How rideshare law GA HB529 impacts passenger coverage

Insurance requirements do exist for transportation network companies and their drivers. This means rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft do carry policies that protect their drivers as well as their passengers. However, a new law in Georgia (GA HB529) is changing existing coverage in a way that will greatly impact access to compensation for passengers involved in an accident.

Here’s what you need to know.

Georgia standards for Uber and Lyft insurance

The state of Georgia requires rideshare companies to carry insurance policies that cover other motorists if the driver causes a wreck, but they also must have uninsured or underinsured coverage. Should you end up in a rideshare accident as a passenger, this second section of coverage is most likely where your compensation will come from.

Prior to Georgia House Bill 529, uninsured and underinsured motorist had $1 million in coverage. Dropping that coverage requirement by 90 percent for each individual passenger, rideshare companies in Georgia now have to only carry $100K applicable for bodily injury or death to each person, up to $300K per incident, and a $25K maximum for loss/damaged property.

Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage is so essential because it protects passengers who sustain injuries during a car accident regardless of who’s at fault. If a policy doesn’t have enough coverage, the injured passenger suffers the consequences.

What does this loss in coverage mean for me?

Georgia House Bill 529 dramatically limits the compensation available to you as a rideshare passenger. If you sustain an injury from a car accident caused by an Uber or Lyft vehicle, there is still $ 1 million in coverage. But if you are hurt by another driver while using a rideshare service, you are limited to $100K in coverage. If you are seriously injured, this new policy likely won’t be able to cover all the expenses related to a car crash.

Why did Uber insurance change?

The rationale behind this drastic drop in coverage was to reduce rideshare service fees. Theoretically, by paying for less insurance, Uber and Lyft can pass those savings onto passengers, lowering costs. But this comes at the cost of providing adequate coverage should a rideshare vehicle be in an accident while operating. With 5,860 Uber and Lyft accidents in Georgia in 2019, whether or not these savings are worth the risk is questionable.

How can I protect myself against inadequate rideshare insurance requirements?

Understanding how this new law could impact coverage for you should you find yourself in a rideshare accident, the best way to protect yourself is by looking at your own insurance coverage.

Do you maintain underinsured coverage to protect yourself should Uber insurance or Lyft insurance be lacking? Adding a policy like this to your existing coverage, or increasing your coverage limits, is relatively inexpensive. Talk to your insurance agent to help make the best decision for you and your family.

What to do after experiencing a car accident in a rideshare

With this new law putting you at risk after a rideshare car accident, you’ll need the right support. The experienced team at Watson Injury Law can help you navigate the complexities of rideshare insurance should you suffer any injuries as a result of a car accident while in an Uber or Lyft. Let us fight for you so you don’t have to take on this situation yourself. Contact Watson Injury Law today for a free consultation.

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