Rideshare Companies Like Dallas’ Alto Can’t Get Insurers to Cover Sexual Assault

Rideshare Companies Like Dallas’ Alto Can’t Get Insurers to Cover Sexual Assault

Many big-name insurers have stopped offering any form of sexual-assault coverage to ridesharing companies because large claims they’ve paid have made it too risky, experts say.

Key findings

The law is unsettled on whether companies are liable for actions of contractors they’ve hired, according to Bryant Greening, attorney and co-founder of LegalRideShare, a Chicago personal-injury firm focusing on cases involving Uber and Lyft. “Different courts rule differently,” he says.

“Unless you’ve already had insurance, it’s nearly impossible for transportation network companies to obtain new coverage in this space without having been in the business for several years... Until you can show us data that demonstrate something different, our numbers will be from the other guys and so we can’t insure you.”

Alto is up to the task, Coleman says. Having raised $14.5 million in venture funding, the company employs its drivers, who undergo what he calls “rigorous” background checks and drug testing, along with three days of training that includes a safe-driving course, he says. The nearly 100-employee business tracks its vehicles’ speeds and uses interior and exterior cameras that can detect distracted driving.

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