Teens aren’t allowed to ride Uber or Lyft alone. That doesn’t stop them

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: During standard personal use, a driver’s regular auto insurance covers them while they’re driving and the app is off. 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 is dropped off, you return to Period 1.

In Florida, 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.

Even though you may be covered during all periods of driving, you should 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.

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What Sill Disqualify You From Uber?

Uber runs background checks on all aspiring drivers and won’t accept just anybody. Potential candidates with certain types of criminal convictions will be barred from driving. That can include those awaiting trial for serious offenses. People with restrictions on their driving license or a history of recent driving violations also risk being excluded.

How Much Do Uber Drivers Make?

Hourly rates vary, depending on the city where you are driving and the demand at that given time. Gridwise claims that hourly earnings can range anywhere from $5 to $25, on average, with its report showing New York City drivers making the most and El Paso, Texas, drivers making the least.

Ways to boost earnings include fuel efficiency and making yourself available when there are not enough drivers to meet demand. You also may want to consider short trips, which provide you with minimum pricing; signing up for promotions, such as making a certain number of trips per day or week; and being nice to riders to get tips.

Uber Driver Requirements for Car Insurance

You can’t really understand auto insurance for Uber drivers without first understanding car insurance itself. Nearly every state has its own car insurance requirements for its drivers -often referred to as liability auto insurance. This is a type of insurance that covers damages and injuries to another driver or party in a car accident. Every state sets its coverage amounts differently, but there is an average.

Auto liability insurance is structured by the following coverage:

  • Bodily injury per person – For every single person injured in an accident you caused, this coverage will help pay for it. The average amount a driver might carry would be $15,000 to $50,000.
  • Bodily injury per accident – For every person injured in an accident you caused, this coverage will help pay expenses. The average amount a driver might carry would be $50,000 to $100,000.
  • Property damage per accident – For any car or property damaged in an accident you caused, this coverage will help cover the repairs. The average amount a driver might carry would be $15,000 to $25,000.

Uber typically requires their drivers to carry the outlined coverage. However, when it comes to Uber Driver Requirements and other ridesharing companies, drivers may also have to carry rideshare auto insurance.

What is Rideshare Insurance?

Basic auto insurance doesn’t fully cover drivers when they are on the clock. The time would start the moment a passenger steps into your car. While commercial auto insurance is required for some Uber services, it would be a little extreme for a simple rideshare car. Uber does insure their drivers with its own rideshare insurance, but its coverage may be limited during certain times.

Here’s how Uber’s rideshare works based on the following phases of ridesharing:

  • Period 0 – In your car with your app turned off. At this point, your personal auto insurance policy is covering you.
  • Period 1 – You’ve turned on your app and are waiting for a rideshare passenger. Even during this phase, Uber’s rideshare insurance provides only liability coverage. Your personal auto insurance is null at this point.
  • Period 2 – A customer’s request has been accepted, and now the rideshare company’s insurance takes full effect.
  • Period 3 – While driving the passenger around in the car, you are fully covered.

In order to provide coverage for the gray area of period 1, some drivers opt to purchase rideshare insurance from their auto insurance provider, so they are consistently covered for all periods of ridesharing.

How Much Does Rideshare Insurance Cost?

The good news is that rideshare insurance is one of the cheapest auto insurance policies on the market. A policy can cost anywhere from $9 to $27 per month. It may even be as much as $500 per day, depending on circumstances. This would be added to the costs of your auto insurance premium. Uber drivers aren’t required to have their own rideshare insurance, but paying the extra rates can help them if they get into an accident while waiting in between rides.

How do Rideshare Drivers Pay Taxes?

As independent contractors working on their own time, Uber does not deduct taxes from their driver’s pay. Therefore, they are responsible for their taxes. This means that you would have to set aside some of your earnings at the end of every year when Uber sends a 1099 form to include with your tax return for that year. This is also the standard tax practice for freelancers. You can also write off as car maintenance or gas as business expenses. This is why it’s important to keep track of your car’s mileage and gas station receipts.

Again, you have to take note of everything Uber does not cover for you. Also, check your state government for minimum wages laws for independent contractors like Uber drivers. Some states, like California, have laws that mandate workers’ compensation and health insurance. In California, rideshare drivers are considered employees and entitled to such benefits. Look into your state laws or consult an accountant for a more personalized approach to taxes.

What Does Uber Cover For Their Drivers?

While the last previous sections on what you will be responsible for maybe off-putting, the good news is that there are some costs that Uber covers for their drivers. In the event a passenger damages the interior or exterior, Uber will charge them a fee. The fee is based on the cleaning cost and then passed to the driver for them to use.

Another expense of driving that Uber covers for their drivers are accumulated tolls. The toll is added to the passenger’s ride bill as they are charged before getting in the car. This charge will also be visible to the driver.

Do Uber Drivers Have to Pay Anything to Uber?

Uber notably charges its drivers a service fee for each trip they complete. This would be the difference between how much the rider paid and how much you earned. Taxes or any surcharges are not included.

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—except in Miami, Orlando, Bradenton, Jacksonville, Naples, Port Charlotte, Sarasota or Tampa, where your 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.

UberX UberXL LUX LUX SUV UberSELECT Car Model YearFewer than 16 years oldFewer than 16 years old2010 or newer2010 or newer2008 or newerCar BodyAnyAnySedan, Crossover SUV, SUVSUVLuxury sedan (specific models)Seats5 factory-installed seats and seat belts5 factory-installed seats and seat belts5+ seats7+ seats5+ seatsInteriorGood conditionGood conditionLeather or vinyl, great conditionLeather or vinyl, great conditionLeather 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. Cars driven for LUX, LUX SUV and UberSELECT must be maintained in pristine condition.

The Cancellation Problem

Up until recently, another big problem for rideshare drivers when it came to minors was how they should handle cancellations.  Should they cancel when a minor gets in the car?

Here’s the amazing thing.  While Uber asked drivers to cancel trips if they discovered the passenger was an unaccompanied minor, they used to not list “unaccompanied minor” as the reason for cancellation.  So, if you did the right thing and played by their rules and cancelled any pickups from unaccompanied minors, you could be penalized for doing so.

They have since added unaccompanied minors as a reason for cancellation.  However, they have never told drivers whether or not they still penalize them for these cancellations.  Today they say cancellations don’t count against drivers.  But evidence has emerged while perhaps they’re no longer actively deactivating drivers for having too many deactivations, they may be doing so passively.

We now know that Uber takes other factors into consideration other than just the driver’s distance from the rider when deciding which driver to send to a rider.  They now take each driver’s distance from the rider, their rating, their cancellation and acceptance rates along with several other factors into consideration when deciding which nearby driver to send to a passenger.

So while they say they no longer deactivate drivers for high cancellation rates, they deactivate them in substance by sending them fewer trip requests.

Drivers know that if they cancel a minor and choose “Unaccompanied minor” as the reason in the app, they could still be penalized with fewer trips for the cancellation.

This is a big problem with Uber and Lyft both on this and many other issues.  They often put drivers in a predicament where they will be hurt no matter what they do.  In this case, if the driver carried the minor and the minor decided to file some charge against the driver, even without evidence, the driver could be immediately deactivated.

On the other hand, if the driver cancels the trip and refuses to provide service, Uber will penalize him for cancelling the trip by sending him fewer trips in the future.  And it is because of that that they should never hold a cancellation against a driver when the driver cancelled in order to follow Uber’s own rules.

Lyft Driver Requirements

If you are fairly certain that your car will be approved, it’s time to take a look at your own credentials. The following is a summary of the Lyft driver requirements:

      • Age – 21 or over.
      • Experience – Must have held a current driving license for at least one year.
      • Driving Record – You must have a clean record.
      • Insurance – You need a valid insurance policy.
      • Phone – You need to own a recent model smartphone.

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What Are Uber Driver Requirements?

As long as you can pass Uber’s background check, you shouldn’t find it difficult to become an Uber driver (unless your city imposes some difficult requirements of its own).

Install the Uber app on your smartphone and create an account on Uber, including the bank account into which your earnings will be paid.

When you’re ready to start picking up passengers, tell the Uber app that you’re going online. Then wait.

Before long, the app will notify you about a passenger requesting a ride and show you a map with the passenger’s GPS coordinates. You pick up the passenger and take the person to his or her destination. Aware that the passenger can rate you afterward, you do your best to make the passenger feel welcome, comfortable, and satisfied.

Make sure you understand clearly where your pick up location is to avoid late arrivals

You just keep repeating this process, being notified about passengers and taking them to their destinations, until you’re done for the day. Then you tell the Uber app that you’re going offline. You can rate your passengers on their behavior.

Uber will deposit the money that you’ve earned into your bank account.

Injured in a Rideshare Accident? Call The Dominguez Firm Now!

Whether you were injured as a passenger, a driver, a cyclist or a pedestrian in a rideshare accident, your first course of action should be to call The Dominguez Firm right away. Waiting can jeopardize your case. Trying to take on a rideshare accident case by yourself can leave you shortchanged as a result.

The rideshare accident attorneys at The Dominguez Firm have the experience and results to make sure you receive the compensation that you’re entitled to. Call us at 800-818-1818 for a free and confidential consultation today. And you incur no out of pocket or upfront fees because you don’t pay unless we win. So call The Dominguez Firm today.