Woman walking with service dog talking to Uber

Can I Refuse An Uber Or Lyft Passenger With A Service Animal?

While driving for Uber or Lyft, you may occasionally meet a passenger who wants to bring their furry friend along for the ride. At first, the limitations regarding pets can seem a bit unclear, regardless of which rideshare company you’re working for. More often than not, allowing pets is entirely up to the driver’s discretion, but should your passenger be accompanied by a service animal, you absolutely cannot refuse to allow the animal in your vehicle. There are some pretty steep consequences for denying a service animal, and so a general rule of thumb is to both prepare your car for and to expect furry passengers while driving.

The Rules Regarding Non-Service Animals

If a passenger arrives at your car with their pet, and the animal is clearly not a service animal, you are permitted to decline the ride at your own discretion. There are a few reasons why you may not want an animal in your car, the most common being the potential mess that shed fur or dirty paws could cause to the interior of your vehicle. These are rational concerns and could very well infringe upon your time and performance for the rest of the day, so it’s understandable to decline a pet under these circumstances.

Should you feel uncomfortable allowing a particular animal on board, always be sure to politely ask the rider if the pet is a service animal first. Due to the very strict laws surrounding service animals, it’s always best to double check and protect yourself before you make your decision. If the animal is not a service animal, you may civilly inform the passenger that you won’t be able to transport their pet. At this point, they may cancel their ride and request another driver.

Always let your passenger know that even though they canceled the ride, if they reach out to Uber or Lyft and explain the situation, they will most likely receive a refund for the ride cancellation fee they’ll incur. Also, to help your passenger in the future, advise them to give their driver a call in advance to make sure they’ll be okay with the rider bringing along their pet.

Otherwise, feel free to welcome on any pets that you encounter!

Federal Law – Uber, Lyft & Service Animals

Federal law is quite clear on service animals. According to the Americans With Disabilities Act, businesses that serve the public generally must allow service animals to accompany people with disabilities in all areas of the facility where the public is normally allowed to go.

So, when it comes to the law, you must allow a service animal in your vehicle. Failure to do so can not only get you deactivated from the Uber or Lyft system, but can also leave you open to a lawsuit for violating someone’s civil rights!
In fact, federal law is so strict when it comes to service animals, that you are even limited in the questions you can ask the owner of the service animal. From the ada.gov site:

When it is not obvious what service an animal provides, only limited inquiries are allowed. Staff may ask two questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform. Staff cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task.

So, that’s it. You can ask if the dog is a service animal, and what work the dog has been trained to perform. Any other questions are improper and a violation of the law.

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Lyft’s Service Animal Policy

Lyft is pretty clear with their stance on service animals: Always Say Yes. There’s no room for doubt there. You absolutely may not refuse service to a passenger who is accompanied by a service animal, regardless of your personal stance on transporting animals, allergies, or any other objection. This may be important to keep in mind if you’re uncertain about driving with pets in your car, seeing as there are some pretty strict consequences for breaking that rule.

Lyft defines a service animal as any animal trained to perform tasks for a person with a disability. They are not required to wear anything to indicate they are a service animal, nor do they need to be registered. Riders do not need to provide proof that the animal is a service animal. Therefore, if a rider claims the pet is a service animal, you must absolutely take them at their word for it and transport that animal.

Should you refuse a passenger with a service animal, you can suffer immediate and permanent deactivation from driving for Lyft. That’s an extremely harsh punishment, so the best advice I can give is to follow their all-encompassing rule: Always Say Yes.

Uber Lyft Service Animal

Uber’s Service Animal Policy

Uber’s policy is substantially similar to Lyft’s when it comes to service animals. Always says yes. You may ask if the animal is required because of a disability, and you may ask what work they have been trained to perform, but you may not ask for any details regarding the passenger’s disability or medical documentation. In that same way, you cannot demand the passenger present any sort of registration for the animal.

As with Lyft, Uber does not require that a service animal wear any sort of uniform nor display any identification as a registered service animal. They do not approve of denying a ride to any passenger with a service animal based on fear, allergies, or religious objection.

If you deny service to a passenger with a service animal, you are considered in violation of your driver-partner agreement, and you will be permanently prevented from using the Driver App as soon as an investigation is completed regarding the incident. They may not have a catchy phrase surrounding their service animal policies, but Uber is just as severe as Lyft when it comes to declining rides. All in all, you’re best off just saying yes to any animals you encounter.

Why Uber & Lyft Are So Strict About Service Animals

The reason Uber & Lyft take service animal policy so seriously is that it is a massive liability issue. If they weren’t as strict as they were, there would be facing multiple civil rights lawsuits that they would be highly likely to lose. Also, if it became a large enough news story, the Justice Department would likely investigate. Uber already has enough trouble in that area, and Lyft wants to continue to avoid that type of trouble.

Extra Rules for Driver Pets

As a general rule, drivers are not permitted to bring their pets with them out of respect for passenger comfort and allergies. However, if you have your own personal service animal, you are within your rights to have that animal accompany you while you drive.

It’s worth noting that even though you are permitted to have a service animal as an Uber or Lyft driver, you should make every effort to reach out to your passengers before pick-up. Once you accept a ride, make sure you contact your rider to let them know you have an animal, ask if they have any objections to the animal, and warn them that you are one seat short if they need a full car to transport their party. If they have any objections, they may cancel their ride request and reach out to Uber or Lyft to receive a refund for their cancellation fee. Both companies are typically understanding of this unique situation and neither passenger nor driver will be held responsible. In the end, as with all rides you accept, communicating with your passenger can save a great deal of hassle.


Woman Giving Uber Driver Five Stars

Nail that Five Star Uber Or Lyft Rating Every Day

Ratings are arguably one of the most important things an Uber or Lyft driver needs to worry about. Maintaining a good rating not only puts you in good standing with your riders by giving them a stellar first impression, but it saves you from worrying about a performance critique and even disciplinary actions based on poor ratings. It may change based on your market, but suffering too low of a rating (usually below a 4.6) can even lead to either Uber or Lyft deactivating you as a driver!

It’s pretty obvious, then, why you should always strive to keep your rating as high as possible. Getting a five star rating with every ride is doubly important to part-time drivers, if only because it can be so challenging to recover from one botched ride. Uber averages up to your past five hundred rides to determine your rating, while Lyft is considerably more forgiving by averaging only your past one hundred rides. However, this also means that a bad rating on Lyft has more effect on your overall rating in the short term.

The threat of a sudden dip in rating can cause a lot of stress in drivers. There’s some relief in the fact that your riders are also subject to the rating system – and can be marked down for being rude, messy, or aggressive. This can help you avoid potentially bad situations, and most drivers will be wary about accepting rides from any passenger with a rating below 4.7. Unfortunately, there’s only so much you can gauge on passenger rating alone, and you may find yourself dealing with some unexpected bumps in the road.

The good news? There are plenty of little ways to prepare ahead of time, all but guaranteeing your five stars no matter the sort of passenger you’re faced with!

Know Your Area

One of the most critical things that will affect your rating as an Uber or Lyft driver is how efficiently you can transport your passenger to their destination. We’ve all experienced hiccups in our GPS that have led us down wildly out-of-the-way streets due to faulty navigation and programming. The worst possible time for that to happen is while you have a passenger in your backseat who’s not only being charged for your mistakes but could potentially be running late thanks to your roundabout driving. Not knowing where you’re going, or taking forever to get there, is one of the easiest ways to earn yourself a bad rating as an Uber or Lyft driver,

Do your best to learn your area and maybe even explore back roads to find convenient short-cuts you can use to handle things like traffic or detours. Your passengers will appreciate your ability to quickly and seamlessly get them where they need to go. By far, knowing your way around is the easiest way to get rated five stars on most trips.

Woman Rating Lyft Driver 5 Stars

Perfect the Pick-Up

Both Uber and Lyft have a pretty clear standard for how you’re meant to pick up your passengers. You’ll have to be curbside and outside the flow of traffic to ensure the person’s safety. That sounds like common sense and easy enough, but it can be pretty challenging if you’re driving on city streets, in a busy downtown area, or anywhere else with a tight gridlock. If you know you’re going to be picking up passengers in a place where it may be tough to get directly curbside, communicate with your rider and arrange a spot that works for both of you. They’ll appreciate your going the extra mile to pick them up safely and easily.

Another tricky part of pick-ups can be unfamiliar shopping malls and apartment complexes. Just like above, it’s always wise to reach out to your passenger and ask them where they’d like to be picked up. That’ll save you a lot of hassle in circling around, trying to nail down exactly where their pin is on the map. More often than not, you can agree to a certain shop front or landmark, or have your passenger meet you near the main office of their apartment complex.

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Be Polite

This is a no-brainer, but is sometimes overlooked by busy drivers trying to multitask their app while navigating traffic. Always greet your passenger with a smile and assess if there’s any way you can help them get comfortable in your car. Do they need help loading bags into the trunk? Do they need help installing a car seat? Do they have a walker or any other form of disability that may need help when loading and unloading from the car?

Passengers will always feel grateful if you go above and beyond. Taking a few moments of your time to treat them like a person and not another transaction will absolutely reflect in your ratings. Striking up casual conversation with those who are interested in it, and making an overall effort to be friendly, will almost always get you the rating you’re after.

Take Care of Your Car

No passenger is going to appreciate a dirty car. It’s up to you to regularly wash your car so that your riders are comfortable. It’s generally a good rule of thumb to leave time in your schedule every week or so to swing by the car wash, or, at the very least, vacuum your car mats and upholstery. Depending on your area, there are many self-service car washes that offer a discounted monthly membership. Given how often you’ll be cleaning your car, you can save yourself a lot of money by signing up for a program like that!

Invest in a good air freshener like Ozium and keep some papers towels on hand, just in case you need to clean up a sudden spill. Your glove box makes a good catch-all for a package of Lysol wipes or a can of air freshener, should you need them. Believe me, they’re a life-saver when someone spills their food or beverage, or happens to get sick in your backseat. Your next passenger will definitely appreciate not getting into a messy (or stinky!) car.

Uber Passenger Trouble

Driver Safety: How to Handle Unruly Passengers

While working as an Uber or Lyft driver, chances are that most of your passengers won’t give you any trouble. The average passenger will strike up casual conversation with you or entertain themselves while you drive them to their destination. Unfortunately, like any customer service job, you may encounter the occasional unexpected upstart that could threaten your day with unruly or unlawful behavior.

The best thing you can do as a driver when handling these passengers is to try and be prepared ahead of time, and to stay calm. If you’re knowledgeable on how to handle some of the more common problems drivers have with riders, you should be able to breeze through even the most unruly of passengers. Below, we’ll take a look at some of these typical legal issues and explore how we as drivers can mitigate the fallout from an otherwise problematic situation.

My Passenger is Underage

While sometimes overlooked by new drivers, there is a clear rule in most cities that drivers are not permitted to take unaccompanied minors in their car. That means that you are absolutely not allowed to transport anyone under the age of eighteen, something that is reiterated on both the Uber and the Lyft website. In fact, both rideshare companies refuse to allow users to make a new account without confirming that they are above the age of eighteen. In reality though, both Uber & Lyft have many underage riders on their systems.

The reason is that it’s relatively easy for minors to circumvent the no minor rule. By using a parent or a friend’s account, minors can request rides and often it’s impossible to tell until you arrive for the pick-up. These rides aren’t always malicious – I encountered busy moms just trying to ship their kid off to school more than once – but legally, it’s still inappropriate to accept the ride.

The best response in this situation is to explain the law and request the rider cancel their request voluntarily. If they refuse, you can instead cancel the ride yourself. For Uber drivers, select “unaccompanied minor” from the prompt of reasons you’ll receive in the app. It shouldn’t take long before you receive a cancellation fee credit. If, for whatever reason, the “unaccompanied minor” choice doesn’t appear on the list, select “no-show” instead after five minutes have passed and shoot an e-mail out explaining that the rider was a minor.

For Lyft drivers, you’ll have to call the passenger, cancel the ride, and then email Lyft to explain why you canceled. They typically respond quickly and will issue the cancellation refund within the day.

My Passenger is Trying to Bring an Infant Without a Car Seat

Driving an infant or a toddler around without a car seat can be a major hazard for the child’s well-being, and is pretty much illegal in every city. For this reason, riders are always permitted to bring their own car seat along and install it within their Uber or Lyft car to safely transport their child from one location to the next. However, not every parent has the foresight to do this, and you may be faced with someone attempting to bring their child on board without a car seat. I’ve encountered this a number of times, but you can bet I canceled the ride rather than put the infant’s life at risk.

If you should encounter a parent without a car seat, you can and should decline driving them unless they are able to secure a car seat for the ride. As always, ask your passenger to cancel the ride themselves. If they refuse or give you a hard time, cancel the ride yourself. For Uber drivers, select the appropriate option from the prompt screen if it’s available. For Lyft drivers, cancel and then email Lyft to explain the circumstances.

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My Passengers Are Over the Legal Number of Passengers

It’s a pretty common sense rule, but Uber and Lyft both clearly state that you may only allow as many passengers in your car as there are available seatbelts. You are not permitted to cram extra bodies into your car for the sake of being frugal or traveling together. It creates a pretty dangerous scenario for everyone involved, greatly increasing your chances of getting into an accident while driving.

If this happens, inform your passengers that you can take only as many people as you have seatbelts, and have them request a second ride for the rest of their party. If the group isn’t too large, they can also attempt to cancel their ride and request a larger vehicle from the app. If your riders won’t accept either option, cancel the ride yourself.

As above, for Uber drivers you can select “too many riders” once you’ve canceled the ride, and for Lyft, you’ll have to cancel and then email to explain the situation.

My Passenger Is Harassing Me

Harassment can come in many forms, none of which are acceptable when working as a rideshare driver. While rare, you may encounter passengers that will test you with unwelcome sexual advances, uncomfortable conversation, or belligerent threats of violence. It’s hard to predict which passengers may turn out to be problematic once you have them in your car, but just because you’ve accepted the ride doesn’t mean you’re totally helpless.

If you feel threatened by your passenger in any way, pull over to the side of the road and request they exit the car immediately. Do your best to be polite, so as to avoid encouraging further aggressive behavior, but be firm enough in your control of the situation. If necessary, you can escalate to involve law enforcement, but it’s pretty rare that a situation with a passenger will make it to that point. A number of drivers have started using Google Hangouts (or similar apps) to stay in touch with each other while on the road. If you encounter a situation that makes you uncomfortable, in addition to the actions above, you can quickly send a short message to the group with your location.

Once you’re safe, the passenger is removed and the ride is complete, contact Lyft or Uber to let them know what happened. In most cases, they will make sure you are never matched with that rider again to avoid further problems. In extreme situations, they may remove the rider from using their service entirely, but that is up to Uber or Lyft’s discretion. Usually, unless you involve the police, the troublesome rider will not be removed from the system. This is a troublesome aspect that both and Lyft and Uber need to address.

Have you had a troublesome experience with a passenger? Let us know in the comments below.

Rideshare insurance 2017

Rideshare Insurance

Rideshare Insurance Guide For Uber And Lyft Drivers


If you Drive With Lyft or Uber in most states, you probably have a number of affordable rideshare insurance options. Most of the major insurance companies now offer rideshare insurance coverage, including Farmers, State Farm, USAA, Geico, Metlife, Progressive, and Allstate.

More recently, a few companies have even started to offer Amazon Flex insurance, Doordash insurance, and Instacart insurance.

A couple of years ago, it was next to impossible to find coverage. Now, rideshare insurance is available in all 50 states. Coverage has been available for a while in states like California, Texas, and Illinois. But now you can also find rideshare insurance in states where it wasn’t previously available, like Florida, Hawaii, and even North Carolina (the last holdout).

If you’d like to see which companies offer rideshare insurance near you, select your state from the dropdown menu below.

50 State Rideshare Insurance Database

Or, if you’d like the answers to all of your Lyft and Uber insurance questions, read on. We go over what Uber insurance covers, what Lyft insurance covers, what rideshare insurance is and the different types of coverage available. If you have rideshare insurance questions, all the answers are further down the page.

What is Rideshare Insurance?

Rideshare insurance provides coverage while you are driving for Uber, Lyft, or another rideshare service. These policies fill in the gaps in Uber and Lyft coverage so that you’re always fully protected while driving.

Many drivers may not know this, but your personal auto insurance likely does not provide coverage for you while you are driving for Lyft or Uber. In most states, Uber and Lyft only provides full coverage (collision and liability) from the point you accept a ride to the point you drop the rider off. If you are between rides, and online, your regular personal auto insurance policy will not cover you. Additionally, except in a few states, you do not have full insurance coverage from Uber or Lyft between rides. So, if you want to be fully covered, consider purchasing a rideshare friendly policy. Currently, rideshare insurance is available in most states.

Uber insurance and Lyft insurance coverage explained

Uber, Lyft, and the insurance industry, divide ridesharing into three periods.

  • Period 1: Vehicle is being used, and the rideshare app is online.
  • Period 2: Vehicle is being used, the rideshare app is online, and a passenger has been accepted but has not yet been picked up.
  • Period 3: Vehicle is being used, and the passenger(s) is either being transported or has arrived at the destination and is exiting the vehicle.
Lyft driver insurance policy summary

Source: Lyft.com

Uber and Lyft only provide full coverage during periods 2 and 3. Your personal auto insurance policy only covers you if you’re using the car as you regularly would, commuting to work, running errands and other personal uses. So, if you’re driving around with the Uber app on, but you haven’t gotten a ping (Period 1), you’re likely driving around without full coverage. Rideshare insurance provides full coverage during period 1, and often provides additional coverage during periods 2 and 3 also.

Uber Rideshare Driver Insurance Summary

Source: Uber.com

There are now a number of insurance options available to Lyft and Uber drivers. In fact, coverage is currently available in all states except North Carolina. Most rideshare insurance policies are $6 to $25 per month more than a traditional auto insurance policy.

Rideshare Insurance:Gap Coverage or Extended Coverage?

Insurers are currently offering two main types of rideshare coverage. The first type is what’s called “gap coverage”. Gap coverage extends your personal auto insurance policy into Period 1, when you’re waiting for a rider request. Gap coverage usually ends when you accept a ride request. At that point, the Uber or Lyft insurance takes over. The companies offering some form of gap coverage are Safeco, Farmers, Allstate, Mercury, American Family, USAA, and Travelers.

The second type of coverage (extended coverage) extends most or parts of your personal auto insurance policy into periods 2 and 3, after you’ve accepted a request or when you have a rider in the car. These policies tend to cost slightly more than gap coverage policies, because of the additional coverage they offer. The companies offering this form of coverage are State Farm, Geico, Progressive, Erie, and Metlife.

Final Word: Please consider purchasing a rideshare policy.

Whether you’re driving for Uber, Lyft, Amazon Flex, Instacart, Doordash, or Joe’s new startup rideshare company operating out of a garage in Seattle, consider getting a rideshare policy. If you don’t, and you have an accident, your personal policy will not cover you during period 1. If you have a rider in the car, or are on the way to a rider, and you have an accident, you’ll likely be responsible for the first $2500 (Lyft) or $1000 (Uber) in costs to repair your vehicle.

In the end, it all comes down to a really simple question. Would you rather pay an extra $5-$20 per month to have full insurance coverage while driving for Lyft or Uber, or would you rather risk having to pay thousands of dollars in the event of accident while driving rideshare?

Companies Offering Rideshare Insurance

Allstate Rideshare Insurance

Allstate’s rideshare coverage can provide additional coverage during Period 1 of the drive cycle, when the ride-hailing app is turned on and the driver has not accepted a fare. During Period 1, Uber and Lyft offer contingent liability coverage for injury ($100k) and property damage ($25k). Allstate ridehailing coverage can provide collision coverage, uninsured driver coverage, as well as higher limit liability coverage during period 1.

During Periods 2 and 3, Allstate can provide coverage to reduce your out of pockets expenses after an accident. An example would be covering the deductible, ($2,500 on Lyft, $1,000 on Uber) or your rental car expenses.

Allstate Rideshare Insurance ChartAllstate Insurance Rideshare Coverage Periods. Source: Allstate.com

Allstate offers rideshare insurance coverage in the following states.

AZ, CA, CO, DC, GA, HI, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MD, ME, MN, MO, NE, NM, NV, OH, OK, SC, TN, TX, UT, WA, WI and WV.

Geico Rideshare Insurance

Geico offers a hybrid insurance policy that replaces your personal auto policy. The policy provides full coverage (as long as you purchase collision coverage) whether you are driving for Lyft or Uber, or just driving to the movies. Even better, the policy is in effect during all three periods, when you’re waiting for request, when you’re on your way to pick up, and when the rider is in the vehicle.

From the Geico site:

This policy replaces the driver’s current personal auto insurance policy and provides coverage for both personal and rideshare use at the same time. The coverage is in effect when the rideshare app is off, when it is on with no passengers in the vehicle, and when it is on with passengers, bridging the gap that the rideshare companies won’t typically cover. Since GEICO Rideshare Insurance will cover a rideshare driver whether he or she is “on the clock” or just driving for personal reasons, there is no need to worry about which policy will be primary in the event of an accident.

The big catch with Geico’s rideshare policy is that there are limits on how many miles you can drive. The limits vary from state to state. If you plan on driving full time, Geico may not be the way to go. For full time drivers, they only offer standard commercial auto policies. These policies generally run several hundred dollars per month. If you’re part time, a Geico rideshare policy costs 15-20% more than a standard policy.

Currently, Geico offers coverage in the following states.

AL, AZ, AR, CT, CO, DE, DC, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, ME, MD, MN, MS, MO, NE, NM, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, and WY.

Erie Rideshare Insurance

Erie offers a rideshare insurance policy that offers coverage during personal and rideshare use. Coverage applies before, after, and during a trip.

From Erie’s site:

The new coverage is available to people who put a “business use” designation on their personal car insurance policy.
“‘Business use’” traditionally has covered people who use their personal cars for things like delivering pizza or flowers, but has historically excluded—meaning not covered— people who use their cars as taxis,” said Cook. “We are removing that exclusion, so now if you use your car for a ridesharing service, there’s no confusion over what’s covered and when. You’re covered during every part of the trip—before, during and after the hired ride. We know of no other insurance company that is offering something like this.”

Erie has also created a nice video that explains their coverage and rideshare insurance in general. Many drivers and would be drivers have found the video helpful.


Currently, Erie offers rideshare insurance in the following states.

DC, IL, IN, KY, MD, OH, PA, TN, VA, WI, and WV.

American Family Rideshare Insurance

American Family Insurance offers gap coverage, which extends your personal auto insurance policy into period 1, when you’re driving for Lyft or Uber. From the American Family site:

Fortunately for you, we’ve got a smart solution: American Family’s Rideshare Endorsement. It’s a simple, affordable add-on to your existing personal auto policy, and gives you peace of mind while driving wherever your entrepreneurial spirit takes you.

Currently, American Family offers rideshare insurance in the following states.

AZ, CO, GA, ID, IN, KS, MO, ND, OH, SD, UT, and WI

Safeco Rideshare Insurance

Safeco is Liberty Mutual’s auto insurance subsidiary. Safeco offers coverage for Period 1 (app on, no passenger). From the Safeco site:

Extend your personal auto policy: With Safeco RideSharing Coverage, you get nearly the same coverage during applicable ridesharing activities as you do any other time you drive. Most of the coverage and options you selected for your Safeco auto policy extend to your RideSharing Coverage. Cover your ridesharing gap for mere cents a day: You’ll likely pay less than $10 a month for Safeco RideSharing Coverage.

Safeco offers coverage in the following states.

AZ, CO, IL, IN, KS, MN, MS, OK, OR, TN, UT, WA, and WI.

Farmers Rideshare Insurance

Farmers offers a gap coverage rideshare insurance policy that offers coverage during period 1 (see graphic below), when you have the app on, but no passenger. During that time, your Farmers personal auto insurance policy is in effect, including any additional coverages you select, including:

  • Comprehensive and collision coverages that pay for damages to your car
  • Uninsured motorist coverage, in case you are hit by a driver who isn’t insured or is underinsured
  • Medical payment and personal injury protection (if required)

Farmers coverage ends when you accept a ride (period 2). During periods 2 and 3, you will be covered by Uber or Lyft’s policy.  When the passenger gets out of your car, Farmers coverage once again applies until you accept your next ride.

Farmers Insurance rideshare coverage explained.

Farmers Insurance Rideshare Coverage Periods. Source: Farmers.com

Farmers offers coverage in the following states.

AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IA, ID, IL, IN, KS, MD, MI, MN, MO, MT, ND, NE, NJ, NM, NV, OH, OK, OR, TN, TX, UT, and WI

Metlife Rideshare Insurance

Metlife offers coverage for Lyft drivers in certain states. Metlife offers an addendum to their regular auto insurance policies that allow drivers to Drive With Lyft, but only for Lyft. They do not provide coverage while driving for Uber or other systems. However, the Metlife rideshare policy does provide coverage during all three periods, when waiting for a ride request, on the way to the rider, and when the rider’s in the car.

From the Metlife site:

The policy, offered by MetLife Auto & Home, contains an endorsement unique to the auto insurance marketplace in that it offers coverage for rideshare drivers at every stage of the trip: while the driver is logged into the app and waiting for a passenger request, is en route to pick up a passenger, and during the trip with the passenger. Premiums applicable to the policy endorsement will vary based on the mileage driven in the Lyft program.

Currently, Metlife offers coverage in the following states.

CA, CO, IL, TX, and WA.

Mercury Rideshare Insurance

Mercury’s rideshare coverage provides coverage during Period 1 of the drive cycle, when the ride-hailing app is turned on and the driver has not accepted a fare. From the Mercury Insurance site:

Mercury’s ride-hailing coverage will fill the gaps and provide you with high quality insurance that will cover you in Period 1 of the drive cycle, when the ride-hailing app is turned on and the driver has not accepted a fare. When this is combined with the TNC’s commercial insurance coverage, it provides drivers with protection through all stages.

Mercury offers coverage in the following states.

AZ, CA, GA, IL, NV, OK, and TX.

Progressive Rideshare Insurance

Progressive offers a rideshare insurance policy that provides coverage during personal and rideshare use. From their site:

The offering will allow customers to extend roadside assistance, comprehensive and collision through all phases of TNC activity. Drivers will also receive an additional benefit: if the collision coverage provided by the TNC includes a deductible that’s higher than the customer’s deductible under their Progressive policy, Progressive will pay the difference.

Adding rideshare insurance coverage to a Progressive policy typically increases the cost around 5-20%.

Progressive offers the coverage in the following states.

MI, PA and TX.

USAA Rideshare Insurance

USAA Rideshare Insurance is available to members of the military and their families.

You can add rideshare coverage to your existing USAA policy for as little as $6 per month. USAA’s rideshare coverage provides coverage during Period 1 of the drive cycle, when the ride-hailing app is turned on and the driver has not accepted a fare. Get a quote today!

USAA Rideshare Insurance Explained

Source: USAA.com

With USAA coverage, you also get access to 2900 USAA approved auto repair centers across the country.

Get a USAA rideshare insurance quote!

USAA offers coverage in the following states.


State Farm Rideshare Insurance

State Farm rideshare coverage provides coverage during Period 1 (app on, no passenger) of the drive cycle, when the ride-hailing app is turned on and the driver has not accepted a fare. They also offer additional collision coverage during periods 2 and 3. Rideshare coverage typically adds 15-20% to the cost of a State Farm policy. However, unlike most rideshare policies, State Farm offers additional collision coverage even when you have a rider in the car. From their site:

How Does State Farm Rideshare Driver Coverage Work?

  1. It extends coverage from your personal auto policy to cover you when driving for a Transportation Network Company (TNC), like Uber or Lyft.
  2. Other coverage on your personal auto policy, such as medical, emergency roadside assistance and rental car reimbursement, is in effect when you’re driving for Uber or Lyft (requirements may vary by state.) Your TNC may not provide protection if you’re injured.
  3. It’s a smart add-on that puts your personal policy deductible into effect, even if you’re driving for a TNC. If your personal policy deductible is less than your TNC’s deductible, you pay the lower amount.
  4. If you have a claim, you deal directly with State Farm.

So, if you have a State Farm rideshare policy, your personal policy is in effect during period 1. During periods 2 (on way to passenger) and 3 (on trip), your personal policy can also fill gaps that may exist in Uber and Lyft’s coverage. For example, if you have collision coverage on your personal policy, that coverage is also in effect during periods 2 and 3.

State Farm offers rideshare insurance coverage in the following states.

AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, IA, ID, IN, KS, KY, LA, ME, MI, MN, MO, MT, MS, ND, NE, NH, NJ, NM, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WI, and WV.

Travelers Rideshare Insurance

Travelers Insurance offers gap coverage for Period 1, when a driver is waiting for a ride request to come in. Adding a rideshare endorsement to a Travelers auto policy generally costs $6-$20 per month.

Travelers offers rideshare insurance coverage in the following states.

CO and IL.

Pemco Rideshare Insurance

Pemco has recently begun offering gap rideshare coverage to Uber and Lyft drivers. From the Pemco site:

PEMCO’s new rideshare endorsement gives drivers the green light to use their personal auto policy to fill coverage gaps and enhance their insurance coverage beyond the limits of their TNC policy. Until now, personal policies traditionally haven’t covered commercial uses of a personal vehicle, which can put rideshare drivers in a precarious position with their insurer.

Additionally, PEMCO’s endorsement aims to offer important protection where TNC coverage traditionally leaves drivers the most exposed – particularly against underinsured and uninsured motorists and within personal injury claims.

Pemco offers rideshare insurance in the following states.

OR and WA.

Metromile Per Mile Rideshare Insurance

As of January, 2017, Metromile is no longer offering rideshare coverage.


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Rideshare Insurance Companies By State


Farmers, State Farm, USAA, and Geico currently offer rideshare insurance coverage in Alabama.


Geico currently offers rideshare insurance coverage in Alaska.


Allstate, Geico, Farmers, Mercury, State Farm, and USAA currently offer rideshare insurance coverage in Arizona.


Farmers currently offers rideshare insurance coverage in Arkansas.


Esurance, Farmers, Mercury, Met Life, State Farm, Allstate, and USAA currently offer rideshare insurance coverage in California.

California Rideshare Insurance Agents

Allstate – Doug Eisold – San Diego, CA – (858) 271-7900

We provide rideshare insurance that covers you during your personal time, during period 1, and the one of a kind Deductible GAP Coverage in periods 2 and 3. We also provide insurance for all levels of needed protection, and we pride ourselves on the best customer service available.  Call us for a complimentary quote!


Geico, Liberty Mutual, Farmers, Travelers, Met Life, USAA, Allstate, and State Farm currently offer rideshare insurance coverage in Colorado.


Geico, USAA and State Farm currently offers rideshare insurance coverage in Connecticut.


Geico and State Farm currently offers rideshare insurance coverage in Delaware.


It used to be pretty difficult to get rideshare insurance in Florida. If you needed rideshare coverage to augment your Lyft or Uber insurance in Florida, you were pretty much out of luck until 2017. That’s when Farmers began offering Florida rideshare insurance through their Foremost subsidiary. These days it’s even easier to obtain excellent rideshare insurance coverage in Florida. Geico, Infiinity, Mercury, Prime Insurance, Progressive, and State Farm all now offer some form of Florida rideshare insurance for Uber and Lyft drivers.

Florida Rideshare Insurance Agents

Quoteasy Insurance – Florida Rideshare Specialists – (800) 568-2209

Florida Rideshare Insurance Quoteasy logo

We provide rideshare insurance that covers you during personal use as well as during PERIOD 1. We also provide Commercial Auto insurance for Uber Eats/Amazon Deliveries, Etc! We pride ourselves on offering personalized customer service. Call us for a consultation or quote!


Geico, Farmers, USAA, Allstate, Mercury, and State Farm currently offer rideshare insurance coverage in Georgia.


Allstate and Metlife currently offers coverage in Hawaii.


Allstate, Farmers, Geico, and State Farm currently offer rideshare friendly coverage in Idaho.


Farmers, Liberty Mutual, Geico, Erie, Metlife, Mercury, optOn, Allstate, and USAA currently offer rideshare insurance coverage in Illinois.


Geico, Liberty Mutual, Erie, Farmers, Allstate, and State Farm currently offer coverage in Indiana.


Allstate, Geico, Farmers, USAA, and State Farm currently offer rideshare insurance coverage in Iowa.


Allstate, Geico, State Farm, USAA, Safeco, and Farmers currently offer rideshare insurance coverage in Kansas.


Allstate, USAA, Erie and State Farm currently offer rideshare insurance coverage in Kentucky.


USAA, Geico and State Farm currently offer rideshare insurance coverage in Louisiana.


Allstate, Geico and State Farm currently offer rideshare insurance coverage in Maine.


Allstate, USAA, Geico, Erie and Farmers currently offer rideshare insurance coverage in Maryland.


USAA and Allstate currently offers rideshare insurance coverage in Massachusetts.


Farmers, Progressive, and State Farm currently offer rideshare insurance coverage in Michigan.


Geico, Farmers, Allstate Safeco, and State Farm currently offer rideshare insurance coverage in Minnesota.


Geico, Safeco, and State Farm currently offer rideshare insurance coverage in Mississippi.


Allstate, Farmers, USAA, Geico and State Farm currently offer rideshare insurance coverage in Missouri.


Farmers and State Farm currently offer rideshare insurance coverage in Montana.


Allstate, USAA, Geico, Farmers and State Farm currently offer rideshare insurance coverage in Nebraska.


Farmers, Mercury, USAA, and Allstate currently offer rideshare insurance coverage in Nevada.

New Hampshire

State Farm and USAA currently offer rideshare insurance in New Hampshire.

New Jersey

Farmers and State Farm currently offer rideshare insurance coverage in New Jersey.

New Mexico

Allstate, Geico, State Farm, and Farmers currently offer rideshare insurance in New Mexico.

New York

New York City drivers are required to carry commercial insurance. The NY state rideshare law passed last year, but no companies are writing rideshare policies in the state yet. However, Allstate, Liberty Mutual, and State Farm will not cancel you for driving Uber or Lyft in New York state.

North Carolina

Liberty Mutual and State Farm will not cancel you if you drive rideshare in North Carolina. You may be able to obtain coverage through Safeco (Liberty Mutual subsidiary). Although some sites say Farmers writes rideshare insurance policies in North Carolina, this is inaccurate.

North Dakota

USAA, Geico, Farmers, and State Farm currently offer rideshare insurance coverage in North Dakota.


Allstate, Geico, Erie, Farmers, USAA, and State Farm currently offer rideshare insurance coverage in Ohio.


Geico, Farmers, Allstate, USAA, Mercury, Safeco, and State Farm currently offer rideshare insurance coverage in Oklahoma.


Geico, USAA, Safeco, State Farm, Pemco, and Farmers currently offer rideshare insurance coverage in Oregon.


Allstate, Geico, State Farm, and Erie, currently offer rideshare insurance coverage in Pennsylvania.

Rhode Island

Geico currently offers coverage in Rhode Island.

South Carolina

Geico, State Farm, and Allstate currently offer coverage in South Carolina.

South Dakota

Geico currently offers coverage in South Dakota.


Allstate, Geico, Erie, Farmers, USAA, Safeco, and State Farm currently offer coverage in Tennessee.


Geico, Farmers, USAA, Metlife, State Farm, and Allstate currently offer coverage in Texas.


Farmers, State Farm, Safeco, and Allstate currently offer coverage in Utah.


Geico currently offers coverage in Vermont.


Geico, State Farm, and Erie currently offer coverage in Virginia.


Geico, Farmers, Metlife, USAA, Allstate, Safeco, Pemco, and State Farm currently offer coverage in Washington.

West Virginia

Allstate, Geico, Erie, and State Farm currently offer coverage in West Virginia.


Allstate, Geico, Erie, Farmers, and State Farm currently offer coverage in Wisconsin.


Geico and USAA currently offers coverage in Wyoming.

Washington D.C.

Geico, State Farm, and Erie currently offer coverage in Washington D.C.

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Lyft promo code for existing users

A Helpful Guide to Lyft Discounts for Existing Users

We’ve all seen the Lyft codes that are offered to new riders, but are there any Lyft codes or promos for people who are already enjoying the app as their primary ridesharing service? The answer to that question falls into a gray area.

(If you haven’t taken a Lyft yet, click the button below to get free Lyft rides or Lyft ride credits).

Free Lyft Rides!


Can Existing Lyft Riders Use A Promo Code?

Unfortunately, no, current Lyft customers cannot use a Lyft promo code for free rides or ride credits.

The company still needs to make a profit, and giving away free Lyft rides on the regular would be a serious detriment to that. However, there are definitely still ways that existing users can take advantage of Lyft’s generous and often ongoing promotions.

In order to pin down extra Lyft discounts, you’ll need to be a little tricky, have a good understanding of how the Lyft app works, and have access to plenty of friends. In this case, the more the merrier! You’ll find that sharing codes and inviting one another is one of the quickest and easiest ways to rack up a hefty Lyft discount.

Here are a few of the best known ways to gather Lyft discounts, so you and your friends can earn the most free rides.

Invite Each Other to Use Lyft

As soon as you register with Lyft, you become an existing user and give up your eligibility to take advantage of new-user promo codes. This is typically tied to your phone number, which essentially locks your device into the app and makes it pretty impossible to try and trick the Lyft app into not recognizing you from that point on. Getting a new phone can work as a suitable workaround for this, but obviously no one’s running out to pick up a brand new phone every time they want to get another discount.

That being said, being an existing user isn’t the end of all possible Lyft promo codes. By being an existing user, you’re assigned a unique referral code that’s intended to be your primary source of earning free ride credits. Simply put, you’re expected to give your code to new users, and once they register using that code and take their first free ride, you’ll earn yourself a free ride credit for having recruited a new rider.

Arguably the best part about earning free ride credits through your personalized Lyft code is that the amount you’re rewarded is constantly changing. Sometimes it’s five dollars per new user, but it’s gone all the way up to fifty dollars per new user during promotions and holidays. This is by far the best way to earn ongoing ride credits.

If you’re not sure where to find your referral code, just open up your Lyft app and find “Invite Friends” on the main menu. Your referral code should pop right up onto your screen, and you can hand that code out to as many people as you like. If you’d rather send your friends a direct link to register using your code, you can instead choose “Free Rides” from the menu and send out personalized messages to anyone on your contacts list, inviting them to sign up for Lyft.

Lyft Rider Promo Code Insturctions

It’s pretty obvious how to take advantage of this Lyft code! Just make sure you and your friends are wisely sharing codes with one another (or new faces, for that matter!), and you’ll be racking up free rides in no time.

Hitch a Ride from a New User’s Device

We briefly touched on how Lyft automatically recognizes your device when you use their app, and how that makes it difficult to create multiple accounts, but there is a way that you can use this to your advantage. If you have a friend who hasn’t downloaded Lyft yet, show them how to register and make sure you use a current new-user promotion when you do so. By using the new account to hitch a ride, you’ll instantly have a free ride!

This can be a big help if you’re carpooling or traveling in a group. There’s a really good chance at least one person in your group hasn’t tried Lyft before, or maybe they’ve changed their phone number since then and are eligible to sign up for a new account. Make sure you find someone who is eligible as a new user and call for your driver from their phone.

Try One of Lyft’s Competitors

Okay, this isn’t exactly a Lyft promo code, but it’s a great way to get some free rides if you’re really in a bind!

The obvious choice here is to give Uber a try. If you’ve never ridden with Uber before, they’re almost always running some sort of new-user promotion to lure in more riders. And, with Uber being one of the premiere ridesharing services out there, this company has a lot of money to put toward free ride credits and promo codes. They’re known to be pretty generous toward their new users, so definitely run a quick search when you’re ready to sign up to see what codes they currently have available.

Uber has basically become a household name these days, and thanks to their growing popularity, you’re all but guaranteed a ride within minutes – no matter where you are. In fact, Uber has a tendency to arrive even faster than Lyft in some cities. Plus, their high standards and user-friendly rating system ensures you’re going to get a driver that’s friendly and reliable.

Downloading and setting up the Uber app is just as easy as using the Lyft app. The code TRYNOW will earn you an immediate $15 toward any ride, but there are plenty of other promo codes out there! You’ll always be doing yourself a favor if you take a minute to find the most up-to-date promo codes available while you’re registering with a new ridesharing service.

Make Sure You Claim the New-User Promotion

This one is a real no-brainer, but it’s worth mentioning! In order to stay competitive with Uber, Lyft offers as much as fifty dollars (but usually more like $5-$20) to their new users when they first sign up. Claiming this credit is as easy as downloading the app and using the Lyft code RSCLYFT during your registration. You’ll see the credit automatically reflected in the balance on your Payment tab.

If you’ve already taken advantage of this promotion, which most experienced Lyft riders have, you’re not out of luck! Remember, there are plenty of people out there who haven’t tried Lyft and may not know about the various promo codes available to them. I’ve seen plenty of people sign up without using a code and miss out on a great opportunity to earn a loaded fifty bucks in free rides.

If you know anyone at all who hasn’t already registered with Lyft or someone who’s not especially tech-savvy, reach out to them! Help them sign up for Lyft and make sure they’re taking advantage of that generous new-user offer. You’ll be doing them a big favor and earning yourself a free ride at the same time when you use their device to hail down your next driver!

The best thing you can do to earn free ride credits as an existing Lyft user is to spread the word. The more people you introduce to Lyft, be it with your code or just by giving them a helping hand downloading the app, the closer you’ll be to earning yourself a ton of free rides.


Uber Lyft Amenities Backseat

What Amenities Should You Offer Your Lyft Or Uber Passengers?

Starting as a new Uber or Lyft driver can be an incredibly exciting time! You get to clean your car until it sparkles, spruce it up with your official driver sticker, and prepare your backseat for the multitude of different passengers you’re sure to encounter while on the job. From water bottles to toiletries, Uber and Lyft drivers have been known to be incredibly generous in their pursuit for high ratings and passenger satisfaction. One might say some drivers can go a bit overboard. But how much do you actually need to provide in order to secure that ambitious five-star rating?

Surprisingly, you may not need much at all! Many experienced drivers warn novices against jamming their car full of unnecessary odds and ends, insisting that even the bare necessities coupled with a friendly personality are enough to earn the ratings you seek. There seems to be two very clear sides to this debate, and what it boils down to is deciding which style of driving best suits your budget and personality as an Uber or Lyft driver.

The Frugal (And Profitable) Driver

Deciding to be a bit more frugal with your amenities may be a great choice for drivers who are just getting started. If you’re uncertain about how much income you’ll net, or you’re just experimenting with driving as supplementary income to your current career, you may want to do a bit of penny pinching when it comes to decking out your car with goodies.

Most veteran drivers will tell you that your rating has much more to do with how you treat your passenger and how well you drive, rather than the amenities you offer. Getting lost, missing turns, or generally being rude or unapproachable is going to reflect much more in your ratings than the lack of candy in your backseat. In fact, there are drivers who went so far as to remove all of the amenities from their car to support their point – and found that their rating didn’t change at all! I tried it myself for a week, and noticed no change in my ratings. I used to keep a couple of phone chargers and some waters in the back. Now, if I forget to put waters in the backseat, I don’t sweat it. It’s clear that knowing your location and being a reliable, personable driver should always be your first priority when aiming for five stars.

There are some drivers who even caution against ever offering your passengers food or beverages. Poor passengers will leave candy wrappers strewn across your backseat or half-finished water bottles in your cup holders, threatening the ratings you’ll get from your next passengers, who have to deal with the mess they’ve left behind.

The Unique Driver

If you have the money to spare as well a passion for creating a unique experience for your passenger, then go nuts! It’s pretty rare to see cars that are decked out in wild LED lights and touch screens, but there’s no denying that they’re always a fun way to spend your time getting from one point to another. Passengers will always consider your driving memorable and one-of-a-kind, and that may be enough to inspire creative drivers to go above and beyond with their amenities and provide things like candy, sodas, hand sanitizer, breath mints, feminine hygiene products, tissues, and even more outrageous things.

For example, there is a driver in Chicago that wired a small computer to his console, turning his navigation touchscreen into an interactive video game experience for his passengers. Riders can use controllers in the backseat to play a number of nostalgic N64 games during their trip. A driver in Denver features massage chairs in his backseat; a driver in New York brews up fresh coffee right in their car; and a driver in Sacramento offers fresh roses to each of their passengers.

There’s obvious cost and upkeep to offering these kinds of amenities for your riders and it won’t net you any special sort of income. However, if you want to create a truly one-of-a-kind ride for your passengers, then have fun tricking out your car with anything you can imagine! They’ll thank you with their high ratings and smiles.

On the other hand, Hip-Hop Lyft is a top-rated well-know driver in San Francisco who has made a name for himself by offering passengers a unique ride experience. He’s created a trivia game that passengers can play as they ride. So, if you find yourself in San Francisco, brush up on your 90’s hip hop and hope you get Hip-Hop Lyft as your driver.

The Bottom Line

With such a massive divide between practical drivers and the outrageous vehicles full of perks, what are some baseline amenities that your average, everyday driver should have available to their passengers?

Phone Chargers

Some will disagree, but this is a must-have, both for your passengers and for yourself. You’ll be using your mobile device constantly, so make sure you have a cord that’s appropriate for charging your phone. Past that, it’s a good idea to have both an Android-compatible cord and an iPhone-compatible cord. So long as you keep the cords from taking too much abuse (like getting stepped on, tangled, or repeatedly yanked on), they should last you a long time. If you don’t have the money to buy high quality charging cables, there are cheaper versions available in gas stations and convenience stores that will only run you around ten  dollars. Just be forewarned that these cords are cheap for a reason and aren’t intended to last longer than a month or two at best.


Sick Bags

Surprisingly, you don’t find this amenity on a lot of lists, but it was the first thing my dad suggested I put in my backseat – and he’s been driving a yellow cab for twenty years. Nothing will interrupt and ruin your day more than a passenger getting sick all over your car. That’s basically the end of your work day no matter how many more hours you were intending to drive, and the end of your income for the day. You’ll have to clean up the mess, and then go through the trouble of steam-cleaning your upholstery and airing out the stink left behind. That’s no easy task, but it’s completely avoidable as long as you keep a few handy sick bags in your backseat. If you’re lucky, you’ll rarely ever get a passenger who’s that sickly, but you’ll be glad you’re ready nonetheless. I highly recommend Carebags. They have a super absorbent pad that turns vomit into a gel. Closing the bag seals off the smell.

Vomit Bag For Uber And Lyft Drivers


If you decide to put water in the backseat, buy in bulk. Buying water in bulk can save you a lot of money. Aim for stores like Costco that will let you buy a whole case of bottles for less than five dollars. Keep a few in your backseat and the rest in your trunk in case of an emergency like motion sickness or especially hot days. Make an effort to politely remind people to take their bottles with them, or make sure to double check your backseat for leftovers between trips.

Single Mom Driving For Lyft

The Uber & Lyft Guide For Single Moms: How to Make Driving the Easiest Part of Your Day

Bringing in extra money as a single mom can be challenging. You need to constantly tweak your schedule and attend to the needs of your little ones, while still somehow maximizing your hourly rate in any job that you do. If you can’t make decent money in short, flexible bursts, there may not be much of a point in wasting the time and stress on odd jobs.

For that reason, ridesharing companies such as Uber and Lyft have been steadily growing in popularity with single moms across the country. No matter when you manage to squirrel away some extra time, you can mold your driving schedule to match, and all you need to get started is a car! Whether you’re finding time while the kids are at school, or just squeezing in an hour or two when you can, there are easy methods you can use to ensure you’re getting a great hourly rate every time you get behind the wheel.

Let’s spell out everything there is to know about driving for Uber or Lyft, so that you can decide if it suits your busy lifestyle, and so you can be completely prepared when you start to drive!

Driving Uber Or Lyft In A Nutshell

As you probably know, Uber and Lyft are the major players in the rideshare arena. Ridesharing is a more personalized form of taxi service, wherein a privately owned vehicle can be called upon to transport anyone with a smartphone and the Uber or Lyft app. It’s quick, convenient, and often times more affordable than traditional taxi services – which is exactly why Uber and Lyft have been steadily replacing traditional taxis for years. There’s no hassle of tracking down the best local company, comparing prices, and waiting upwards of thirty minutes for a ride. Just hit a button on your phone and, depending on your location, you’re on your way in as little as five minutes!

Being a driver for either Uber or Lyft definitely comes with its own set of perks aside from the convenience of making your own schedule. With discounts, promos, and constantly expanding business, driving rideshare can be an extremely promising and rewarding venture for single moms.

Who Should You Drive For?

It’s no secret that both Uber and Lyft have established themselves as ridesharing titans. They have earned a permanent place at the top of the industry, outliving many similar startups that couldn’t match their ease of use and approachable business model. Both of these companies boast a strong presence in nearly any location in the United States, which is great news for moms looking to make some extra cash no matter where they live.

When it comes down to deciding between Uber or Lyft, that’s typically a matter of personal preference. Both offer similar perks and compensation to their drivers, though Uber has suffered more backlash for being a little too impersonal and unforgiving to their drivers. Lyft was the first company to encourage tips for their drivers, and generally seems to be more focused on supporting their workforce, though it’s worth noting that Uber still has more riders than Lyft. On the other hand, Lyft still offers new drivers a sign up bonus and Lyft drivers tend to earn a couple bucks more per hour. Uber phased out their sign up bonuses in early 2017.

You May Also Be Interested In:

In my personal experience, I prefer driving with Lyft over Uber. I clicked more with the passengers who used Lyft – a younger, more talkative crowd – and felt a bit more cared for than I did with Uber. For example, registering with Uber gets you a letter in the mail with your sticker and a generic note saying you’re ready to hit the road. Lyft, on the other hand, hosted a short orientation, where you got to meet other drivers and go over their handbook to make sure you really understood how you would be compensated as well as what other perks they offered to their drivers. When I was starting out,  it always felt a bit more personable to me. So, I was willing to give up the back to back Uber rides in exchange for a company that felt genuine and invested in my success. Over time, Lyft traffic increased to the point where I could earn the same money on either platform.

In the end, it’s completely your choice. I recommend trying both and seeing which one best suits your needs and brings in the sort of income you’re seeking. Also, check out the specific perks detailed below to see if one catches your eye more than the other.

Single Mom Driving Uber

Is Driving Uber Or Lyft Worth It for Single Moms?

With flexible hours, regular cash incentives, and a ton of independence, driving Uber or Lyft seems to be a perfect way for single moms to bring in extra money. Both Uber and Lyft have their own express payment systems (Instant Pay for Uber and Express Pay for Lyft), which allows drivers to access and withdraw their earnings at any time, rather than waiting for payday at the end of the week. Having a little extra money in your hands when you need it can be all the reason necessary to sign up and get driving.

But is driving for Uber or Lyft really that lucrative? If it’s so easy to make money on the side, why isn’t every single mom registering their car while you read this?

According to one Forbes article, a meager 14% of Uber drivers and 30% of Lyft drivers are female. The perception of driving strangers around in unknown places is enough to scare any sane woman away from driving Uber or Lyft. However, research suggests that the reality isn’t nearly as scary and, in my personal experience as a young woman driving for both Uber and Lyft, I never encountered anything or anyone that put me in any real danger. Those scary stories you may have heard seem to be the exception to the rule, and most passengers just want to get in, share some small talk, and then get back out.

The short answer is: Yes, ridesharing can absolutely be a great way for single moms to make money and there’s no reason women can’t take advantage of those extra earnings as much as men!

The Upsides of Working for Uber and Lyft

Make Your Own Schedule

Indisputably, one of the biggest benefits of driving for Uber or Lyft is the ability to make and adjust your own schedule as needed. Not even part-time jobs will allow you the flexibility of working precisely when you want to, nor will they let you cut your day short in case of something unexpected like a little one getting sick at school.

You can put in twenty hours one week, then three the next and you’ll be perfectly fine. If you need a sudden stretch of days at home to take care of your kids or catch up on things around the house, that’s fine too! You decide how often you are able to work, which can be downright crucial for single moms.

Take Advantage of Peak Times

There are a number of things that can create a peak time for drivers, or a time where there’s an unusually high demand for drivers and an insufficient supply. Bad weather, rush hour (usually 6 A.M. – 10 A.M. and 4 P.M. – 8 P.M.), sports games, concerts, festivals, market nights, and even college class schedules can all result in fares being doubled and sometimes tripled as incentive for more drivers to make themselves available in that area. Uber refers to these incentives as “Surge Pricing,” while Lyft refers to it as “Prime Time.”

Both companies will reward you handsomely for showing up at these events, giving you more money in your pocket without doing much extra work! Both companies will typically send out e-mails to keep you in the know about local events and potential hot spots, so keep an eye out and do your best to know what’s going on in your town. Weekends tend to light up the app, especially during the evening and when local bars close up for the night. Use a bit of strategy to determine which hours are going to give you the most payout, and aim to schedule around them.

New Driver Bonuses

When you register as a new driver for either Uber or Lyft, take advantage of one of their promo codes to earn yourself a hefty bonus of up to $1000. Check out Rideshare Central’s list of sign up bonuses to see what the driver bonus is in your city.

These new driver bonuses change often and are usually related to the demand your area has for drivers. Also, remember that they do not work retroactively. If you don’t enter one at the time you sign up, you’ll unfortunately miss out on earning a lot of extra cash.

Continuing Referral Bonuses

Once you’re a driver with either Uber or Lyft, you’ll receive a personalized referral code that you can pass on to new riders. Whenever someone signs up for either Uber or Lyft, you’ll make a little extra cash on the side. In addition to scoring new riders, your code can also be used to sign up new drivers. Getting someone to start driving will earn you an even bigger bonus with both Uber and Lyft, but your new driver will have to register and complete a certain number of rides before you see the bonus reflected in your balance.

Lyft Specific Perks

Lyft offers a unique rewards program to its drivers known as the Accelerate: Premier Driver Rewards program. This program works with a three-tier system that you can advance through based on the number of rides you’ve given each month. As you level up through Silver, Gold, and Platinum, you’ll earn more attractive rewards and premier perks.

Just for signing up as a new driver, you’ll be granted Silver status. This tier gives you access to a savings group for independent contractors known as the Honest Dollar. Other rewards include a discount on Intuit tax software, discounts on phone plans through Verizon, and access to health insurance through the eHealth network.

Advancing to Gold gives you continued access to all of the Silver perks and then adds on discounts for auto maintenance (things like tires, tune-ups, and oil chances), and a load of other discounts on things ranging all the way from phone repairs to gym memberships.

Platinum drivers gain all of these perks with the addition of free roadside assistance from Allstate.

It’s worth noting that your Premier status is reset at the beginning of each month and that accumulated rides will count toward next month’s Accelerate rewards. In most markets, you’ll need twenty rides a month to obtain Gold and two hundred rides to hit Platinum.

Looking For The Best Rideshare Company To Sign Up With?

Sign up to drive with Lyft today and get a sign up bonus.

With Lyft, you can sign up to drive even if you don’t have a car!


Uber Specific Perks

Known as the Partner Program, Uber also offers a load of incentives, rewards, discounts, and services for their drivers. Most of these rewards focus on car maintenance and fuel costs, which you’ll definitely take advantage of if you make driving a part of your regular schedule.

Uber Partners earn a discount on gas prices with their personal Partner Fuel Card, which gives you a massive discount (sometimes as much as fifteen cents a gallon!) and deducts your purchase directly from your current Uber earnings. You also gain a 15% discount at places such as Auto-Zone, Jiffy Lube, Meineke, Firestone, Maaco, Sears Auto Center, and Valvoline.

Driving for Uber will earn you a discount of 15-18% on your phone bill through AT&T or Sprint. These savings can be passed on to your immediate family as well, which makes it an amazing perk just for driving with Uber. You’ll also get a free subscription to Pandora for as long as you remain a driver with Uber.

The Downsides of Driving For Uber Or Lyft As A Single Mom

Unreliable Income

There can be a lot of factors that affect how much money you’re making, and the biggest detriment will always be downtime. If you take a ride that drags you way outside of town, if you live in a quiet area, or if you tend to drive during low traffic times, there can be a lot of downtime between rides. Try to use this time to your advantage and squeeze in other errands you need to do rather than sitting around, wasting time. Or, if you can manage it, schedule yourself to work during peak times like rush hour in the mornings and the evenings, as well as weekends.

Tips Aren’t Guaranteed

Tipping rideshare drivers isn’t exactly the norm, even if riders are given the option. While I drive for both Uber and Lyft, only Lyft prompts riders to tip their driver. Uber also discouraged tipping for many years. Since then, Uber has changed their opinion of tipping and the app now offers the option to include a tip, but that doesn’t exactly change the mindset that most passengers believe it’s perfectly acceptable not to tip their driver.

Neither Lyft nor Uber will take any portion of the tips you do get (because it’s illegal), but don’t hold out on the hope that every single passenger will be kind enough to tip. The best you can do is be friendly and get your passenger to their destination as flawlessly as possible, and hope they’ll throw a few extra bucks your way.

Women’s Safety

It’s a shame that this has to be considered, but as a woman carting around strangers, it’s worth taking an extra measure to make sure you’re 100% safe.

There are a few apps that you can download to protect yourself. Two worth considering are Find My Friends (IOSAndroid) and SafeTrek (IOSAndroid). Find My Friends will allow you to designate a person to track your whereabouts in real time, while SafeTrek allows you to press and hold a button on your phone whenever you feel unsafe. If you don’t enter your pin when you release the button, the app will automatically contact your local police and notify them of your location. Both apps are worth downloading and using even when you’re not driving!

If you ever encounter a passenger who makes you feel unsafe, you are absolutely within your rights to prematurely end the ride, drop them off on the spot, and report them to Uber or Lyft through the app. In most cases, the most either company will do is not match you with a particular rider again. Both companies have a long way to go in the area.

That being said, I’ve been driving with both Uber and Lyft for just over a year and only encountered a few passengers (out of thousands!) that actually made me uneasy. I managed to complete the rides and made sure I kept to populated main roads just in case I needed to remove someone rom my car ASAP. Use your common sense and don’t be afraid to take control of a situation if you need to, but chances are that most of your riders won’t actually threaten you in any way or be any trouble whatsoever. If you’re uneasy about this, stick to driving during the day and, lucrative as they may be, avoid the nightly bar crowds, as they are more likely to become rowdy or unpredictable.

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Uber Driver Talking To Passenger

To Talk Or Not To Talk – Connecting With Your Uber And Lyft Passengers

Being an Uber or Lyft driver comes with a dizzying amount of new responsibilities. You have to keep your car pretty clean, keep a close watch on your gas gauge, familiarize yourself with local roadways and short cuts, manage the Lyft and Uber apps, and prepare yourself to interact with an ever-revolving carousel of passengers. With so much to keep track of, it’s easy to see why some drivers may forget to connect with their passengers as people, instead of just another routine ride.

Learning how to read passengers and create meaningful interactions with them is a crucial part of being an Uber or Lyft driver. You’re sharing a relatively small space with people from all walks of life, and you may be surprised what people are willing to share with a stranger – especially on long rides! You can learn a lot from those you meet, so long as you’re polite, learn how to properly read people, and if you show a willingness to listen without judgment.

Trust Your Gut

First impressions are everything. When you first pick up your passenger, greet them warmly and ask how their day is going. By giving them a friendly hello, you’re extending an invitation to see if they’re interested in conversation. However, not every passenger is going to be! There’s nothing wrong with quiet passengers who would rather play on their phones while you drive, but that doesn’t give you an excuse to be impolite. Always offer conversation and then pay close attention to how they react.

How To Know If Your Uber Or Lyft Passenger Wants A Quiet Ride

Does your passenger avoid eye contact? Do they look tired or otherwise uncomfortable? Do they tend to give one or two word answers to your questions? Are they wearing headphones or engaged in something on their phone? These are all good signs that your passenger may prefer a quiet ride. You can absolutely ask them simple questions or offer them control of the music, but after that, it’s a good idea to just focus on driving, giving them the space they’re indirectly asking for.

On the other hand, you’ll encounter passengers who do the complete opposite! If your passenger is smiling and eager to engage back and forth in conversation, that’s a plus for you! Absolutely make an effort to multitask driving and talking with your passenger. Not only will they appreciate the connection, but they may have some interesting stories to tell or information about local events.

Bottom line? Pay attention. Always invite your passenger to talk, but be wise enough to interpret how they react to your initial efforts. There is a lot that you can discern from body language, so watch closely!

Show Compassion and Be Open-Minded

One of the most surprising things I encountered when I started driving for both Uber and Lyft was how many passengers were full of inspiring, heartfelt stories. Many were also eager to share their stories. In my first month driving, I met a man trying to reconnect with his gay son after evicting him as a teenager, a woman who was going on an airplane for the first time since she escaped her oppressively religious family, a young man who was struggling to manage a misdiagnosis and a chronic panic disorder, and a girl who crammed my trunk full of her personal belongings so that I could drive her far away from the abusive boyfriend she was finally escaping.

That’s just a few examples, and that was just month one!

Connecting With uber and Lyft passengers

Being an Uber or Lyft driver puts you in the unique position of being just close enough to your passengers that they will confide in you all sorts of things, knowing you’ll probably never cross paths again. These passengers may not have anyone else to talk to, or they might be so overwhelmed that they’re looking for any other human being who will give them a few minutes of their time. As a driver, I always felt really lucky to be in that position and to have the opportunity to be both inspired and humbled by the experiences of the people around me. It’s a great experience, but it’s completely relative to your ability to connect with your passengers as someone who is kind, nonjudgmental, and pragmatic.

Remember that even if your passenger does trust you enough to share details with you, you likely have a really limited understanding of what it is they’re going through or the complicated emotions that they may be dealing with. The best thing you can do is just listen, express your sympathy or support where appropriate and, most importantly, never criticize or berate your passenger!

Redirect Difficult Passengers

While being an Uber or Lyft driver, you are going to be exposed to a incredibly diverse group of people. It’s your responsibility to always be polite and respectful, regardless of who you’re traveling with. In my experience, I never had any trouble with passengers pushing political or religious agendas, but you may encounter the occasional person who does want to talk about their opinions on some very touchy subjects.

If a passenger is insistent on airing their opinions or debating a subject that you’re uncomfortable with, politely redirect them if you can. It’s usually easy enough to acknowledge them and then offer up a new line of conversation that’s a bit less volatile. Ask them about where they’re going, for how long they’re visiting, or if they’ve always lived in the area. Generally speaking, you should be able to distract just about anyone into talking about themselves instead, and by doing that, you’ll completely avoid trying to navigate an otherwise tricky or potentially offensive conversation.

In a worst case scenario, or in any situation where you feel unsafe, you may politely inform your passenger that you do not want to discuss the topic. If they continue, you can escalate to calmly warning them that you will end the ride prematurely if they do not stop. Just always make sure to keep your head and remain professional, so as to avoid inviting aggressive behavior and potentially putting yourself in a worse situation than before.