Ridesharing versus TaxisMarch 31st, 2017 by 1-800-THE-LAW2
Ridesharing versus Taxis: Safety and Convenience
When you need a ride, who do you call — Uber, Lyft or a Taxi? Here are a few things to consider when debating whether to e-hail or call a taxi.
- Drivers are more experienced and follow guidelines
- The industry is well-regulated
- Drivers go through background checks before being issued driving permits
- No way of rating a driver
- No information on your driver
- The cars use advanced smartphone technology to help riders find a cab and vice versa
- There is a review system which lets riders and drivers rate each other
- Driver distraction due to cellphone
- No fixed fare, no meter
- Surge pricing
- Drivers’ safety records and insurance coverage not available
Ridesharing versus Taxis: Insurance Coverage
Lyft and Uber Liability Policies
Lyft and Uber’s coverage is “excess coverage,” meaning it goes above what the driver carries for himself.
Insurance companies will deny a claim made against the ridesharing driver’s policy. Drivers will have a personal rather than commercial insurance policy and personal policies exclude coverage if the driver was acting “for profit.”
If you were a passenger injured while in a Lyft car, there is a strong possibility your claim will be denied by the driver’s insurance company. Lyft and Uber’s liability will pick up and cover these damages even if they driver’s policy rejected your claim.
Both companies provide $1 million dollars in liability coverage
Taxi Cab Policies
Every state is difference, but they do all require a minimum for injury coverage, typically between $250,000 and $500,000.
Being a Rideshare Driver versus a Taxi Driver
Driving for a rideshare company gives a non-taxi owner the opportunity to earn a side income, while setting their own schedule.
While much attention has been focused on passenger safety, there are dangers for taxi drivers face. James Szekely, director of the International Taxi Driver’s Safety Council likened their job to “picking up hitchhikers.” They don’t receive any information on their passengers, whereas ridesharing like Uber and Lyft allow driver information to be shared with riders and rider information to be shared with drivers.
Rideshare drivers also have access to their passenger’s credit card data and contact information, which makes the exchange safer than taxi rides for both the driver and passenger.
Driver Lawsuits over Employment Rights
Lyft and Uber are facing lawsuits from drivers who want to be classified as employees, not independent contractors. This would allow drivers to obtain health insurance benefits, overtime and reimbursement for gas and vehicle maintenance expenses.
The Uber lawsuit also calls out Uber’s practice of telling passengers that gratuity is included and not to tip drivers, despite tips not being included in their compensation.