Did you know that a newly enacted New York State Rideshare Law aimed at protecting injured New Yorkers EXCLUDES those injured in an accident which occurs in New York City? Wrap your head around this: within the five boroughs, New Yorkers are covered for $100,000 per injured person and $300,000 per accident.
Outside of the five borougs of New York City, the insurance coverage jumps dramatically. Uber/Lyft/Via/Juno and all other “TNC” or rideshare vehicles that are actively on a trip with their App ON are insured by group ridesharing insurance to $1.25 million per accident, uninsured/underinsured coverage of $1.25 million, and no-fault coverage of $50,000 which pays for necessary medical bills and lost earnings approved by the insurance company. If the driver has the app ON but is waiting for a trip request, the group ridesharing policy insurance is less, providing only $75,000 in coverage per person with a total of $150,000 per accident. And last, if the driver is offline, only the driver’s personal insurance coverage policy, which can be as low as $25,000 per injured person and $50,000 per accident, covers any accident he or she may have.
Uber/Lyft/Via/June and all rideshares drivers in New York City, however, are insured in the same manner as yellow cabs, so New York City dwellers, from the Bronx to Brooklyn, from Staten Island, to Queens, and all through the borough of Manhattan, have insurance coverage of $100,000/300,000 should they be in an accident. This means that each person can get a maximum of $100,000 and the insurance company doesn’t pay out more than $300,000 total, no matter how bad the injuries and no matter how many people are injured.
$100,000/300,000 sounds like a lot at first blush. But, Uber/Lyft/Via/June and ride-sharing vehicles account for 600,000 rides a day in New York City. Their vehicles can hold three, four, five, up to six passengers. I’m sure you’ve heard of the cars that lose control and drive onto sidewalks and into storefronts, killing and maiming people on the way. I’m sure you’ve heard about or worse seen the pedestrians who are run over and suffer massive injuries or the children hit by vehicles in local neighborhoods, or the bicyclists who are thrown into the air by speeding car that run the light.
Ask yourself: Will $100,000 compensate someone — perhaps a family member or a friend — for the permanent, lifetime loss of a leg, that disables him or her from working and living a normal life? If there are four severely injured passengers in a car, will $300,000 split four ways, namely $75,000, justly compensate each of them for lifetime injuries?
Rideshare vehicles in New York City should carry the same insurance as they do outside the City. Unlike the rest of New York State, the injured in NYC get short-changed when it comes to being adequately compensated for injuries suffered when a rideshare vehicle, like Uber, is at fault. This is a serious glitch in the law which your State Assemblyman and Senator should address, so that New Yorkers have simply a chance at adequate, proper recovery for a serious injury.