NASHVILLE – With the rise of public transportation and ridesharing services steering many consumers away from the driver’s seat, the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance (TDCI) encourages Tennesseans to rethink their auto insurance options to determine if new products such as usage-based insurance (UBI) may be a good fit for their driving behaviors.
With UBI, the auto insurer monitors your driving behavior and uses that information to determine your rates. The new DriveCheck assessment from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is designed to help consumers determine if UBI may be a suitable choice based on their driving habits. The DriveCheck tool takes consumers through a few questions while providing more information about how UBI works. At the end, users receive an assessment of the likelihood they will benefit from UBI.
“As mobility preferences change, we encourage consumers to re-evaluate their auto insurance needs and choices,” said TDCI Commissioner and NAIC President Elect Julie Mix McPeak. “Resources like NAIC’s DriveCheck are a helpful way for Tennesseans to evaluate new insurance products that may be available for consumers whose driving habits have shifted.”
If UBI isn’t for you, TDCI and NAIC encourage you talk to your insurer to determine if there are other cost-saving opportunities. Discounts may be available in Tennessee for multiple vehicles, driver education courses, good student, safety devices, anti-theft devices, low mileage, good driver/renewal, auto/home package and dividends.
If you’ve given up driving altogether, there are still risks to consider before accepting a shared ride from a company like Uber or Lyft. Most ridesharing companies have liability policies to cover any passenger injuries. If you are injured while riding, report a claim with the driver’s insurer and the ridesharing company’s insurer.
If you’re considering contracting as an Uber or Lyft driver, make sure you understand the insurance implications. Review these ridesharing tips from NAIC’s Insure U before you get behind the wheel.
TDCI also reminds Tennesseans that ridesharing companies and/or their drivers operating in Tennessee must follow these regulations:
- Drivers must maintain primary auto coverage that recognizes the driver as a Transportation Network Company (TNC) driver.
- When logged on to the app but not engaged in a prearranged ride (has not been connected with a rider), the driver must have primary auto liability insurance of at least 50/100/25 (dollar limits in thousands for bodily injury per individual/bodily injury per accident/ property).
- When the driver is engaged in a prearranged ride, driver must have primary auto liability insurance at a minimum of $1,000,000 for death, bodily injury, and property.
- If an accident occurs and the driver does not have coverage, the company is required to provide coverage and has a duty to defend the claim.
- Permits an insurer offering personal auto to expressly exclude coverage during times an insured is acting as a TNC driver under the terms of the policy, and the exclusion alleviates the insurance company from a duty to defend or pay any claim.
- Drivers must carry proof of coverage at all times and are prohibited from transacting their business in cash.
- The TNC must provide a picture of the driver and license plate number.
- Maintain two years of trip records.
For additional information about usage-based insurance and the DriveCheck assessment tool, visit NAIC at insureuonline.org.
For help with all things insurance in Tennessee, contact the TDCI Consumer Insurance Service Division at 1-800-342-4029 or (615) 741-2218, or visit us online.