Missouri Uber drivers now required to have car insurance

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JEFFERSON CITY - Your next ride with Uber or Lyft will be different than last time.

Governor Nixon signed a bill into law Thursday requiring car insurance for people who use their personal vehicles for commercial use through ride-sharing companies. 

If a person chooses to be an Uber driver, they will be required to have this $1 million policy.

The insurance coverage requirements would be between a transportation network company (TNC) and a TNC driver using their own car for commercial use. 

Sen. Mike Parson, R-Bolivar sponsored the bill. Parson thought it was important to clarify when a private vehicle becomes a commercial vehicle for safety reasons. 

"There's a reasonable expectation when you get in a vehicle as a consumer that you think there's coverage, especially if someone is doing it for hire," Parson said. "Unfortunately because it's somewhat new, I'm not sure everybody realizes how it works. The other thing unfortunately is some of them didn't have the coverage that they should have," Parson said. 

Before the law, Uber drivers weren't required to have insurance. Parson said some insurance companies don't allow a driver to use a car for commercial use without additional coverage. Now, drivers will have their own policy in addition to a larger policy for the commercial use.

Parson said the new law allows for the consumer to be taken care of if there were an accident. 

"You can get in a car with a driver and you can get injured. All of a sudden you find out the driver is not covered, and then you as a citizen that got in the vehicle, and your car insurance doesn't cover it. All of a sudden there's this gap, like who covers this?" 

 The law will go into effect April 1st, 2017.