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Drivers for rideshare companies, such as Uber and Lyft, are required by Florida law to have insurance coverage whenever the rideshare app is on. While Florida's rideshare insurance requirement is generally met by the company's policy, rideshare drivers may also want to purchase their own policies. An individual rideshare insurance policy can offer higher liability limits when a driver doesn't have a passenger, and it can reduce the deductible a driver would have to pay if their car was damaged.
- How Does Rideshare Insurance Work in Florida?
- Florida Insurance Requirements for Rideshare Drivers
- Rideshare Driver Requirements in Florida
- Uber and Lyft Car Requirements in Florida
- Rideshare Insurance Companies in Florida
How Does Rideshare Insurance Work in Florida?
Rideshare insurance in Florida for Uber and Lyft drivers, as well as those who drive for other transportation network companies (TNCs), works similarly to the way it works in other states. If a driver purchases a rideshare insurance policy or adds a rideshare endorsement to their personal auto insurance policy, there are four stages during which coverage can differ.
- Period 0: A driver's personal auto insurance covers them while they're driving and the app is off, as this is considered standard personal use.
- Period 1: While the rideshare app is on and the driver is waiting to be paired with a passenger, their personal rideshare insurance would provide coverage. A limited amount of liability coverage is also provided by the rideshare company, such as Uber or Lyft.
- Period 2: The rideshare company's auto insurance is typically in force while a driver has been paired with a passenger and is on their way to pick up the person. During this time, some personal rideshare insurance policies extend coverage as well.
- Period 3: Once a passenger is in the car, the rideshare company's commercial auto insurance is in force. After the passenger has been dropped off, you return to Period 1.
The primary difference in Florida is that there is no period of time during which a driver might not have insurance coverage, since the law requires all TNCs to have a policy that can cover all periods when the app is on. However, not every rideshare company has the same commercial insurance policy, and different coverage limits can be extended during different periods. We recommend confirming how your company's policy behaves and whether there are times you would need additional rideshare insurance coverage.
Also, even though you may be covered during all periods of driving, you should still let your personal auto insurance company know that you're a rideshare driver. Otherwise, it may cancel your policy or decide not to renew it. You should also notify your insurer of any accidents, even if they were covered by your rideshare company's insurance, or your insurer may contest a claim later on.
Florida Insurance Requirements for Rideshare Drivers
Rideshare drivers in Florida will first need to have their own auto insurance policies, since there are times you'll be driving while not logged in to the app. At a minimum, you'll need $10,000 of personal injury protection (PIP) coverage and $10,000 of property damage liability coverage to meet Florida's auto insurance requirements. This requirement can be fulfilled with either personal or commercial auto insurance, but if you have a personal auto insurance policy, your insurer can deny coverage during the time your rideshare app is on. On the other hand, commercial insurance is more limited in coverage of personal use of vehicles for hire, and it's typically more expensive than purchasing both personal auto insurance and rideshare insurance policies.
Once the app is on, Florida requires rideshare drivers to carry higher limits of insurance. This mandate can be met by the driver, but the TNC, such as Uber or Lyft, is required to provide coverage for drivers with insufficient policy limits. In addition to the state's personal auto insurance requirements, Florida law mandates that rideshare drivers are covered by the following while their app is on.
- When your rideshare app is on but you don't have a passenger assigned, the TNC's insurance needs to provide at least $50,000 of bodily injury coverage per person, $100,000 of bodily injury coverage per accident, and $25,000 of property damage liability coverage per accident.
- Once you have a passenger assigned, you would be covered by the TNC's third-party liability insurance policy, with at least $1 million coverage for bodily injury and property damage.
Rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft may provide comprehensive and collision coverage as well during Periods 2 and 3, but their policies typically have deductibles of at least $1,000. Also, in order to qualify for this coverage, Uber and Lyft require that you have your own comprehensive and collision coverage. If you want full coverage during all periods and greater liability coverage during the times you don't have a passenger, you'll need rideshare insurance to supplement these policies.
Rideshare Driver Requirements in Florida
All prospective rideshare drivers are required by Florida law to submit to criminal background and driving record checks before they're approved to drive. Once the driver is approved, the background check will be performed at least every three years. Florida won't allow you to be approved as a rideshare driver if the company you're applying to, such as Uber or Lyft, finds any of the following:
- You're listed on the federal sex offender public registry.
- You don't have a valid U.S. driver's license or vehicle registration.
- In the last three years, you've been convicted of driving without a valid license (either suspended or revoked).
- In the past five years, you've been convicted of a serious driving offense, such as a DUI or hit-and-run.
Florida's law also has a zero-tolerance drug and alcohol policy for rideshare drivers, so your TNC will immediately suspend you from its program and investigate if it has any suspicion that you drove while under the influence.
Lyft and Uber Driver Requirements in Florida
In addition to Florida's requirements, Lyft and Uber have their own rules for drivers in the state. For both companies, drivers must be at least 21 years old, licensed in the U.S. for at least one year (Uber requires three years if you're under 23), and must provide a picture that will be shared with passengers before pickup.
Uber also has its own rules with regards to specific programs. You must have a commercial license if you want to drive for Uber LUX or LUX SUV. And Uber requires all LUX, LUX SUV and UberSELECT drivers to maintain a rating of at least 4.7 after 100 trips in order to remain in the programs.
Since Uber and Lyft perform, or hire a third-party to perform, the criminal and driving history checks on drivers, they also may reject you if they find certain violations. Florida's laws for drivers act as a minimum, so Uber and Lyft can set and revise their own rules to ensure only safe drivers are involved in their programs.
Uber and Lyft Car Requirements in Florida
Uber and Lyft car requirements for Florida rideshare drivers vary by city and program. For example, if you drive for Lyft in Miami, your car is required to be a newer model than if you drive in Tallahassee. It's important for rideshare drivers to be familiar with these requirements. Don't go through the process of purchasing and getting insurance for a vehicle, or applying to a program, just to be rejected.
In Florida, Lyft's car requirements are consistent across most of the state.
- The car must have at least four doors.
- The vehicle must have between five and eight seats. This includes the driver, so the car needs to seat, at minimum, four passengers.
- The car needs to be registered with valid license plates. It also should be listed on a personal insurance policy or rideshare insurance policy issued in Florida.
- The car's model year needs to be 2002 or newer, unless you're driving in Miami, Orlando, Bradenton, Jacksonville, Naples, Port Charlotte, Sarasota or Tampa. In these cities, your car's model year must be 2006 or newer.
Uber's car requirements in Florida are determined by city, but the actual requirements are primarily based on the services offered. So if you're driving for UberSELECT in Orlando, you'll generally have the same requirements as an UberSELECT driver in Sarasota. If you instead were driving in Miami, Uber offers the LUX and LUX SUV programs, which have different requirements.
Uber has certain requirements for all its cars.
- The car must have four doors.
- There can be no cosmetic damage or commercial branding on the car.
- The car can't be marked, salvage or rebuilt.
- No taxis, government vehicles, vans or box trucks.
- The car must have working windows and air conditioning, and it must be in good condition with no cosmetic damage to the vehicle.
- Aftermarket parts can't be used in the seating area, such as nonfactory-installed seat belts.
In addition, Uber's car requirements in Florida typically include the following for each program.
|Car Model Year||Fewer than 16 years old||Fewer than 16 years old||2010 or newer||2010 or newer||2008 or newer|
|Car Body||Any||Any||Sedan, Crossover SUV, SUV||SUV||Luxury sedan (specific models)|
|Seats||5 factory-installed seats and seat belts||5 factory-installed seats and seat belts||5+ seats||7+ seats||5+ seats|
|Interior||Good condition||Good condition||Leather or vinyl, great condition||Leather or vinyl, great condition||Leather or vinyl, great condition|
The cars need to be registered and have a Florida auto insurance policy. Only drivers for UberSELECT in Florida need to have their full legal name listed on the car insurance policy tied to that vehicle. And cars driven for LUX, LUX SUV and UberSELECT must be maintained in pristine condition.
Rideshare Insurance Companies in Florida
Rideshare insurance is available in Florida from GEICO, State Farm, and Farmers through its Foremost brand. Some other insurance companies may offer coverage in certain regions of Florida, but few provide rideshare insurance throughout the state. Depending on the company, how the rideshare policy works and which periods it covers will change.
GEICO: GEICO's rideshare insurance policy replaces your existing personal auto insurance policy by providing coverage throughout all periods. Since coverage extends during trips, if you include comprehensive and collision coverage as part of your GEICO policy, you won't be restricted to the deductible set by Uber or Lyft if your car is damaged. GEICO rideshare insurance policies come with deductibles that start at $500. The primary downside to GEICO's rideshare insurance is that the policy restricts the number of miles driven per day, so if you drive full-time, it may not offer sufficient coverage.
State Farm: State Farm's rideshare insurance is sold as an endorsement, so it can be added only if you have an existing State Farm auto insurance policy. Its rideshare insurance similarly extends through all periods, and it can include comprehensive, collision, medical and towing coverages.
Farmers/Foremost: Farmers' rideshare insurance is also sold as an endorsement, but it's more limited in coverage than the policies from GEICO or State Farm. Farmers' rideshare insurance only extends during Period 1, when your app is on but you have yet to be paired with a passenger.
Depending on your policy, insurer and how regularly you drive, the cost of rideshare insurance can vary between an additional $30 per month to an additional $300 per month. Therefore, once you've determined your coverage needs, we recommend gathering quotes from at least two to three insurers to help ensure you get the cheapest rideshare insurance rates. And, if you own multiple vehicles, you should confirm that those not used for ride-sharing are either listed on a separate policy or categorized differently by your insurer. Otherwise, you may end up paying for unneeded coverage.