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Getting in an accident is no one’s idea of a good time. But add a passenger into the mix, and it’s definitely no picnic. As a rideshare driver, it can be very confusing to know what to do after an auto accident. A lot will depend on what “phase” you are in when the crash occurs. It’s especially important to know that Lyft and Uber handle things differently.
What do I do first?
Just like in any other accident situation, the first thing you should do is make sure everyone involved is okay. Then call 911 if necessary. Lastly, you will want to contact the rideshare company you are driving for.
But before you contact the rideshare company, it’s essential to understand their policies. If the accident occurs when the app is off, you will, of course, want to contact your insurance company. If the app is on, then things will be a bit trickier. Especially if you are in Phase 1, meaning the app is on, but you are waiting on a passenger.
Before we break it down by rideshare company, here some other tips that will help you after your accident. Your phone is an excellent tool during an accident. You should:
- Use the camera on your phone to take pictures of the crash.
- Record a video of the scene and witnesses.
- Record audio of witness accounts.
- Take notes on your phone to help you remember every detail.
What to do as an Uber driver
Deciding who to contact first will depend on the phase you are in. If the app is off, you will want to contact your insurance company. If the app is on and you are waiting for a request, it will depend on your insurance company. Contact them first and then contact Uber. But, beware if your insurance company doesn’t know you are a rideshare driver, they could deny coverage and drop you altogether.
If you are en route to a request or have a passenger in your vehicle, you will want to contact Uber. Keep in mind after you report an accident to Uber, it’s possible they will temporarily deactivate you as a driver while they investigate. The investigation could last weeks, translating into lost income for you. That being said, not reporting an accident could have much worse consequences.
After your accident, you will be contacted by a third party insurance company contracted by Uber. They will conduct the insurance investigation. Uber has a $1000 deductible you must pay before they cover damage that occurs during phase 2 and 3. If you don’t hear from them, it’s likely the damage was below the deductible amount.
To report an accident to Uber, click here.
What to do as a Lyft driver
If you drive for Lyft, you will want to follow the same after accident steps. Lyft may also deactivate you while the accident investigation is ongoing as well.
If you are in Phase 1, 2 or 3 when the fender bender occurs, you will contact Lyft, but it’s important to take note Phase 1 has minimal coverage. Meaning you may need to contact your personal insurer as well. Now, that doesn’t mean you will be covered, because most personal insurance carriers have exclusions for driving your vehicle for money.
During phase 2 and 3 you will be subject to pay a $2,500 deductible before Lyft’s insurance kicks in.
Lyft is not in the business of insurance, so all claims will be handled by a third party insurer. Lyft tends to stay out of it, which may be frustrating if you are trying to get your vehicle repaired and back to earning money.
To report an accident to Lyft, click here.
An ounce of prevention...
The best thing that you can do is make this process easier and to protect yourself is by getting proper rideshare insurance coverage ahead of time. Check out our Rideshare Insurance Guide to understand how rideshare insurance works and to see what your options are.
Sarah Ware (CISR) holds licenses in Property and Casualty as well as Life and Health insurance and has worked in the insurance industry for over 10 years.