In recent years, the rapid ascent of Uber and Lyft has angered professional taxi drivers across the country, making them feel as if Uber and Lyft drivers have had unfair advantages due to a lack of regulations at the state and national levels. However, as more complaints have poured in over recent months, one state that has taken action is Arizona. The state’s Department of Transportation recently implemented numerous changes in the insurance requirements for Uber and Lyft drivers, with many of the drivers voicing their displeasure with the ADOT Uber changes.
What has set Uber and Lyft drivers apart from professional taxi drivers has been the large gap in financial responsibilities placed on the drivers. As of July 3, 2015, those responsibilities changed dramatically, with the ADOT Uber changes making sure the playing field is level for everyone in the industry. As of that date, Uber and Lyft drivers operating vehicles seating no more than eight passengers will be required to carry motor vehicle liability policies containing minimum coverage as well as uninsured motorist coverage in the amount of $250,000.
Because Uber and Lyft drivers rely on computer software to link up with those needing rides, insurance coverage will be critical when they are logged into their business software. When a driver is logged into the software and actively available to provide transportation to customers, they are now required to maintain commercial coverage amounts of $25,000/$50,000/$20,000 as well as uninsured motorist insurance of $250,000.
Other ADOT Uber Changes
To make sure the insurance requirements are being met by Uber and Lyft drivers, ADOT has slightly changed the way it will conduct inspections of vehicles. Random inspections and audits will be conducted every three years, rather than annually. While seen by some as less stringent, others view it as a positive step toward getting Uber and Lyft drivers in line with more traditional taxi drivers and companies. Working with insurance companies, other ADOT Uber changes include the provision that a motor vehicle insurance policy which has been in effect for at least 60 days may not be cancelled unless the person named on the policy is covered by a motor vehicle liability policy from another insurer.
While some Uber and Lyft drivers may object to these changes, taxi drivers working for traditional companies see the changes as a positive step in the right direction. As more and more customers look to Uber and Lyft for rides, other changes may be necessary in the years ahead.