Technology has done so much for us. Whether it has been the ability to binge on Netflix, search any news item from a little device in your pocket, videoconference with friends and family across the globe, we really have come so far in just the past decade.
A new addition to this last is ride sharing. If you haven't heard of Uber or Lyft, you definitely will be in the next few months. These apps allow you to request a ride from your phone. The driver arrives through your location via GPS and transports you to your intended destination. To make it even simpler, the whole ride is paid through your phone. Easy, isn't it?
From the driver side, if you have a car and a phone, driving for one of these companies can be a way to make some extra money after work or supplement income if you work part-time. While this is an amazing opportunity many people are taking advantage of, be sure to go through the proper steps to ensure that you are protected while using your car for commercial purposes (something most standard auto insurance policies do not cover!).
Speak with your Insurance Provider - The first step is to speak with your insurance provider. They should be your go-to contact before you even sign up for a program. As laws are changing on ride sharing as we speak, they are the experts of what you can and cannot do within your current coverage.
Contact the Ride Share Service - Many of these providers offer insurance policies that you can purchase additionally. That being said, there may be certain gaps between the ride share insurance and your current insurance policy you should address. By presenting the ride share insurance policy and your current policy to your provider, they can help identify and address any potential issues. With their help you can get on the road sooner and start earning money.
Understand the Distinctions – Now is the time to ask questions. Since ride sharing is a relatively new field, there are many grey areas to traverse. For example, will insurance cover damage to the inside of my vehicle? Or, does my ride share insurance work if I am not driving anyone but am still using the app and get in an accident? These are all important questions to ask early on in the process before you are stuck in one of these issues.
Document – As a driver, it is crucially important to be able to document anything related to your vehicle. For example, if a rider gets sick in your car be sure to take photos and report it to the service, as oftentimes you are then able to charge that rider a few hundred dollars to get your car properly cleaned. Be sure to document an accident as well. Take photos and get information to send to your provider regardless of where the fault lies. This can help in case anyone changes their story or is there is a discrepancy between insurance companies.
Check on local rules - While you may want to hop in the car and start driving today, you need to make sure your city or town is fine with it. Many regions are instituting new ordinances that may affect whether or not you can drive in your area. Some counties require extra security validation while others completely outlaw ride sharing and subject drivers to fines. Remember, the purpose of driving is to make money, not spend it on fines!
Ride sharing is an amazing opportunity for everyone from students, 9-5 workers, to stay-at-home parents. By doing your homework and being properly prepared, you will be able to start earning money in no time.