On May 9, Florida Governor Rick Scott signed a new law that requires ridesharing drivers to carry insurance above and beyond the state’s standard minimum requirements, and that requires ridesharing companies to perform background checks on drivers operating in the state. Known as the “Uber / Lyft Bill,” the law also requires ridesharing companies to adopt “zero-tolerance” policies on drug and alcohol use, and to promptly suspend any drivers suspected of driving under the influence pending an investigation.
Uber/Lyft Bill Provides Enhanced Protection for Passengers and Other Drivers
Under Florida’s general automobile insurance law, all drivers in the state are required to carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) and $10,000 in property damage liability (PDL) coverage. The Uber / Lyft Bill, also known as CS/HB 221, imposes additional – and different – requirements for ridesharing drivers both (i) while “logged on to the digital network but . . . not engaged in a prearranged ride,” and (ii) while “engaged in a prearranged ride.”
1. When Logged on But Not Providing a Ride
Ridesharing drivers are subject to the following insurance requirements when logged in but not carrying a passenger:
- Primary automobile liability coverage of at least $50,000 for death and bodily injury per person;
- Primary automobile liability coverage of at least $100,000 for death and bodily injury per incident;
- PDL coverage of at least $25,000 per incident; and,
- PIP and uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM) coverage as required by existing law.
2. When Providing a Ride
Ridesharing drivers are subject to the following insurance requirements when carrying a passenger:
- Primary automobile liability coverage of at least $1 million for death, bodily injury and property damage; and,
- PIP and UIM coverage as required by existing law.
The law provides that these requirements may be met by the driver directly or by the ridesharing company. It also states that ridesharing companies must have coverage in place to protect accident victims if a driver’s coverage lapses or is inadequate. As “primary” coverage, ridesharing drivers’ and companies’ insurers cannot deny coverage contingent upon collection from an accident victim’s personal insurer.
The Uber / Lyft Bill’s insurance requirements do not apply to ridesharing drivers when they are using their vehicles for personal purposes only.
Florida’s Background Check Requirements for Uber and Lyft Drivers
Under Florida’s new Uber / Lyft Bill, ridesharing companies are now required to perform background checks before authorizing new drivers to operate on their platforms and every three years thereafter. The law states that companies like Uber and Lyft, “may not authorize an individual to act as a [ridesharing] driver,” if he or she:
- Has been convicted of driving under the influence (DUI), reckless driving, hit-and-run, and various other offenses within the past five years;
- Has been convicted of driving with a suspended or revoked license within the past three years;
- Is listed on the federal sex offender registry;
- Does not possess a valid driver’s license; or,
- Does not possess proof of registration of the vehicle to be used for ridesharing.
Were You Injured in an Accident Involving an Uber or Lyft Driver?
If you have been injured in an accident involving an Uber or Lyft driver, either as a passenger or as an occupant of another vehicle, our personal injury attorneys can help you seek just compensation. To learn more in a free and confidential consultation, call our Crestview law offices at (850) 682-2757 or request an appointment online today.