By Jim Freeman
At the scene of a bicycle/car collision the driver tendered police his personal auto insurance card. We opened a claim under the driver’s insurance only to have the claim denied because the driver was, unbeknownst to us, working as an Uber driver. At the time of the collision the driver was transporting a fare for the ride share service Uber.
We represent a bicyclist in what we believe to be the first bicycle/ride-share collision in the area. This case has presented a number of issues with respect to insurance coverage. One might think that it would be easy to make a claim under Uber’s insurance policy, but that is not so. Take a look at Uber’s website and see if you can find where it lists their insurance underwriter. If you can’t find the insurance information on the web site, then you’ll just have to contact Uber. Think that’s going to be easy? Where on the website is the contact information for Uber? Neither the insurance nor contact information is listed on Uber’s website. In fact, my research suggests that there is no contact phone number for Uber. The only way to contact Uber is through e-mail. This makes for a virtual wall around the company for anyone trying to make a claim. Despite their best efforts to insulate themselves from our reach we were able to determine their insurance carrier and open a claim, but this wouldn’t be easy to accomplish without an in-house investigator.
We also found Uber less than forthcoming with respect to other information such as the identity of the fare, who would be an eye-witness to the occurrence. Uber has flatly refused to give any information regarding the identity of the fare, forcing us to file suit and seek a court order requiring them to produce the identity of the fare.
If you are involved in an accident with a ride share driver you should expect your insurance claim process to be complicated. Make sure you get the information of any fare the Uber driver may be transporting at the time. If you’re a bicyclist and you’re doored by the passenger, this is even more important because Uber’s insurance may try to deny the case claiming that the collision was the result of the passenger and not the Uber driver. If you’re involved in a collision with an Uber driver it is best to get advice from someone who knows how to negotiate the insurance carriers involved in your loss. Get help. You’re going to need it.
Originally posted at Special Considerations for Collisions with Ride Share Drivers.