Uber or Lyft for insurance benefits for the driver and vehicle. Before this law, drivers had to get a declination from his personal car insurance provider before discussing insurance with Uber or Lyft.
Minimum Limits of Liability Coverage
Under the law, it is required that during Period 1 that Uber and Lyft provide the following:
- Liability Limits of Bodily Injury coverage of $50,000 per person and $100,000 per accident.
- Property Damage coverage of $25,000.
- Personal Injury Protection Coverage for the driver.
- Uninsured & Underinsured Motorists Liability coverage, but the law does not clarify how much. New Jersey’s minimum limit for bodily injury coverage is set at $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident, and $5,000 for property damage.
If the personal auto policy of the driver does not provide coverage, then Uber and Lyft’s insurance policy will apply as primary coverage.
During Period’s 2 and 3, Uber and Lyft are required to provide the following:
- Liability limits for Bodily Injury and Property Damage in the value of $1,500,000.
- Medical Payments for the driver of $10,000.
- Uninsured & Underinsured Liability of $1,500,000.
Verbal Tort Threshold Law Protection Unavailable
Drivers will not have any protection under the New Jersey Tort Threshold law to avoid being sued by passengers who are injured while being transported by the driver, and this new law affirms this. That means that, even in a minor collision, drivers can still be sued by rideshare passengers.
Banks Have Cause to Celebrate
If Uber and Lyft offer coverage for your vehicle for physical damage and there is a lien on your vehicle, Uber and Lyft are compelled by their insurance provider to include the lienholder in payment for vehicle damages.
Why does this matter?
If one references Uber’s Auto Physical Damage policy, lienholders had to prove to Uber’s insurance provider that they did not have access to any other insurance to pay for damages. Only on that point will Uber’s insurance provider pay the claim.
Driving Record Requirements
Lastly, having and maintaining a clean driving record is important for an individual in order to drive for Uber or Lyft. The law specifically states that if a driver has more than three moving violations in the past three years or has one of the following violations in the past three years, he or she is barred from driving for Uber or Lyft. The four specific violations include:
- Driving under the influence of alcohol.
- Resisting arrest or evading an officer.
- Reckless driving.
- Driving with a suspended license.
Drivers must consider the risks faced when choosing to use their personal vehicles to drive for Uber or Lyft. The coverage required under the law is a step in the right direction, but the efficacy of this coverage is yet to be seen. Our legal team advises that drivers should remain careful.
Uber Crashes in New Jersey
Those who are injured in a crash involving a rideshare vehicle should consult with an Uber/Lyft crash lawyer in New Jersey immediately in order to better understand their legal options. The legal team at Brady Reilly & Cardoso, LLC is here to help you make sure that your case is treated fairly and that the liable driver is held accountable for his or her actions. We will fight to make sure that you recover the compensation you deserve so that your life can get back on track. Contact our law offices today at (201) 997- 0030 if you or a loved one has been unfairly injured in a crash involving a rideshare driver.