Florida legislature split on insurance requirements for Uber, Lyft

The state House and Senate are at odds over what level of insurance coverage drivers with ridesharing companies ought to carry

Insurance News


The Florida Senate and House of Representatives are slightly at odds over legislation that would alter insurance requirements for drivers with ridesharing companies like Uber or Lyft.

The Senate Banking and Insurance Committee on Tuesday approved a bill that would create coverage standards for ridesharing company drivers. Originally considered as a mirror of an earlier bill passed by the House, sponsor David Simmons submitted an amendment that requires ride-hail companies or their drivers to carry $125,000 death and dismemberment per person, $250,000 death and bodily injury per incident and $50,000 property damage from the time they log on to the app to the time they log off.

This is an increase from levels in the House version of the bill, which sit at $50,000 for death and dismemberment, $100,000 for death and bodily injury per incident and $25,000 property damage.

Once drivers have collected a passenger and are on a trip, the insurance requirements increase to $1 million for death, bodily injury and property damage.
The levels in the Senate bill are equal to those required of taxicab companies in the state.

“This will remove the barriers to competition,” said Senate President-elect Joe Negron.

Insurance companies have largely supported the measure, saying it addresses gaps in insurance coverage that occur when a driver has his or her app turned on but has not yet accepted a ride request.

However, the bill is likely to run into issues in the House, where legislators are more concerned with providing lower coverage limits previously agreed to by ridesharing companies.

“Sometimes the best way to level the playing field is to lower the obligation to the existing companies,” said Senator Tom Lee.

If the legislation passes, Florida will become one of nearly 30 states to have passed insurance regulations for ridesharing companies.

“Florida will follow, if not now, then in the near future,” Mark Stempler, an attorney for taxicab and limousine companies, told the Tampa Tribune. “What those regulations look like is another story.”

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