Want to learn about Lyft car accident claims and settlement amounts?
Here, you’ll get awesome up to date tips on dealing with Lyft’s claims department. On September 21, 2018, Lyft changed their insurance company. I’ll explain this in detail in a bit.
That’s not it…
I’ll share must-know tips on dealing with York Risk Services, and Steadfast Insurance company. You’ll also hear about settlements and claims with Lyft’s new insurance company, Greenwich Insurance Company.
For starters, here is my video on Lyft accident settlement amounts and claims.
I wrote a separate articles on claims if an Uber or Lyft driver’s negligence caused your injury in Florida.
First, let’s start off with my settlement with Lyft’s insurance company.
Lyft Passenger Gets $70K Settlement for Car Accident (Miami Shores)
I had a $70,000 settlement for a passenger who was in a Lyft car. Another car hit the car that the Lyft passenger (my client) was in. Lyft’s (York Insurance) $45,000 check is above.
It gets better:
GEICO issued a $25,000 settlement check within just one month after the accident!
You might be wondering:
Why did GEICO send us a $25,000 check so fast?
They quickly issued a check because the GEICO insurance policy had low limits relative to my client’s injuries. Additionally, the driver (who GEICO insured) receiving a ticket for driving too fast for the conditions.
However, GEICO’s $25K check wasn’t enough to compensate my client for his injuries.
Thus, we also made a underinsured motorist insurance claim with Lyft. Fortunately, Lyft had $1 million dollars of underinsured (UIM) motorist insurance that covered its passengers.
Here is Lyft’s old certificate of liability insurance, which shows the $1 million UIM insurance limit.
Lyft’s insurer (at the time) was Zurich American Insurance Company. York Risk Services Group handled the claim for Zurich. Zurich paid us $45,000 to settle the passenger’s UIM insurance claim.
As I mentioned above, we settled the entire case for $70,000.
For accidents starting September 21, 2018, Lyft’s certificate of insurance says that Greenwich Insurance Company insures Lyft (for Florida claims). Greenwich is part of AXA XL.
However, I’ve heard that York/Lyft sent an email to an injured car occupant stating that Indian Harbor Insurance Company is Lyft’s insurer. This was for a Florida claim. However, this doesn’t really have an impact on claims since Indian Harbor (like Greenwich) is part of AXA XL.
For accidents on or after September 21, 2018, Lyft lowered its uninsured motorist insurance limit. I’m referring to when the Lyft driver is engaged in a ride.
Lyft’s uninsured motorist limit is now $250,000 per accident. (It used to be $1 million.)
This lower uninsured motorist insurance limit applies for accidents starting September 21, 2018 in Florida:
Will Lyft’s First Settlement Offer Be Close to Their Final Offer for Your Injury Claim?
Not from my experience. In the above case that I settled, Lyft’s insurer paid $45,000 of the $70,000 settlement. Their opening offer was $16,000.
Their initial offer was for 36% of their final offer. If we would’ve accepted the initial offer, we would’ve missed out on $29,000.
In most injury cases, it isn’t smart to take their first settlement offer!
How Long Will Lyft Take to Settle Your Case?
The time that it takes to settle a Lyft accident case will depend on the facts of the case. In the Lyft is engaged in a ride, then probably 99.5% of the time, Lyft’s insurance company doesn’t face any pressure to quickly settle.
York handled claims for Lyft’s old insurer, Zurich American Insurance Company. I don’t know if York is also handling claims for Lyft’s new insurer, Greenwich Insurance Company. As soon as I hear something, I will update this article.
Why doesn’t Lyft’s insurance company face pressure to quickly settle?
Because Lyft has high liability insurance limits ($1 Million). Combine this with the fact that most injury cases are worth much less than the $1 Million.
Thus, in almost all cases where the Lyft driver was engaged in a ride, Lyft’s insurance company doesn’t have to worry about getting hit with a verdict for above the policy limits.
Again, the $1 million limit is pretty big. At least compared to most Florida personal car insurance policies.
However, if the Lyft driver had the app on, but wasn’t engaged in a ride, then things are different. This is because the Lyft’s bodily injury liability (BIL) insurance limits are much lower.
The limits are $50,000 for death or bodily injury per person/$100,000 for death or bodily injury per accident. In this instance, if the Lyft driver’s negligence caused someone else to get badly injured, York may quickly settle for the $50K per person/$100,000K per accident limits.
Examples of Injuries With a Full Value Over $50K
If you look at past jury verdicts, you’ll see that some injuries consistently have a full value of pain and suffering of over $50,000.
Some of these are injuries are if you have surgery to fix a:
- Lower leg (tibia) fracture
- Tibial plateau fracture
- Shoulder joint tear (labrum tear)
- Broken wrist (distal radius fracture)
- Rotator cuff tear
- Fracture of a bone in your face
- Herniated disc
- Thumb fracture
- Broken upper leg bone (femur)
- Hip fracture
- Burst fracture or Compression fracture
- Ankle fracture
There are more injuries with a full settlement value above $50,000.
For example, the full value of pain and suffering for a spinal fusion surgery is over $50,000.
A depressed or open skull fracture is worth over $50,000.
Even without surgery, York should pay the $50,000 per person limits for upper leg bone (femur) fracture. They may even pay the $50,000 per person limits for a lower leg bone (tibia or fibula) fracture without surgery. I settled a case with GEICO for over $64,000 for a leg (fibula) fracture.
Therefore, if the Lyft driver had the app on, but wasn’t engaged in a ride, York may quickly pay the $50,000 per person limits for the above injuries. This assumes the Lyft driver’s negligence caused the injury.
How Long Does Lyft Take To Send You a Settlement Check in an Injury Case?
Lyft’s insurer was quick to send me the $45,000 check after we agreed upon settlement release language. It took about a week or so to receive the check.
This was in a personal injury case. In a Florida crash, Lyft’s insurer has to send you the check within 20 days of you signing a settlement release.
Passenger Gets PIP Benefits Through Lyft’s Insurance; York Handles the Claim
Lyft’s former insurer in Florida, Zurich American Insurance Company, qualified the passenger for Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits. York Risk Services Group, a third party administrator, handled the claim for Zurich.
The passenger got PIP medical benefits through York because he didn’t own a car in Florida, or live with a relative who owned a motor vehicle.
York paid $10,000 of PIP benefits to the passenger’s medical providers for medical treatment.
This crash happened in late 2016.
If this accident would’ve happened on or after July 1, 2017 in Florida, Lyft isn’t required to give PIP benefits to passengers. Florida Statute 627.748(7)(c)1.b. This law doesn’t require Lyft to give any PIP benefits when the car is engaged in a ride.
However, suprisingly, as of September 22, 2017, Lyft still has PIP insurance on all its Florida auto policies.
Lyft is more generous than Uber in this regard.
Zurich Provided Uninsured Motorist Insurance for Passenger
I already mentioned that GEICO insured the other car’s driver. GEICO paid its $25,000 bodily injury liability limits to settle the claim.
Since the Lyft car was in the process of a ride, it was covered by underinsured motorist (UIM) insurance with Zurich.
Zurich paid $45,000 under its UIM insurance coverage to settle the UIM claim.
York Risk Services Uses Different Digits (in Claim Numbers) to Mark the Type of Coverage
Like many third party claim administrators, York Risk Services assigns a claim number for each accident. York puts a digit at the end of the claim number. I’ve seen York use the last digit of the claim number as a 1 or 3.
If York’s claim number ends in a 3, then it is a York Personal Injury Protection (PIP) claim.
Why do you need to know the type of claim?
Because York will send the injured person letters. The letters may have the York adjusters name. However, the letter or email may not say what type of adjuster he or she is.
By knowing the last digit of the claim number, the injured person will know the type of injury claim. Then, the injured person will know the type of adjuster he or she is dealing with.
There is more:
The injured person may be required to give a statement to a PIP or uninsured motorist adjuster. However, the injured person doesn’t have to give a statement to a Lyft bodily injury liability adjuster.
The injured person needs to know the type of York adjuster that he or she is dealing with.
Does PIP Pay Medical Bills and Lost Wages for Lyft Accidents?
If another driver’s negligence caused your injury while you are a Lyft passenger in Florida, and you’re covered by Personal Injury Protection (PIP), it should pay for some of your medical bills and lost wages.
You Have 14 Days to Get Medical Treatment or No PIP Benefits
If you’re entitled to PIP, you must treat within 14 days or you lose your PIP benefits.
PIP is limited to $2,500 if you are not diagnosed with an “emergency medical condition“.
If Passenger Owned a Car, Passenger’s PIP May Pay Medical Bills, Wages
If Passenger Doesn’t Own a Car, Passenger’s Resident Relative’s PIP May Pay Bills, Wages
Lyft Driver’s Personal Policy Will Likely Deny Coverage (Because Driving for a Fee)
This is since, in Florida, most Lyft driver’s personal auto policies will likely deny coverage because the Lyft driver was being paid a fee while driving. Most Florida personal auto policies have an exclusion when the insured is driving for a fee.
A Lyft driver may make a PIP claim with his/her personal auto insurer. If this insurer doesn’t know that the driver was working for Lyft when the accident happened, they may (possibly incorrectly) approve the Lyft driver for PIP.
Warning! Drivers should never lie to any insurer.
If the Lyft driver’s personal insurer approves the Lyft driver for PIP, then they may cover the passenger for PIP even if they learn that the car was being operated as a Lyft. Once they provide PIP coverage for the driver, they may also cover the passenger.
A Small Number of Companies Sell Rideshare Insurance in Florida
It is my understanding that Foremost Insurance (part of Farmers Insurance), Infinity Insurance, and Great Florida are a few auto insurers that sell insurance to Lyft drivers in Florida. So, if one of those companies insures the Lyft driver, then they may pay you PIP Benefits.
However, in the Lyft case that I settled, Lyft’s PIP insurance was the primary PIP insurer.
On July 1, 2017, Lyft became legal throughout the entire state of Florida. Florida Statute 627.748
More and more auto insurers will likely start to sell Rideshare insurance to Lyft drivers.
Can a Lyft passenger get PIP through Lyft for a Florida car crash?
PIP is included on all Lyft automobiles in Florida. Earlier, I showed you the Lyft insurance certificate that says this.
What happens if a Lyft passenger didn’t own a motor vehicle or live with a resident relative who owned a motor vehicle in Florida?
In this scenario, the passenger qualifies for PIP with Lyft’ insurance company. Thus, Greenwich Insurance (or Lyft’s current insurer) would pay the PIP benefits.
York Risk Services Group Claims (“York”) was handling Lyft claims. Again, I’m not sure if York is handling Greenwich’s claims. Once I hear something, I will update this article.
In this scenario, a passenger will need to complete a Lyft Claim for PIP – Affidavit of No Insurance.
Sometime after the Lyft accident occurred that resulted in my $70,000 settlement, York started using a different Affidavit of No Insurance.
Here is Lyft’s Affidavit of No Insurance, as of July 27, 2018:
You may need to edit the form so that it fits your set of facts.
York will also ask you to complete a PIP Application.
Starting July 1, 2017, Lyft vehicles will be classified as limousines in Florida, and thus will be required to have PIP. Florida Statute 627.748
Does Lyft’s PIP Insurance Have a Deductible?
No. Currently, Lyft’s insurance doesn’t have a deductible for PIP.
In Florida, is York entitled to take a passenger’s statement if he makes a PIP claim with them?
Yes. In Florida, an insured seeking PIP benefits, including a passenger, must comply with the terms of the policy. This includes, but is not limited to, submitted to an examination under oath. Florida Statute 627.736.
What can a York claims adjuster ask a Lyft passenger during his PIP statement?
The area of questioning during the examination under oath is limited to relevant information or information that could reasonably be expected to lead to relevant information. This is a pretty liberal standard.
Compliance with this is a condition precedent to receiving benefits. An insurer that, as a general business practice as determined by the office, requests an examination of a passenger without a reasonable basis is subject to s. 626.9541.
Does Lyft Have Medical Payments (“Medpay”) Coverage?
If you look at Lyft’s insurance policy with Zurich, you won’t see Medpay insurance.
However, I represented an injured passenger. Lyft’s PIP insurance paid 100% of his medical bills up to $10,000. Basically, Lyft’s PIP also paid the 20% of the passenger’s medical bills that Medpay would’ve paid.
Thus, in essence, Lyft’s PIP was also acting like Medpay.
What happens if you’re covered under a separate auto insurance policy with Medical Payments (“Medpay”) Coverage?
It may pay for the medical bills the 20% that Lyft’s PIP doesn’t pay, up to $10,000.
Bills Should Be Submitted to Health Insurance (After PIP Pays)
In Florida, your health insurance coverage should pay medical expenses that PIP and Medpay do not pay. In Florida, health insurance is secondary to PIP and Medpay.
This means that PIP needs to be billed first. After PIP and medical payments coverage are billed, your health insurance may pay the bills.
If your health insurance pays your medical expenses, you may have to pay them back from your personal injury settlement with the responsible parties.
Passenger May Have a Personal Injury Claim Against Another Driver
If another driver’s negligence caused injury to a passenger of a Lyft vehicle, the passenger can make against the other driver’s bodily injury liability (BIL) coverage in his auto insurance policy.
Can You Sue a Lyft Driver if the Lyft Driver Didn’t Cause the Crash?
It will be interesting to see if Lyft cars continue to have UM insurance after July 1, 2017. That is the date that Lyft becomes legal throughout Florida.
Lyft Has $250K uninsured motorist bodily injury coverage per incident
In the event that another motorist causes an accident with a Lyft vehicle and doesn’t carry enough liability insurance, a Lyft passenger(s) can make a claim with any uninsured motorist (UM) coverage to which he is an insured.
In addition those UM claims, Lyft’s $250,000 uninsured motorist insurance coverage covers bodily injury to all passengers of the Lyft vehicle.
Before September 21, 2018, Zurich insured Lyft with a $1 Million dollar uninsured motorist insurance policy.
Uninsured motorist insurance gives protection in a hit and run or if the negligent driver is uninsured or underinsured.
If You Weren’t Wearing a Seat Belt, Does This Affect the Claim?
Possibly. The first question to ask is, “Was the occupant wearing a seat belt?”
If the answer is No, then you must ask, “Was there an operational and available seat belt in the car?”
If there was an operational and available seat belt, but the occupant wasn’t using it, the insurance company may argue the “seat belt defense”.
The seat belt defense says that the injured person may have been, at least partially, at fault for contributing to his or her injuries for failure to wear an operational and available seatbelt.
The bad news?
The injured person’s compensation should be reduced accordingly. The person who wasn’t wearing a seat belt should expect the responsible insurance company to make this argument. They may make this argument even if the injured person was a back seat passenger.
More about Lyft’s insurer, Zurich
Zurich is subject to Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (FIGA). This means that if Zurich becomes insolvent (runs out of money), you still may make a personal injury claim for up to $300,000 with the Florida Insurance Guarantee Association.
Can York use everything that a York passenger says against him/her in a UM insurance claim?
Yes. So use caution with everything that you say or put in writing. The York adjuster wants to save Zurich money. He or she is not your friend.
Is Lyft’s Insurance Company Good?
Currently, Lyft is insured with Zurich American Insurance Company. York Risk Services Group handles Zurich’s claims for Lyft accidents.
The good news?
Zurich has a reputation for paying above average for personal injury claims. Zurich’s reputation is similar to USAA in regard to paying above average for injury settlements.
Their goal is to pay you as little as possible.
Can You File a Lawsuit Against Lyft?
If you have a UM insurance claim with Lyft’s insurer, Zurich, and they aren’t making a fair offer, you can sue.
Your lawsuit would be against Zurich, not Lyft. This is because Zurich is the UM insurer.
Can York Require a Passenger to Go to York’s Doctor To Be Examined if the Passenger Makes a UM claim?
Yes. In Florida, uninsured motorist policies typically have wording that requires an insured seeking UM benefits to show up at a medical examination (CME) conducted by a doctor chosen by Zurich.
I would think that Zurich has this language in their insurance policy. A passenger is considered an omnibus insured under an auto insurance policy.
Florida cases that allow them to do this are State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Curran, 83 So.3d 793 (Fla. 5th DCA 2012); Wapnick v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co., 54 So.3d 1065 (Fla. 4th DCA 2011).
Does Lyft Cover Its Drivers’ Cars With Collision Insurance?
Florida law doesn’t require Lyft to cover its drivers with collision and comprehensive coverage. (Collision insurance is a coverage that pays the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle.)
You won’t find any mention of collision or comprehensive coverage on Lyft’s certificate of liability insurance.
Lyft Drivers May Be Covered By Lyft’s Collision Coverage
The good news?
If a Lyft driver is engaged in a ride, Lyft provides collision and comprehensive coverage for its drivers. This coverage starts when the ride is accepted and goes until the ride ends.
But there’s a catch.
For this coverage to apply, the Lyft driver must have collision coverage on their personal auto insurance. Thus, Lyft calls it “contingent” collision coverage.
Here is a screenshot from Lyft’s website.
This insurance covers the Lyft vehicle in case of an accident. It applies regardless of whether the Lyft drivers was at fault or not.
The coverage amount is up to the actual cash value of the vehicle or the cost of repair, whichever is less.
There is a $2,500 deductible. Interestingly, this deductible is much higher than Uber’s collision coverage deductible. Uber’s collision insurance deductible is only $1,000.
So thumb’s up to Uber, and thumbs down to Lyft on this one.
How do you make a claim with Lyft’s insurer, Zurich?
York is the third party claims administrator (TPA) for Lyft’s insurer, Zurich. York’s info is:
Zurich American Insurance Company
C/O York Risk Services Group, Inc.
Attn: PIP, BI and/or UM Claims
PO BOX 183188
COLUMBUS OH 43218
Claim No.: LYFTXXXXXX
Lyft driver: xxxxxx
Zurich’s info is below. However, even though Zurich insures Lyft, York handles Zurich’s claims. So don’t use this Zurich info unless York isn’t responding to you.
File a Claim Online: File a claim online
Email: [email protected]
(877) 962-2567, Attention: Claims Department
By Mail: Claims Department
Zurich American Insurance Company
Attn: Lyft Claims
1400 American Lane
Schaumburg, IL 60196-1056
By writing “Attn: Lyft Claims”, this may get your letter to the proper adjuster faster.
What If You’re Visiting Florida, and You’re Injured in a Lyft Accident?
If you’re injured in a Lyft accident in Florida, while visiting from another state, the claim gets more complex. The out of state visitor is usually in Florida for one of two reasons. They are either here for:
- A vacation (or pleasure)
- Business (work related)
In either instance, the injured person is even more likely to need a Lyft personal injury lawyer to protect their rights. This is because multiple state laws may apply.
- Out of State Visitors Hurt in Florida Car Accidents (Settlements & Claims)
- California Residents Hurt in a Florida Car Accidents
- Georgia Residents Hurt in Florida Car Accidents
- Illinois Residents Hurt in Florida Car Accidents
- New Jersey Residents Hurt in Florida Car Accidents
- New York Residents Hurt in Florida Car Accidents
- Texas Residents Hurt in Florida Car Accidents
Can A Passenger Get Liability and Uninsured Motorist Coverage under the Same Lyft Policy?
Yes, at least in Florida Lyft accident cases.
A Lyft passenger can get compensation under the Lyft driver’s bodily injury liability coverage, as well as under the Lyft driver’s UM coverage provided in the same policy, based on the negligence of an uninsured second driver. Armstrong v. Allstate Ins. Co., 712 So.2d 788 (Fla. 2d DCA 1998); Woodard v. Pennsylvania National Mutual Insurance Co., 534 So.2d 716 (Fla. 1st DCA 1988)
That said, if the only vehicle involved in the crash was the Lyft car, the passenger can only make a injury liability claim. He or she can’t also make a Lyft uninsured motorist insurance claim.
Let’s assume that there were two vehicles involved in the Lyft wreck. In this scenario, the Lyft passenger often won’t need to pursue both a liability and a UM claim with Lyft. This is because most passenger injury claims are worth under $1 million. Thankfully, most car accident injuries aren’t life altering.
When is a Lyft passenger is most likely to need to make a claim under the Lyft driver’s liability and UM coverage?
Additionally, if a Lyft passenger suffers a hand or above the knee amputation he or she will likely need to make a claim against the Lyft driver’s liability and UM coverage.
Likewise, if a passenger has a fracture that requires several surgeries (and infection), it may be worth over $1 million. Although not a Lyft case, a woman broke her kneecap (patella) from an accident. Things went downhill from there, fast.
She had a whopping, six surgeries. During the course of these surgeries she had complication and an infection. A judge awarded her $3 million.
Does Lyft’s Insurance Company Pay Better Than Uber’s Insurance Company?
I would prefer dealing with Lyft’s insurer (Zurich) any day over Uber’s insurer (in Florida), Progressive.
I settled an Uber driver’s accident case for $260,000. However, the at fault driver had big insurance limits. Thus, CNA insurance paid the claim. I didn’t even make an uninsured motorist claim with Progressive.
You can see my video on that $260K settlement here:
See more of my personal injury settlements.
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