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There could be a big liability problem with the growing trend of “Ride-Sharing.”

The Property Casualty Insurers Association of America (PCI) reminds people that personal auto insurance policies will not provide coverage if a car is used in a ride-sharing program, otherwise known as transportation network companies (TNCs).

NBC Today reports that thirteen states and the District of Columbia are issuing warnings to passengers that they may not be covered by insurance if a hired ride-sharing driver has an accident. The report also talks to two men stuck with medical bills after a crash in a ride-sharing vehicle.

Ride-sharing is a new transportation trend in major cities around the country where a company uses a smartphone app to connect drivers with people needing a ride for a fee as part of an organized program. “Insurers support innovative ideas, however the drivers and passengers that ride in these cars must know where they stand regarding insurance coverage, said Kelly Campbell, PCI vice president. “Personal auto insurance policies are not intended for commercial activities and contain a specific ‘livery’ exclusion which bars coverage if the car is used to transport passengers for a fee. These exclusions have been upheld in the courts for decades.”

In other words, there may be a coverage gap, especially if the driver is involved in a serious crash while working as a TNC employee. Commercial ride-sharing operators need commercial insurance coverage to protect their vehicle, pay for any injuries they sustain and to cover loss of income from an accident.

While a person’s medical and auto insurance might follow them if they use ride-sharing, the driver’s insurance may not pay their medical bills following a crash.

Consumer Reports wrote a recent article warning drivers about the issues incurred with being a part-time taxi driver.

Make sure your auto and home coverage is up-to-date, contact a California Casualty advisor at 1.866-552-3278 or go to www.calcas.com.

California Casualty, provides auto and home insurance to teachers, law enforcement officers, firefighters and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866-552-3278 or www.calcas.com.

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