When Uber first entered the ridesharing scene in Australia, there were understandably some concerns, namely whether or not drivers and their passengers were insured in the event of an accident. After all, an Uber vehicle is someone’s own personal vehicle and not a registered commercial one.
Insurers are now rapidly expanding their car insurance policies to accommodate Uber drivers and other ride-sharing services. Previously, insurers would list in their PDS (Product Disclosure Statement) documents that cover would not be available if you used your car to carry passengers for monetary gain. In many cases some of them still do, but there are others like RACQ, Bingle and Allianz that now offer cover for policyholders who are ridesharing drivers.
Ordinary car insurance policies typically only cover you for private use, so unless you specifically choose rideshare cover from your provider, you generally won’t be covered while Ubering away (if you can even get approved without insurance, which you can’t).
Each ridesharing platform has their own insurance requirements though, and we’ve summarised them below.
According to Uber Australia, all cars driven for Uber must at least be:
- Road registered and insured for CTP (compulsory third party) insurance;
- Covered for third party property damage with the driver-partner as the policy-holder or a named insured driver, such as a parent
In addition to this, all Uber drivers for uberX, uberXL, uberSELECT and uberASSIST are covered by a contingent liability program that provides at least $20 million in protection against liability in the event of injury to third parties and damage to property. This means that Uber drives are covered even if your other policy won’t pay out. You still need to pay the excess, however.
UberBLACK, UberLUX and UberTAXI are provided with commercially licensed and insured partners upon registering.
What about passengers in an Uber?
The good news is that passengers that are injured while riding in an Uber are covered by the driver’s CTP insurance in addition to Uber’s $20 million liability contingent policy. To take advantage of this, however, you need to report any accidents you’re in to Uber itself as well as the police (after seeking any necessary medical attention of course).
To do this, follow these steps in the Uber app:
- ‘Your trips’
- Select the tip where the accident occurred
- ‘Select an issue’
- ‘I was involved in an accident’
- Complete and submit the form with the date, time and location of the incident as well any other important information
- Make a CTP claim for medical expenses if necessary – see these tips on making a car insurance claim
Shebah is very similar to Uber, except for the fact that it is an all-female alternative. It was launched in March 2017 to provide a safe and convenient alternative for female passengers and drivers, and is available in Melbourne, Geelong, Bendigo, Ballarat, Hobart, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Adelaide and Perth.
Shebah’s website states that no driver can be on the platform without adequate insurance – that being CTP, while third-party property damage is highly recommended (while being required for NSW drivers).
Shebah has a separate website – InsureMyShebah – which is owned and operated by Shielded Insurance Brokers. InsureMyShebah can also provide drivers with public liability insurance starting from $5 million. It recommends calling if your current car insurance provider does not cover you for ridesharing.
Offered in 20 countries worldwide, Taxify is a new ridesharing service that works in the same way as Uber, except it has promised to be cheaper. While this may not always be the case, Taxify charges:
- $9 minimum per ride
- $1.45 per kilometer
In addition to potentially cheaper fares, there are also no cancellation fees at the time of writing, so you don’t have to worry about paying for your driver not turning up. Taxify also offers major discounts for passengers in their first month.
To qualify as a driver with Taxify, all vehicles need to be insured for third party property damage at least, and you need to present a Vehicle Insurance Certificate. Whether or not comprehensive coverage is required varies by state – you’ll need to check your state’s Department of Transport to be sure.
More information on the insurance requirements of Taxify can be found here.
When applying for ridesharing insurance, it’s crucial that you ask your provider directly if they will cover you, as not all of them will directly advertise the fact that their policies are available for ridesharers. If they do not list it in their PDS or list it as an exclusion, then either contact your ridesharing platform or find one that does.
While Canstar does not compare policies for Uber drivers, we do compare dozens of car insurance policies on price and features. For help finding a good value car insurance policy for you, use Canstar’s comparison tables: