What are your opinions on services like Uber and Lyft?
We first and foremost suggest that you make sure using Uber fits within your organization’s transportation policy.
The best form of transportation is using a third-party that has adequate insurance, like a bus company. Using a bus company assumes the driver has been vetted, and there is usually adequate insurance from the bus company. We understand that utilizing a bus service is not always possible or affordable.
The issue with Uber, Lyft, and similar ride-share arrangements is that they have a very strict indemnity and hold harmless provision with the drivers, which basically states that Uber/Lyft is not responsible or would offer very low limits for any accident. Thus, the driver would have to look to his/her own personal auto coverage, but personal auto policies do not cover for-hire operations, and it is unlikely that the driver is paying for a special auto endorsement to cover him when on duty as an Uber/Lyft driver. Therefore, payment for an injury sustained in an Uber/Lyft vehicle would most likely fall upon your organization’s liability policy. However, we agree that using Uber or Lyft is probably better than allowing members to drive other members/guests around town.
Be sure to check with your national organization that will have a risk management policy regarding the use of these types of services.