How an Uber driver got screwed for $60,000

Muhammad, 35, is a strong guy with a big beard. After coming to the US 12 years ago, he bounced from job to job to get by. Mover, painter, day laborer. After saving up for 5 years, he finally bought his own car. In April 2017, he started driving for Uber. What’s not to like about being your own boss? Muhammad thought he was living the American Dream.

Until one night, hell broke loose on him. He was heading to the airport. At an intersection, a lady ran the red light and rammed his car. Muhammad suffered injury. His beloved red Toyota Prius got totalled. Having dealt with accidents before, Muhammad was confident that it was just a matter of filing claims to get paid. Then a surprise came. The other driver’s insurance was only the minimum coverage mandated by the state of California. After cutting Muhammad a $20,000 check, her insurance company told him that the rest should be collected directly from her. But the lady had been unemployed since 2008. With no asset, collecting from her looked like a dead end. Luckily, Muhammad’s own insurance company told him that his Underinsured Motorist coverage would pay the remaining amount for his medical bills, lost income and the totalled Prius. The estimated sum was about $60,000. Muhammad breathed a sigh of relief.

An hour later, Muhammad’s phone rang. It was the claim adjuster. “I saw a Uber sticker on your Prius, sir. Were you driving for Uber at the time of the accident?” “Yes. Why?”, replied Muhammad. “Well, your insurance does not cover driving for hire. Sorry. We have to deny your claim.”

Muhammad thought Uber must be taking care of this then. He called Uber. “Sorry, sir. The accident happened before any rider was assigned to you. We don’t cover your car or your injury in this case.“ Muhammad was floored. He thought he did everything by the book. Now his Prius is gone and nobody will cover his medical bills or lost wages. His dream is shattered.

Unfortunately, Muhammad may not be the only Uber driver that put their livelihood at risk without knowing it. Neither Uber nor Lyft is doing enough to ensure their drivers are properly covered. In fact, when we posed as new drivers, Uber’s inspection station staff explicitly advised us not to tell our insurance company about driving for Uber. Exactly what got Muhammad into trouble. The sad truth about his quandary is that preventing it is easy had someone told him what to do, getting a ride-sharing endorsement. The cost is only $15-20 per year, according to Allstate

So, for Uber drivers, what’s the best way to get the ride-sharing endorsement? They can call their insurance agents to add it. Not all insurance companies support this option. For instance, in California, Geico doesn’t offer ride-sharing endorsement. In this case, Uber drivers should switch their insurance. The easiest option may be using an independent service like SafeButler . Although by invitation only, for limited time, Uber and Lyft drivers can sign up at https://safebutler.com/uber for free. It will ensure the auto insurance has the ride-sharing endorsement. In addition, it’ll quote from multiple top brands to get the best deal automatically each year.

There is no doubt that Uber is revolutionizing transportation. But every Uber driver should know how to protect themselves. Muhammad suffers badly. One tragedy like this is one too many. Let’s hope that no other driver would have to live it again.

Media contact
Company Name: NextMedia Inc.
Contact Person: Mr. Ed
Address: PO Box 34781, San Mateo, CA
E-mail: ed@nextsoar.com
Website: http://www.nextsoar.com

%d bloggers like this: