UberEATS is a new venture from Uber that allows people to order food seamlessly through their phone from various local restaurants (and even ones across town). The platform is run by Uber's subsidiary, Portier, LLC, and the contract between Portier and their drivers attempts to make very clear that their drivers are not employees of Uber or Portier but rather Portier is simply a technology service connecting the restaurants with “for hire” delivery drivers through its platforms. For the service, the customer pays the driver a delivery fee and a tip. Uber then takes a percentage fee from the restaurant.
As it is becoming more commonly known that Uber provides significant insurance coverage to its drivers who are involved in car accidents, we are seeing more and more cases come to our office where drivers for UberEATS assume that the same coverages apply if they are involved or seriously injured in a car accident whether they are transporting an individual or a burrito. These clients are looking for an experienced New Orleans Uber accident attorney to help them navigate all of the insurance coverage issues that come with being involved in an Uber accident while driving for Uber EATS and hoping that the same insurance applies to UberEATS as when they are driving for Uber.
We have found that often times this is not the case in the greater New Orleans area, unfortunately. While the insurer for UberEATS does provide significant liability coverage of $1,000,000* if you are involved in a car accident while you are on the way to pick up or to deliver an order, they do not provide uninsured or underinsured motorist coverage at all if you are involved in a car accident. That means that if you are involved in a car accident that is not your fault and you are injured, you may be limited in what money you can recover to what insurance the other driver involved in the car accident has. This is a significant restriction given that the vast majority of Louisiana drivers are either uninsured or carry only $15,000 of insurance and the number of uninsured drivers in New Orleans is even higher. Meaning, if you are involved in an Uber accident in New Orleans or any New Orleans car accident, it is very possible that the other driver is not insured properly to cover your injuries.
Even more problematically, even if the driver personally carries uninsured/underinsured motorist insurance, if they were driving for UberEATS at the time of the accident, it is possible that their own personal insurance will refuse to pay out on the claim claiming that these accidents are excluded under a personal insurance policy. We are currently handling a case litigating these exact exclusions where our client was seriously injured in a car accident by another driver and her insurance company is refusing to pay her claim for damages under her UM policy claiming that since this is an Uber accident, they should not have to pay.
Of course, every case is different, and we need to assess the facts and circumstances of each particular accident to determine applicable insurance coverages.
Some drivers are curing this problem by purchasing “gap” commercial insurance that will fill this coverage void.
If you have been involved in a car accident involving UberEATS or have questions about your insurance coverage, give us a call for a free consultation on how we can assist you. It is important that you consult with an experience New Orleans Uber Accident attorney to discuss all of the insurance coverage that may be available to you. If you are involved in a car accident in Metairie or New Orleans, it is important to consult with an experienced Metairie personal injury attorney or a New Orleans personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Megan C. Kiefer is a partner at Kiefer & Kiefer. She is a New Orleans Uber Accident Attorney who has handled many cases involved Uber and Lyft. More more information, please visit our companion site at www.youruberaccidentattorney.com
This is provided for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice.