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Owners of cars in chain-reaction Back Bay crash get screwed

WBZ reports how the Lyft driver who caused that multi-car pileup on Comm. Ave. in October only has $30,000 worth of damage caused to all the cars and a Boston firetruck, because he hadn't turned on his Lyft app.

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That link only goes to an earlier U-Hub post.

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WBZ link:
http://boston.cbslocal.com/2016/12/09/i-team-fire-truck-totaled-vehicles...

It appears anyone of those vehicle owners that didn't have collision coverage on their personal insurance is now looking at a relatively big loss amount. Unless of course they can go after the Boston fire department for hitting the cars, because bigger pockets.

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Couldn't the victims just sue the driver and wreck his life for decades because he didn't have good insurance?

I remember as a young'un asking an insurance agent why I needed such a large amount of coverage on one part of my insurance (no, I don't remember and don't want to try to think which part it was.) The answer was "in case you hit a doctor or someone else with huge earnings."

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If the driver doesn't have money, if you win, you're not getting paid since the driver has no money to sue for.

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They could garnish his wages, but I'm not sure how likely that would be.

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You could, but you can't get blood from a stone. Also, his insurance company may require a liability release signed before they pay out the prorated damages.

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Screw him.

He caused an accident that cost a hundred thousand dollars in damage. Why should this not be on him. Maybe he'll inherit some cash down the road. Maybe he'll sell his house, or his kids will sell his house.

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Adam, that sentence doesn't make much sense. Do you mean he only has $30,000 in insurance coverage?

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The fact that he sometimes hauls passengers for Lyft is entirely irrelevant to how much coverage he has in this accident. He doesn't get the extra insurance from Lyft full time because he wasn't using his car professionally at the time. If you aren't working, you aren't covered under the corporate policy.

He was driving as a private individual, so he is insured under his private individual plan.

It makes perfect sense. If I die in a plane crash while travelling for work, my family would be paid both my PRIVATE life insurance PLUS my EMPLOYEE travel insurance. If I die in a plane crash when on vacation, I get my PRIVATE life insurance.

His status as a Lyft Driver is COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT to this particular accident. The flogging of LYFT DRIVER LYFT DRIVER etc. is as irrelevant as if he were a taxi driver, a bus driver, or a truck driver who happened to be using his private car off duty.

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Read the article. If he hadn't been driving for Lyft his private coverage would apply but he was driving for Lyft. He just didn't have a passenger yet, so Lyft's coverage, woefully inadequate coverage under these circumstances, applies.

However, the driver involved in the crash with the fire truck only had his Lyft app turned on, and had not been paired with a passenger yet. In that situation, Lyft is still the primary insurance policy, but the amount of property damage coverage required drops to only $30,000.

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When you CAPITALIZE words it makes it EASIER to UNDERSTAND. Thank YOU.

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His being a lyft driver is actually completely relevant.

His PRIVATE insurance does NOT apply because he was working for lyft.

the driver involved in the crash with the fire truck only had his Lyft app turned on, and had not been paired with a passenger yet. In that situation, Lyft is still the primary insurance policy, but the amount of property damage coverage required drops to only $30,000.

Search for 30,000 in the bill for regulating Uber and Lyft and you'll find that him working for Lyft is the point here.

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He was driving as a private individual, so he is insured under his private individual plan...

...His status as a Lyft Driver is COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT to this particular accident.

The moment you turn the rideshare app on, your private insurance company considers you to be using your vehicle for "work," and washes its hands of you*. Up until recently, drivers in "match mode," i.e. app is on looking for passengers but a ride hasn't been accepted yet, weren't covered by personal or rideshare insurance.

The actual term for this is "gap coverage," and it's the exact issue that has been at the heart of the rideshare/insurance debate from the start. Lyft only announced its (obviously minimal) gap coverage in 2014.

*Some insurance companies, USAA having been the first in MA, are now offering ride share drivers special rideshare plans, which by my understanding is effectively a hybrid of commercial and personal coverage that would cover you up until you except a ride, and again immediately once the ride is finished.

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He wasn't driving for Lyft at the time. What part of that do you not understand?

I don't see why the zeal here - this is a media-driven hate frenzy. Had he never ever used the car for Lyft, there would simply be no story here.

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reading comprehension is so difficult for you? From the WBZ article:

However, the driver involved in the crash with the fire truck only had his Lyft app turned on, and had not been paired with a passenger yet.

Here's a screenshot with the above sentence highlighted, for good measure.

Bad anon is bad.

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Go read it again. He didn't have the Lyft app on. He was a private person driving a private car. Period.

Take it up with the insurance people if you have a problem with maximum property damage coverage limits.

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you should read it again? From the WBZ article:

However, the driver involved in the crash with the fire truck only had his Lyft app turned on, and had not been paired with a passenger yet.

Here's a screenshot with the above sentence highlighted, for good measure.

Bad anon #2 is bad.

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We illiterates have trouble understanding when the words aren't yelled.

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How many times do they repeat LYFT DRIVER LYFT DRIVER LYFT DRIVER and never explain that he wasn't driving for Lyft at the time?

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What part of

However, the driver involved in the crash with the fire truck only had his Lyft app turned on, and had not been paired with a passenger yet.

are people not understanding? When the app is on, you're no longer a private driver; you're driving for Lyft.

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I believe the point is that the original posting said nothing whatsoever about insurance.

WBZ reports how the Lyft driver who caused that multi-car pileup on Comm. Ave. in October only has $30,000 worth of damage caused to all the cars and a Boston firetruck, because he hadn't turned on his Lyft app.

What does "Has only $30,000 worth of damage" mean? I'm sort of guessing it means that he had only $30,000 worth of liability coverage, but that's not what it says.

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I was commenting on part of Adam's sentence "only has $30,000 worth of damage caused to all the cars". There seems to be a word or two missing. :-)

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Per WBZ.

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Either way, Mass insurance requirements are insanely low. The minimum coverage limit for property damage is a measly $5,000 per accident, which makes absolutely no sense when the cheapest new car is $12k, and the average new car in Boston is probably $30k.

http://www.mass.gov/ago/consumer-resources/consumer-information/auto-and...

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but many states, including PA, NJ, and CA have similarly low limits.

New Hampshire, as many readers will know, doesn't require liability insurance at all. Live free or die.

Auto insurance minimum liability limits in general, including those for personal injury or death, are insanely low in the United States. Often they were enacted decades ago when replacing or repairing someone else's car for $5k or $10k was a reasonable proposition, and have never been adjusted for inflation. Raising the limits, however, is likely politically untenable. Raising minimum limits to be more congruent with present-day medical costs and repair/replacement costs for vehicles would result in sharply increased premiums to those who buy such coverage, many of whom would be ill-prepared to afford it. Cap the premium increases via the regulatory process, and you'd get the insurance companies fighting you tooth and nail on it, too.

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"Supporters of the taxi industry argue the incident highlights another example of rideshare companies not playing by the same set of rules. They say taxis carry the same insurance coverage, regardless of whether or not they have a passenger."

True...but I seem to remember from that Globe article a couple years back that taxis carry only $10k in liability coverage whether or not they have a passenger. And that they are impossible to collect from because the actual license holders are hidden behind a web of shell companies.

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My Mom was hit by a cab a few years ago. Cabs only have to carry 20K worth of insurance. We sued and got another 10K out of them.

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There are lots of news articles that say the minimum coverage taxis need for *bodily injury* is $20k per person/$40k per accident.

But I can't find anything about their minimum coverage for property damage. If it's the same as private cars, it would be $5k per accident.

Which is way less than the $30k of property damage coverage this Lyft driver had on his personal policy.

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"“But obviously, extraordinary circumstances lead to conversations and I think we’ll certainly take a further look at it going forward,” he told the I-Team. “Everything is open to review.”"

Is Rep. Aaron Michlewitz vying for Trump's cabinet with that wording?

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He's a Democrat, so a Clinton insult would be more appropriate.

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While this is not this guys fault at all, was it really worth it to remove collision from his own insurance to save a few bucks a month on a 2010 Mercedes? That stinks.

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This was meant to be a reply to someone initially, see above post :/

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"because he hadn't turned on his Lyft app."

Based on what I read in the actual article, I don't think this is correct. If he hadn't turned on the app at all, his personal insurance would have kicked in. It seems like he HAD turned on the app, but had NOT accepted a ride request yet. So Lyft's insurance took effect in that case (and his personal insurance did not), but because he wasn't actively servicing a ride request, Lyft caps the damages paid out to $30,000. Does that sound right?

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