TRAFFIC: California enacts nation’s first ride-sharing safety rules

Questions linger on how to insure ride-sharing drivers

September 30, 2013

The California Public Utilities Commission (PUC) recently approved new safety rules for ride-sharing services conducted via smartphone, the first such regulations in the U.S. With the new capabilities, however, questions are emerging from insurance companies as to how they can cover participating drivers and vehicles.


One of the requirements enacted in California as part of the deal is that ride-sharing drivers and passengers must be covered for up to $1 million in damages per accident. The challenge is that each vehicle that is enlisted in ride-sharing essentially becomes an unlicensed taxi, calling the validity of the driver’s personal insurance into doubt.

Some smaller insurance companies have already begun offering policies that comply with the rules set forth by the PUC. Others are sitting back and considering factors such as when vehicles are being driven for personal use and when they are being used to ferry passengers.