ICFE eNEWS #16-32 - Sep 8 2016
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For the last few weeks I have been investigating the possibility of
driving part time for Uber. Uber is a ride-hailing service (sometimes
referred to as "ride-sharing") that competes with taxis and limousines.
Passengers hail an Uber ride through a Smartphone app and arrange for a
driver to pick them up, often for less than the cost of a traditional
But unlike a taxi driver, the Uber driver furnishes his own vehicle and is responsible to pay for his own expenses such as fuel, maintenance, and insurance. Those expenses are estimated at up to 60% of the driver's gross earnings.
The appeal is that the driver can set his own schedule by determining how many hours and which hours he is available to offer rides. The driver must take into consideration that the number of potential riders will fluctuate with the day and the time of day.
This type of job flexibility creates particular interest among college students, retired people, and those looking to supplement their income with a nighttime or weekend job.
It is estimated that the average Uber driver can make between $10 - $30 per hour, after expenses, or more in some parts of the country. Tips are not allowed, and the driver is "rated" by his riders (and visa-versa) as to his ability to reflect Uber's standards.
So far, so good. It was when I began to ask questions about insurance coverage that answers were few and far between. It is near impossible to contact Uber directly since they offer no phone numbers, email addresses, or website contact links. But after weeks of research, dozens of Google searches, and conversations with multiple insurance agents, I have nailed down the following facts, some of which may vary from state to state:
As many as 92% of Uber drivers surveyed failed to check with their
insurance companies before starting to drive for Uber, while others who
anticipated insurance problems, gambled that they would not be involved
in an accident.
With these insurance issues in mind, I have decided to forgo the risk of driving for Uber.
I am not telling you not to drive for them, but I am suggesting you check with your insurance company before jumping behind the wheel. The time to do your research is not after you have had an accident.
Special thanks to Kemp Huebner (515-276-1797) and Chris Doubleday (515-964-0637), two veteran insurance agents, for their insights and information concerning this subject.
© Jim Garnett, The Debt Doctor
AskMrG Consulting, LLC
2216 SW 35th Street
Ankeny, IA 50023
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