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California Approves First Car Insurance Policy For Lyft Drivers

SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) – California's insurance commissioner has approved the first auto insurance policy specifically for Lyft drivers who have a passenger in the car, insurance commissioner Dave Jones announced Monday.

The product from MetLife Auto & Home insurance is the first insurance policy in California that individually covers drivers for app-based ride booking services like Uber and Lyft who have accepted a ride and have a passenger in the car.

MetLife's product is specifically for Lyft drivers, despite that Lyft already offers a $1 million liability policy that takes effect when the driver accepts a ride until the end of the ride.

Lyft also offers a $100,000 contingent policy for when the app is on but the driver hasn't yet accepted a ride. That policy only takes effect if the driver's personal insurance policy won't cover an accident in those circumstances.

MetLife's policy, designed in collaboration with Lyft, seems primarily designed to make sure drivers know what their insurance policy is during that period.

Metlife's policy was first rolled out this January in Colorado but was only approved to take effect in California starting this week.

The policy is not the first approved in California for drivers working for Uber or Lyft - Farmers and Metromile have their own offerings - but it is the first to also cover drivers that have already accepted or picked up a passenger, a period that previously was covered only by the company.

New California legislation requires drivers to be insured at all times when driving for a company like Uber or Lyft, but the insurance can be provided by the company, the driver, or by a combination of the two.

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