Consumer Alert on Ride-Sharing and Car-Sharing Services

Posted on 7/30/2014

The Massachusetts Division of Insurance has issued a consumer alert for consumers who either let someone else drive their car for a fee (car-sharing) or who use their vehicles to transport a passenger for a fee (ride-sharing). With the recent rise in Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) such as Uber, RelayRides, and Lyft consumers may be enticed into participating in their services without realizing the serious financial consequences to all the participants, both the drivers and the passengers, should there be an accident.  The Massachusetts Automobile Insurance policy specifically excludes coverage when an auto is being used as a public livery or conveyance.  Therefore, if you are the owner/driver of the vehicle involved, you will have neither coverage for damage to your vehicle nor any liability coverage for property damage or bodily injury caused by you.  If you are a passenger in one of these vehicles and are injured, the driver’s insurance policy will not cover your injuries. While some TNCs may purchase insurance coverage for their network of drivers, that insurance may not cover all the costs of an accident.  If you are going to participate in one of these services, be sure to fully understand the coverages provided by the TNC’s policy.  Ask for a copy of their policy and be sure it includes bodily injury, PIP, property damage, uninsured motorist and if you want coverage for your car, collision.   Also, be sure it covers your vehicle while in transit to and from picking up your passenger because once you head out, your policy will no longer respond. So before you jump into one of these arrangements, ask yourself is it worth the financial risk and be sure to read the Division of Insurance’s alert at .