Does my insurance cover me driving for Lyft?

Personal auto insurance won't cover Lyft driving. Lyft provides some auto insurance coverage for drivers and many insurers have ride-share add-on options.

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Mathew B. Sims is Editor-in-Chief and has authored, edited, and contributed to several books. He has been working in the insurance industry ensuring content is accurate for consumers who are searching for the best policies and rates...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance...

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Reviewed byDaniel Walker
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UPDATED: Apr 22, 2020

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Things to remember...
  • Ordinary personal auto insurance won’t cover Lyft driving
  • Types of coverage for Lyft drivers vary from state to state
  • Lyft drivers don’t usually need commercial or livery driver insurance
  • Lyft provides some insurance coverage for drivers
  • Ridesharing insurance takes driving periods and functions into consideration


Personal auto insurance policies are intended to cover personal driving. Traditional policies were never intended to cover driving for work, such as working as a pizza delivery driver or driving for Lyft or Uber.

Employees who drive for work, such as sales in the field or visiting clients, typically have a combination of coverage between their personal auto insurance and liability policies maintained by their employer. Whether you are looking for personal or business auto insurance, make sure to compare rates with our free quote tool above! 

Because you work for yourself when you drive for Lyft, you fit into a different category called ridesharing. Insurance companies also refer to companies like Lyft as Transportation Network Companies or TNC’s.

What is the difference between a TNC and carpool ridesharing?

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Your traditional auto policy may cover ridesharing, but the National Association of Insurance Commissioners says that ridesharing in personal auto policies refers to carpooling to work or school, not carrying passengers for a fee.

Ridesharing or TNC Insurance Is Necessary

Most insurers have developed policy add-ons that cover driving for services like Lyft. Supplemental insurance products have a variety of names, but most frequently, they are called ridesharing policies or rideshare coverage. These policies extend coverage to allow drivers to provide ridesharing services.

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Periods And Coverages

While drivers are signed into the app to drive for Lyft, rideshare insurance will cover their driving. Coverage varies depending upon the policy.

The type of coverage and when it applies is divided into three categories or periods. You should understand the meaning of these different driving periods when you’re comparing policies, companies, and prices.

  • Period 1: Lyft drivers are driving or parked with their app open, waiting for a ride.
  • Period 2: Drivers have been matched with a ride and are driving to pick up the rider.
  • Period 3: The driver has picked up the rider and is headed to the destination. Period 3 ends when the rider has been dropped off.

Lyft provides insurance coverage for drivers during Period 2 and Period 3, but it only covers Period 1 in states where the coverage has been required, like California.

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Your State Affects Ridesharing Insurance

All major auto insurance companies have begun to offer ridesharing insurance add-ons to their policies, but not every insurance company offers insurance for Lyft drivers in every state.

A few states still don’t have rideshare or TNC-friendly laws and policies. Lyft maintains information on state law and regulations for drivers.

The regulations and your insurance options are continuously changing, so you should keep up to date and compare options at least once or twice a year.

Some states, including California, do allow insurers to provide coverage for Lyft drivers in Period 1, while they are waiting for a ride. The Golden State passed new regulations allowing this coverage in 2016.

Commercial Driving Insurance

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If you live in a state that doesn’t have ridesharing-friendly regulations and you can’t get this type of insurance added to your policy, you will need to investigate commercial auto policies.

Commercial auto policies are also called livery policies and business auto policies. These policies can cost between $4,000 and $8,000 a year depending on the business use of your vehicle.

Most states require drivers to get commercial or livery license plates. Drivers must also have commercial or livery-class drivers licenses to be able to purchase commercial insurance. You have probably seen a commercial or livery license plate on a limousine or airport ride van.

What kind of insurance coverage does Lyft provide?

Lyft offers its own insurance for drivers while they are using the Lyft app. The company offers four different types of coverage that are meant to work together with ridesharing auto insurance:

  • Contingent Liability coverage when the driver is in driving mode.
  • Primary liability insurance
  • Contingent comprehensive and collision coverage
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage

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Should I just use Lyft’s insurance and nothing else?

Lyft coverage is designed to make it possible for you to drive safely as a Lyft driver. Lyft coverage alone is unlikely to provide all necessary protection in the unfortunate case of an accident.

Match supplementary ridesharing insurance with Lyft’s coverage to achieve balanced and adequate coverage for yourself and passengers.

What if I don’t tell my insurance company I’m driving for Lyft?

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One driver for a ridesharing service got into an accident when he was driving a passenger. His personal auto policy wouldn’t cover the damage to his car or the other car.

The ridesharing service did cover the damage to the other driver’s car but wouldn’t cover damage to his vehicle, which was about $4,000.

Your insurance company could cancel your policy if you don’t tell them you’re driving for Lyft. In a worst-case scenario, your insurance company could decline to cover you in case of an accident and also cancel your policy.

Laws And Policies Will Continue to Change

As more people start driving for Lyft and similar services, coverage options can and will change.

Ridesharing trips make up more than 15 percent of daily traffic in cities like San Francisco where companies like Lyft are well-established. Most drivers only drive part-time.

Insurance companies understand that Lyft drivers have different needs from commercial van or limousine drivers.

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Be Proactive About Insurance Options While Driving For Lyft

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If you do not have the right combination of insurance and you are in an accident while driving for Lyft, you’re already aware that the insurance company could cancel your policy. In some states, your driver’s license could be suspended because you lack car insurance.

The good news is that companies like Lyft, along with most states, don’t want this to happen. You can find affordable rideshare coverage that extends your auto insurance policy and protects you, allowing you to drive safely and confidently for Lyft.

Don’t miss out on our free insurance comparison tool below! Just enter your zip code and start comparing rates now!

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