Lyft’s Express Drive Program allows drivers to rent a car, earn money, drive unlimited miles and do it all without a long-term contract. Costs are covered, so you never have to pay for insurance or maintenance. As a person that wants to earn money with a rental car, Express Drive offers a world of opportunity.
You’ll be required to pay a 100% refundable security deposit, and you’ll only be required to provide 20 rides every seven days to stay in your rental car.
Rental costs are deducted automatically from your earnings, and you can return the vehicle any time you wish after the seven-day period.
But what happens if you’re in an accident when you’re renting your car? Are you in trouble?
Liability for Damages Under the Lyft Express Program
Express Drive offers great opportunities for drivers, but there is also the question of what happens if an accident occurs. The current program may have liability for the accident fall on either:
- Driver’s personal insurance
- Lyft’s insurance
- Hertz insurance
Hertz may be on the hook because the rental company has partnered with Lyft to offer the Express Drive program. The two companies partnered in 2018, and the program does have a $2,500 deductible for any damage to the vehicle.
The insurance program, under the current iteration of the program, is tiered.
A driver may have the app up or not when an accident occurs, and this will change the way that the insurance coverage works.
Accidents When the Driver is Not Logged Into the App
Accidents can and do occur when a driver is not logged into the app. Perhaps the driver just dropped off their last passenger and is on their way home. If this happens and an accident occurs, coverage will be:
- $30,000 for a single-injury accident
- $60,000 for a multiple-injury accident
Hertz would cover these expenses.
Accidents When the Driver is Logged into the App
Perhaps the driver is driving to a passenger with the app open and an accident occurs. In this case, the coverage is much higher. When this happens, Lyft’s policy will cover:
- $50,000 for a single-injury accident
- $100,000 for a multiple-injury accident
If a passenger is in the vehicle at the time of the accident, Lyft’s insurance will kick in and offer $1 million in liability.
Drivers and other motorists will have to deal with a tiered insurance policy, which will make it more difficult to recover damages. If you’re a motorist that has been in an accident with a Lyft Express driver, there’s a chance that your claim will be denied by Hertz and then shifted to Lyft.
There is a lot of flexibility to allow the blame to be shifted under Lyft’s current policy.
When this happens, claims can be denied or take significantly longer for the claim to be approved. Other motorists involved in the accident will have fair compensation for their property’s damage and injuries prolonged as a result of these complexities.
Drivers will, under all circumstances, be on the hook for a $2,500 deductible for a vehicle that they do not own and will likely never drive again.