In case you missed the ruling in the past weeks, drivers from companies such as Lyft, Uber, and others are now legally allowed to operate throughout New York State.
The news seemed to catch a few agencies by surprise with ’emergency’ legislation hurriedly being announced.
But what does it mean for you drivers?
Well, it’s not that simple, and if you plan to operate upstate and inside NYC, the situation is even more complex.
Effective from 1st July, drivers can work across New York state as long as specific and local legislations is followed. From the more simple; the need to display a ‘prominent emblem’ to highlight to a passenger which rideshare company you work for.
More critically, drivers need to check whether their current insurance policies allow them to work for Uber or Lyft. The challenge being the most personal auto-policies will NOT provide complete coverage for all periods of use.
As many of you know, there are three phases or periods requiring insurance cover:
1) You have the app on and no live job
2) The app is turned on, and you are on route to your pickup
3) You have a rider on board
Now, most rideshare operators can provide you with cover for periods two and three but there are grey areas and indeed gaps in coverage between period one and two.
The situation is further complicated should you decide to operate under a New York state license. It’s fine for you to pickup a passenger in say Nassau County and drop to the airport or into NYC. After the drop-off, you are not legally allowed or covered if you pick a passenger within NYC boundaries. Clear as the Hudson right?
Additionally, “The DMV is required to establish complaint procedures for license violations of ride sharing companies. And ride sharing companies must put in place a process for consumer complaints.
These are early days for the new legislation; New York State agencies are all hurrying to get their own houses in order. If you are not clear, do two things:
1/ If you are currently driving under a personal auto policy, check that you are covered to drive for any of all of the rideshare providers.
2/ If you intended to operate outside NYC and also within NYC, the safest way to ensure you have cover at all times, is to research commercial cover.
We will keep an eye on the changing developments and share any updates as they happen.