Commonwealth Magazine (opinion): Liability not an issue with rideshare ballot question

First, let’s be clear: the proposed ballot question would bring additional protection for rideshare and delivery drivers, requiring all companies to purchase occupational accident insurance for each driver on their respective platforms. That required insurance would ensure that drivers who are injured while engaged in a ride or delivery are protected by up to $1 million to cover hospital bills or lost pay, and also cover death and burial benefits for the drivers’ families in the event of tragedy.

Second, that new requirement would be in addition to existing Massachusetts law, which already requires Uber, Lyft, and rideshare companies to provide $1 million automobile liability insurance for any drivers engaged in a ride. To put that amount in perspective, Massachusetts’ taxi drivers (who are also independent contractors) are only required to carry $20,000 in liability insurance. This liability insurance requirement was just one piece of the landmark 2016 Massachusetts rideshare law, which established what Gov. Charlie Baker’s office called “the most stringent ride-for-hire background check system of any state in the country.” The law created an entire division within the Department of Public Utilities specifically to regulate TNCs, oversee the background check system, and monitor compliance with the liability insurance requirement.

Gary J. Lieberman

Management side attorney, Littler

Continue reading this opinion piece in Commonwealth Magazine.