Leaked Transcript Shows Geico’s Stance Against Uber, Lyft

by Carolyn Said, San Francisco Chronicle

uber lyft sidecar vehicle

Colin@TheTruthAbout / Wikimedia Commons

The Geico gecko won’t be hopping into a Lyft or UberX car any time soon.

An internal sales-training document from the insurance giant lays out the hard line it takes with policyholders who give paid rides through the two San Francisco companies. “Please Group Reject the policy” of customers involved in “ridesharing,” one section reads. Another provides a script for telling customers that their policies don’t cover vehicles used for the ride services, and that they can seek coverage elsewhere for their cars — or may have to prove they no longer drive for Uber or Lyft.

While it’s long been known that many insurers reject personal auto policies if they discover that the drivers engage in commercial activities, the frank language of the script obtained by The Chronicle — and three mentions of referring ride-service drivers to a fraud unit — underscores how seriously insurance companies view the situation.

“Private passenger auto policy isn’t intended to cover livery services,” said Nicole Mahrt Ganley, a spokeswoman for the Property Casualty Insurers Association of America. “There is little question that engaging in livery services is a material change in the nature of the risk being insured, and most states would allow companies to cancel coverage in those situations.”

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