Ridesharing companies like Uber and Lyft are getting a lot of media attention right now. Not all the attention is good. Sean Donaldson of the Kentucky’s Legislative Research Commission has prepared a report for the annual Topics Before The Kentucky General Assembly. It’s a guide to issues that may come before the legislature in the upcoming session.
• Ridesharing is a service provided by Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) to connect
passengers with a driver for a one-time ride on short notice. Typically, a ride is arranged
through a smartphone application. A customer may use the application to request a ride and
track the reserved vehicle’s location.
• Ridesharing may help cover areas not served by public transportation, encourage carpooling,
reduce traffic congestion, and lower environmental impact.
• Ridesharing is not generally regulated the same as private car companies and taxi services.
• There may be confusion over personal/commercial insurance coverage of drivers.
• Personal insurance policies generally contain an exclusion for liability coverage if the vehicle
insured by the policy is being used to carry passengers for compensation.
• TNCs have developed standards of when they consider a driver to be working for the
company and covered under the TNC’s insurance policies. The standards are not uniform,
which can create some confusion for driver, passengers, and the insurance industry.
• The National Association of Insurance Commissioners’ property and casualty committee has
created a working group to examine the insurance implications of ridesharing.
• The Kentucky Department of Insurance issued a consumer alert in June regarding
ridesharing. It discusses several issues regarding insurance and liability and who has
jurisdiction over TNCs.
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