The word floodgate is used a lot. In thinking about its origins it basically means the following: a barrier is opened and millions of gallons of water come crashing out, smashing their way through anything in its path. Imagine Godzilla stepping on an ant. In other words, if you know the floodgate is going to open, make sure you’re not on the wrong side.
Considering I have now committed the cardinal sin of too much punnery, I’ll make it simple:
If strangers pay you to drive them places, you are operating a business.
If you operate a business with your car, your personal car insurance will not cover you.
If you are an UberX driver: I can say, with a lot of confidence, you are not paying for commercial insurance.
That 5 million dollar insurance policy that Uber waves around? My understanding, which is obviously limited, is that it covers Uber. Not the driver. Not the passenger. Uber. The passenger needs to show Uber did something negligent and can then sue Uber. Insurance protects Uber. The driver needs to show they are an employee of Uber. Unfortunately, the entire concept of Uber is that they are not a taxi company or service. The drivers ARE NOT employees of Uber. Uber simply allows drivers to connect with willing passengers. They are the public message boards posted around town.
What this means in reality? If you’re an UberX driver, pick your pun of choice. But either way, unless you are both fireproof and a marine animal, it isn’t going to be pretty. No one should be driving as an UberX driver without first informing their insurance company. No one should be a passenger in an UberX vehicle unless they have their own automobile insurance.
Uber, regular, are licensed taxi drivers who pay very high insurance rates. UberX are not licensed taxi drivers.
Why consult with your insurance company? Take a moment to read this article: http://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/2015/10/31/insurer-cancelling-policies-of-uberx-drivers.html.
The leaks have sprung. Anonymous tipster 1, non-taxi driving taxi drivers aka UberX drivers, 0.