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As the rideshare economy grows, Uber and Lyft realized they needed ways to get more drivers for people that could not otherwise afford them. At present, there are multiple arrangements out there including Flexdrive in Atlanta. Our clients are seeing these companies are listed as the owner in the accident report and are having problems tracking down the insurance carriers. When the telephone Flexdriver, they are being told to call Lyft and a circle of finger-pointing begins.
Hertz currently rents to Lyft drivers through the Express Drive program so we assume that if there is an accident report, Hertz will be listed. Be sure to check closely though to see if it is rideshare.
The structure with most of these companies is Flexdrive or Hertz has the insurance when the driver is not actively on the app or carrying a passenger, The minute they activate the app, then the insurance shifts to Uber or Lyft. The hard part for a person involved in an accident with these companies is, how do you know? Lyft is working with GM Maven, Flexdrive and Hertz currently so if these the listed owners after an accident, you will want a lawyer to find out whether the driver was working for Lyft at the time. The insurance coverage varies depending on the drivers status at the time of the wreck. If the app is not activated, then Hertz or Flexdrive is the insurer and they have standard limits as low as $25,000 per person. If the app is on the limits increase to $100,000 per person and its usually Hertz or Flexdrive that handles the claim. If there is actually a fare in the car, then under Georgia law, the insurance is $1,000,000 per person and it is Lyft’s policy that handles claims. Realize that none of this means that under current law Lyft or Uber are responsible individually as the “employer” of the driver. Legislation may change that one day and California is trying to stretch workers compensation to cover the drivers, but as of yet, Uber and Lyft are not employers of the drivers.
For Uber, they apparently are working exclusively with Hertz right now. I am very curious to see how this works out in the long run with the high mileage and the wear and tear people can put on the back seat of these rental cars. Will these companies stay in the market?
At any rate, the key takeaway for anyone involved when you see Flexdrive or Hertz as the owner, dig deeply on the report.