Uber, Lyft and other “transportation network companies” are operating under new regulations in New Jersey after Governor Chris Christie signed a bill into law on February 10, 2017.
The law provides new insurance requirements for vehicles operating within a transportation network. There are two different minimum insurance coverage levels: one applicable when drivers are logged into the digital network but are not providing a ride; and a second applicable when drivers who are in the process of providing a prearranged ride.
The new law requires drivers who are simply logged into the digital network to have primary automobile liability insurance in the amount of at least $50,000 for death or bodily injury per person, $100,000 for death and bodily injury per incident and $25,000 for property damage. Drivers must also have personal injury protection and uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage to the extent required pursuant to New Jersey law. Coverage increases once a driver is engaged in a prearranged ride—the law requires at least $1,500,000 primary automobile liability insurance for death, bodily injury and property damage as well as underinsured and uninsured coverage. These requirements can be satisfied through auto insurance maintained by the driver; insurance maintained by the company; or a combination of the two policies.
For comparison, under state law, New Jersey taxis are required to maintain insurance coverage for $15,000 for bodily injury or death per person, $30,000 for death and bodily injury per accident and $5,000 for property damage (although certain municipalities have increased minimum requirements).
If you are involved in an auto accident with a transportation network company vehicle or are inside such a vehicle at the time of an accident, be aware that the law requires the transportation network company driver to provide proof of their insurance policy to you and all other interested parties (including an investigating law enforcement official). Be sure to ask whether or not the driver was logged into the digital network at the time of the accident, as the driver must disclose this information upon request.
If you are involved in an accident with transportation network company in New Jersey, contact Leonard Sciolla partners Greg Sciolla. Our lawyers are highly experienced in working with insurance companies to get the compensation our clients deserve. Mr. Sciolla and Mr. Leonard can be reached at (856) 273-6679. For accidents in Pennsylvania, contact partners Michael Tinari or Christopher Fleming at (215) 567-1530.
Published April 24, 2017