Car services such as Uber and Lyft, which connect drivers and passengers via a web application, have come a step closer to being regulated after a New Jersey legislative committee passed a bill aiming to set minimum insurance standards and impose other strictures.
One of the concerns at the forefront is the insurance coverage issue involving passengers in these vehicles. This is due to the fact that these online car services utilize an individuals’ personal vehicle and personal auto policies typically exclude coverage for accidents if the vehicle is being used for a commercial purpose.
The bill attempts to address the coverage issue by requiring that drivers for transportation network companies maintain a $1.5 million liability policy, the same a limousine drivers. But that coverage would be triggered only when the driver accepts a fare via the Web application. If the driver is merely logged on to the app, a $250,000 limit would apply; if the app is inactive, the driver’s personal insurance would apply.
Many committee members are in favor of changes. The only question is what those changes will be.