Ridesharing is a popular service that has been operating across Ontario since 2014. Companies include:
Many people rely on these services to get to places when time is of essence, to and from special events, as a safe means of transport when one has been drinking or is overly tired, during late or early morning hours, as well as a means of transportation in avoidance of unpleasant weather. When you are paying for a transportation service, or are working as a rideshare driver, and a accident occurs, insurance policies are in effect and are there to provide coverage for those involved in the accident.
The ins-and-outs of these insurance policies can be tricky though, hard to understand and easily maneuvered around by policy providers in avoidance of having to provide the proper insurance benefits to those who are filing an accident claim. This is why it is important you have a full understanding of what to do when an rideshare accident occurs.
Coverage for Drivers
Whenever the driver is available to accept ride requests, or is engaging in the application as an online and operating driver, commercial insurance policies are operating effectively and will provide coverage. This coverage extends for the entire time the driver is en-route to the pick-up location, during the duration of the trip, to the minute the passenger exists the vehicle. When a driver is offline, had logged out of their rideshare application, or has ended their shift for the day, most ridshare insurance policies are no longer in effect. This means that if the driver is in use of a car, when not working as a driver for the application or rideshare company, their own personal car insurance policy is in effect and is to provide coverage in the case of an accident.
It is important to inform your own personal auto insurance provider if you are using your vehicle or a rented company vehicle to carry passengers as part if a rideshare program. Some insurance policies do not permit their policy holders to drive for ridesharing companies. Furthermore, your personal car insurance company may provide additional coverages that are not provided through the rideshare companies own insurer. It is important to know your insurance options, restrictions and allowances at all times to ensure proper coverage stability when an incident occurs.
Some insurance providers charge an additional fee for allowing you to use your personal vehicle for ridesharing/carsharing. It is important to note that not all insurance companies provide these service and they can refuse to permit you from using your vehicle for this use under your personal auto insurance policy. If you are caught or make note to your insurance company that you are using your vehicle for such, you may be greeted by a denial for coverage (even for personal use) and a cancellation to your personal auto insurance policy. For these reasons, it is really important to inform your insurance company when you are considering to use your vehicle for ridshare/carshare purposes, and not after you have already began using your vehicle for such.
Key Points: The Scene of an Accident
As with any motor-vehicle accident, one should be sure to do the following after an accident has occurred:
- Stop your vehicle and remain at the scene. Do not attempt to flee
- Call the police immediately if anyone is injured in the event, or if damage is estimated to be more than $2,000. You may also call the police if you suspect that anyone involved in the incident is guilty of a crime such as driving under the influence. DO NOT try and move anyone who is injured during the accident. EMS services will be dispatched and will arrive to properly handle the situation with full safety precautions and documentation (which may be beneficial to your claim)
- If you have access to a camera (whether be a digital camera or your cell phone), take pictures of the accident scene, all damages that have been done, as well as injuries sustained
- When deemed safe, move your vehicle to the side of the road, out of traffic or harms way. If you cannot move your vehicle, turn your hazard lights on to inform other drivers on the road. If your hazard lights are not able to turn on, use cones or warning signals to notify other drivers of the accident scene
- Record all needed information regarding the accident for insurance and legal purposes. This information includes:
- Weather Conditions
- Road Conditions
- Estimated Speed of Vehicle(s)
- Description of Accident
- Diagram of the Accident (Your Car / Other Vehicles)
- Witness Information (Name, Address, Phone Number)
Other Drivers Information:
- Phone Number
- Driver’s License Number
- Car Plate Number
- Car Make/Colour
- Registered Owner of Vehicle
- Vehicle ID Number
- Insurance Company
- Insurance Policy Number & Expiry Date
- Damage to Vehicle
- Number of Passengers (Names / Position in Vehicle)
Attending Police Officer Information:
- Badge Number
- Telephone Number
Tow Truck Operator:
- Company Name
- Driver’s Name
- Truck Number
- Phone Number
- Address Towed To
Once you have gathered all of this information, call your insurance company as soon as possible and report the incident of a car accident. Ask for guidance on what the next steps are for filing an insurance claim. If you are finding resistance from your insurance company to help you in this matter, or are finding the claim process to be taking far longer time than necessary, contact an insurance claim lawyer as soon as possible. With the proper understanding of insurance law and accident benefit / accident insurance claims, a lawyer will be able to help navigate you through this process and deal with any difficulties you may be encountering.
Insurance Coverage for Riders
If you are a passenger in a rideshare and an accident has occurred resulting in you sustaining injury, you are entitled to accidental benefits and disability insurance coverage through the driver’s / rideshare companies’ insurance policy. It is important that you take note of as much information as you can at the scene of the accident. Key information includes:
- Rideshare Company / Driver’s Name
- Vehicle Type / Make
- License Plate Number
- Photographic Evidence
If your driver was not properly insured at the time of the accident, or if the accident was a result of another driver who is driving under illegal circumstances, and/or has fled the scene, you are still entitled to disability coverage and accident benefits. We highly suggest you call a personal-injury lawyer if you are involved in a rideshare accident as a paying client for the service. The many different insurance companies involved in this matter can be overwhelming and one can easily get lost in trying to navigate their way around filing a disability claim. By contacting a personal-injury attorney, you will only have to focus on your healing from your injuries, and further can pursue and seek damages through the court of law.
Ridesharing/carsharing accidents can become convoluted matters considering the many different insurance policies and people that can be involved. If you have been injured as a result of a rideshare accident, whether be the driver or a passenger, you are entitled to the needed insurance benefits and accident benefits required to support a full recovery. Whether be time needed off from work, funds to cover medical bills, as well as funds to cover vehicle repairs and replacement, rideshare insurance claims are there to provide support when you need it most. It is important to file for a long-term disability claim if you require recovery from a traumatic injury; it is an occupational hazard to return to work as a driver when you are not physically or mentally fit to do so.
TSF Law highly suggests you give our legal firm a call and speak with a lawyer about your accident and injury. Unfortunately, a lot of insurance companies refuse to act in a cooperative manner and make filing a rideshare claim incredibly difficult for all of those involved. Our legal and administrative team are well versed in insurance law and have the experience and aptitude to represent you when facing an denied insurance claim or an ongoing matter with an insurance claim denial in the court of law. We offer free consultations throughout the province and take pride in our ability to seek and obtain full insurance coverage and monetary damages when needed. Call TSF Law today; we are always there for you.