for UberX, Lyft, SideCar and Washington Taxis
SB 5550, a new insurance law for Uber, Lyft and SideCar, was signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee on May 11th, 2015.
Insurance, while there’s no passenger in the vehicle, is seldom the first portion of insurance that people consider. However it may actually represent the majority of the time an Uber, Lyft or Sidecar driver has their app on and, therefore, the biggest risk to other vehicles and people on the road.
SB 5550 specifically targets this period.
Here’s how we see it.
Seattle Yellow Cab operates a fleet of 580 Taxis in the Seattle area and enjoys a contract to provide a hybrid fleet specifically for SeaTac airport with both sedans and 8 to 10 passenger vans. Taxis are available at Taxi Stands on the third floor of the parking garage 24/7/365. The new SYC app uses regular taxis fares without a booking fee, surcharges or surge pricing.
SB 5550, signed into law 5/11/2015, specifically addresses insurance requirements for UberX, Lyft & SideCar while their vehicles are driving around with the app open and looking for fares, before passengers get in. Anecdotal evidence suggests this represents the majority of the time they have the app on. Currently no commercial coverage when there is no passenger, which is most of the time. Hope that you don’t get hit by a UberX vehicle before July 24th, 2015 when SB 5550 becomes effective. If they have no passenger, chances are they have no commercial insurance. If they are operating only with personal insurance, chances are the claim will be denied. Seattle Yellow Cab’s position. There is no rational reason why coverage amounts should be less for UberX, Lyft or Sidecar than for a traditional Taxi. Regardless if your car is hit by a UberX or a Taxi, or if there is a passenger in the vehicle or not, you’re still hurt. SB 5550 also leaves additional gaps without any commercial insurance that need to be filled. But we feel SB 5550 is better than having thousands of Uber, Lyft & Sidecar vehicles driving around our streets looking for fares with no commercial insurance coverage whatsoever. So despite it’s shortcomings, we supported the passage of SB 5550.