Uber drivers receive expanded insurance following young girl's death

The New Year’s Eve death of a six-year-old girl highlighted a potential flaw in the ride-sharing ecosystem: Uber insures its non-professional drivers while they’re on the job, and their personal insurance covers them when they’re off the clock, but during in-between moments, as when a driver is logged on awaiting new fares, it’s not clear which coverage obtains.

The world appears to be moving towards a future where private vehicles double as public transportation. But the road along the way is far from smooth. The latest evidence: an announcement this morning from San Francisco ride-sharing startup Uber that it’s expanding insurance coverage for the drivers that make its service go. The company — a poster child of the “sharing economy,” though the company shuns the term — is expanding insurance plans to cover drivers who are running Uber’s app in their personal vehicles but aren’t carrying passengers at the time of an accident. The decision stems from the case of a little girl struck and killed by an Uber driver New Year’s Eve in San Francisco. Because the driver wasn’t carrying a passenger, the girl’s death wasn’t covered under Uber’s insurance policy.

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