Mercury Insurance has expanded its rideshare insurance offerings to Illinois and Oklahoma, just a few weeks after joining online insurance comparison shopping platform CoverHound.
Los Angeles-based Mercury began offering the rideshare coverage in January 2016 in California. With the expansion into Illinois and Oklahoma — which was announced last week — Mercury’s markets now include California, Arizona, Nevada, Oklahoma, and Illinois.
CoverHound announced it joined the booming rideshare market late last month, and partnered with several large carriers — including Mercury Insurance — to offer auto insurance quotes in 24 states for people who drive for rideshare services, such as Uber or Lyft. The San Francisco, Calif.-based insurance technology company said it intends to expand the service nationwide by yearend, Keith Moore, chief executive of CoverHound, told Mobility Finance.
Currently, rideshare drivers in Oklahoma can choose between Allstate, Farmers, GEICO, Mercury, State Farm, and USAA for their rideshare insurance policy, while Illinois drivers can choose from Farmers, Erie, Travelers, GEICO, USAA, Allstate, SafeCo, Mercury, MetLife, and Metromile, according to Harry Campbell, founder of The Rideshare Guy blog. Mercury’s ride-hailing insurance will extend drivers’ personal auto policies from Period 1 through Period 3 of the drive cycle, according to the company.
The ride-hailing drive cycle is divided into three periods, which has opened up the insurance market to new business as personal and commercial insurance has evolved.
Period 1 is when drivers have turned on the ride-hailing app but haven’t accepted a fare; Period 2 is when drivers have accepted a fare and are on their way to pick up the passenger; and Period 3 is when drivers are transporting a passenger to his or her destination.
Typically, drivers are only covered by the rideshare company’s commercial insurance once the driver has accepted a ride. This poses a problem for drivers who are waiting for a request during Period 1, as he or she does not have collision coverage and much lower liability limits.
With a Mercury rideshare insurance policy, this means that if drivers get into an accident during any period of the cycle, they will have coverage beyond the coverage provided by the rideshare company’s commercial insurance. Mercury’s ride-hailing insurance will also fix the insured’s vehicle in a covered loss if those coverages have been purchased from Mercury, according to the company.
Mercury Insurance declined to comment for this story.
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