Geico cancels rideshare drivers.
As reported in the San Francisco Chronicle, Geico is telling its agents to be on the lookout for rideshare drivers, and when they find them, to rat them out and possibly turn them over to the fraud department. And CANCEL THEIR POLICIES.
The leaked memo (don't you love leaked memos) gives us a "straight from the lizard's mouth" example of what will happen to you if you have Geico insurance, and you get caught driving for Uber, Lyft or Sidecar. CANCELLED. REPORTED. And it doesn't matter that you don't drive for a rideshare company in California anymore. Just ask "Matt" (not his real name) about his experience. He drove for Uber one summer, and months later, after he was no longer driving for Uber, Geico cancelled him. They cancelled him after he was no longer a risk to them and their underwriting guidelines.
This anti-rideshare sentiment by one of the nation's largest insurance companies is scaring some rideshare drivers into lying to Geico, both before they have a claim, and often afterwards. And lying to your insurance company is always a bad idea. Cancellation is the least of your worries- you could also be guilty of insurance fraud. It's a big deal.
Well then, I just won't report my accident.
Sounds like a great idea, since we all know of the new California law that forces rideshare companies such as UberX, Lyft and Sidecar to cover the gap in Period 1, beginning July 1, 2015. But it's not a great idea. Here's why:
The law only requires coverage for liability during the gap, not damage to your own vehicle. And the law still leaves you in a dangerous legal dilemma. Why? Because you are required by insurance companies to notify them if you have an accident, even if you don't file a claim!
If you report the claim to Geico... you will be cancelled.
If you don't report the claim to Geico, and they ever find out... you will be cancelled.
So what can a California rideshare driver do?
You can come out from the shadows. You can drive safely with one company right now, and it's a company that wants you. Farmers Insurance announced on May 27, 2015, that they are offering the only auto insurance policy in California that makes sure California rideshare drivers are covered from end-to-end, and all above board. More companies are likely to follow.
Farmers Rideshare Coverage
It's official. On May 27, 2015, California Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones announced that he had approved a new rideshare endorsement offered by Farmers Insurance that would allow UberX, Lyft and Sidecar drivers to be covered during Period 1 just as they would be under their regular personal auto insurance.
Farmers Insurance Specialty Company becomes the first insurance carrier in California to offer such coverage.
The number of rideshare drivers is growing exponentially. Since Uber began in 2012, its number of drivers has more than doubled every six months. There are currently over 70,000 rideshare drivers in California alone, and the growth continues at a rapid pace.
California leads the nation in creative insurance solutions to meet the needs of new realities, and Farmers Insurance is a national leader in offering insurance products and creative solutions to meet the needs of its customers. So it was a natural fit for this solution to come to the marketplace so quickly.
Prior to the availability of this new coverage option, rideshare drivers had to live in the shadows and hope they didn't get caught by their insurance company while driving for Uber, Lyft or Sidecar. If their insurance company found out, they risked being cancelled, or forced into an expensive commercial auto policy. In addition, they faced the risk of NO COVERAGE during the infamous "Period 1" which is described by the rideshare industry as the time between turning on their app, and being matched with a rider.
A solution was called for... and quickly.
Farmers Rideshare is a simple yet elegant solution. It is offered through Farmers Specialty Insurance as a regular personal auto insurance policy with a rideshare endorsement attached. You can learn more about it here.
Rideshare insurance coverage is available right now for purchase only through a Farmers Insurance agent in California.