On July 1, 2015 the law will require that TNC drivers working for companies like Uber, Lyft, and SideCar have an additional level of insurance coverage adding an additional 15 to 20 percent to their insurance costs. This additional insurance cost comes without any increase in pay to cover the expense. This will leave numerous drivers faced with a choice of “quit,” “drive without the additional coverage,” or “lose more of their already meager income to working with Uber.” Currently, most UberX drivers nation-wide earn less than the government mandated minimum wage.
The insurance coverage approved by government fails to meet industry needs as it does not provide “comprehensive” or “collision” coverage within the aforementioned 15 to 20 percent, requiring the driver pay extra for the comprehensive and collision coverage. This means that a driver that gets into an accident during this coverage, that Uber, the Rider, the State, and local community are covered, the driver and his vehicle is not.
This raises two serious questions for me . . . 1. Aren’t TNC drivers citizens of the State? 2. Are they not afforded the same protections government extends to others? I believe the answers should be yes to both questions. So why did government fail to protect the drivers interest in this insurance coverage? How did the approval of this insurance make it through government without one political figure saying “wait!, we have to ensure the drivers are protected. The only level of TNC driver effected by the law is UberX. Getting the necessary coverage to protect the driver and his vehicle will likely cost the driver equal to their current full coverage personal policy. One driver says that the change will cost him $200.00 per month.
For many of the drivers, being able to afford to purchase the insurance isn’t even a question, they can’t. This means that many of the drivers required to have this new insurance will be driving without it or exposing themselves for complete financial loss to protect Uber. This whole situation is sad to say the least. Uber has steadfastly found a way to remove themselves from any liability whatsoever. Their failure to accept liability is it’s own negligence. Their negligence supported by our government is just ridiculous.
It is 2015 and a company is conducting business by violating almost every rule and regulation that is applicable to similar companies. The company manipulates legislation, State, County, and City Leaders and Agency and continues to paying it’s workers less than the local minimum wage through to getting approval of insurance that fails to protect the workers interest without additional expense to the worker . . . AND NO GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL OR AGENCY SEES IT THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO INVESTIGATE THIS COMPANY? Where is GOVERNMENT protection for the worker. These workers are not working with a negotiated contract, but with a forced contract. Many have too much invested to leave the company, even when operating at a loss, and the Company is run by persons that have no respect for law or authority. WHERE IS GOVERNMENT? They are too busy supporting this company to see that they are not protecting their citizens from the wrongs committed.
But, it is the law . . . When it comes to this insurance debate, the law which required the driver have a standard “commercial” policy would have protected all concerned, would have removed the TNC from the insurance requirement completely, and if the $1.00 Rider Safety fee was used to supplement drivers insurance expense, even the driver would have been protected. But, why do I have to make this suggestion? WTF IS GOVERNMENT?