ROSEVILLE (CBS13) — A West Sacramento man’s death as a passenger in a Lyft driver’s car has prompted questions about the level of insurance coverage of ridesharing services.
The Saturday morning crash in Roseville on Interstate 80 killed Shane Holland, 24, and injured passenger Brady Lawrence. The California Highway Patrol says both were wearing their seatbelts when the Lyft driver swerved to avoid a stalled car and crashed into a tree.READ MORE: Boy, 8, Hailed A Hero After Discovering Baby Sister Unresponsive In Pool
Holland’s death is the first for the ridesharing service.
There has been much criticism from taxi cab associations that rideshare services such as Lyft and Uber don’t provide passengers enough protection.
CBS13 asked Deputy California Insurance Commissioner Chris Shultz if there is insurance
to cover a ridesharing passenger.
“In many parts of California you have better coverage available to you as a passenger in one of these services, than you would in a Taxi,” he said.
Uber and Lyft currently carry $1 million in liability insurance. By comparison, a limousine service is required to only have $750,000 in insurance.
But what about ridesharing services’ main competitors, taxis?READ MORE: Man Apologizes After Video Shows Street Vendor Attacked
“Taxis are regulated by municipalities, by cities and counties, so they have different insurance requirements some require $250 [thousand] or even $1 million, and some just require the bare minimum.”
In Sacramento, the minimum is $500,000; in Stockton, it’s $300,000.
It’s important to note those are minimums and that companies can always carry more insurance.
In many cities such as Sacramento, taxi drivers are required to face drug testing and other tests. Recently, Sacramento enabled tougher requirements for cab drivers.
Personal injury attorney John Demas says those factors could give passengers more peace of mind.
“For instance the fingerprinting and other regulations like that don’t exist right now with Uber and Lyft and other rideshare companies,” he said.MORE NEWS: Folsom Shuts Sutter Street Down To Open Businesses
In July, Uber and Lyft drivers will have to have special insurance that will cover them and anyone they may hit during the time that they are driving around waiting for a fare.