The International Association of Transportation Regulators (IATR) has issued an advisory regarding insurance coverage for individuals using private vehicles to provide public transportation services. These services have been referred to as “rideshare” companies; however IATR dismisses the use of the term as inaccurate. In summary the IATR report concludes the following:
- Use of the term “ridesharing” to describe these services is improper as the term specifically refers to grouping travelers based on common origin and/or destination; the exchange of money transforms these services into a commercial/for-hire enterprise that are more appropriately identified as Transportation Network Companies (TNCs).
- The issue of inadequate insurance coverage seriously jeopardizes public safety with at least eleven states issuing insurance gap warnings as personal vehicle insurance does not apply to for-hire use and insurance companies are addressing the issue by specifically excluding coverage of TNCs.
- Litigation is pending in several states seeking clarification of the TNC operator’s liability and indemnification for injuries suffered.
- Close review of mandated insurance coverage is needed to ensure that TNCs do not misrepresent or distort the facts about this complex matter given the confusion regarding exclusions to coverage.
- The IATR recommends insurance coverage should be available at all times while private drivers are on call or duty, and not just when passengers have entered the vehicle.