Many in the taxi and limousine industry are calling for stricter regulations on such companies and the Senate has expanded proposed insurance legislation to include a requirement for full, “around-the-clock” coverage on the vehicles used by these services. The requirement would become active once a driver has been working for one of these companies for at least six months. However, a similar bill making its way through the House has no such requirement.
Legislators are aiming to ensure that vehicles used as part of the ride-share service carry enough coverage to close the “gap” between when a driver is “between fares”, or on the way to picking up a passenger, and the time during which the passenger is in the vehicle. Lawmakers are concerned that Floridians are at a risk of serious injury with no availability of coverage because of the so-called gaps.
Uber lobbyist, Cesar Fernandez, said the company can accept a higher coverage requirement on drivers during the gap, even though the company believes the drivers are not technically driving for a commercial purpose during those times, and in effect, are using their vehicles for personal purposes. Fernandez said that requiring Uber to carry this gap insurance would be akin to asking a casino to carry insurance for those who gamble outside of their casino.
The differing bills do align in some areas, both require companies to provide at least $1 million in liability coverage for death, bodily injury and property damage while passengers are in the vehicles.
No matter where you stand on the issue, one thing seems to be clear, and it’s that companies like Uber and Lyft, may be here to stay. With lower prices, technologically convenient usage and expedient pickup and drive times, many customers find these services to be a viable option when in need of transportation.