Lyft to boost driver insurance with MetLife partnership

While insurance requirements for peer-to-peer car service companies are already strict, Lyft appears to be playing it safe.

Dara Kerr Former senior reporter
Dara Kerr was a senior reporter for CNET covering the on-demand economy and tech culture. She grew up in Colorado, went to school in New York City and can never remember how to pronounce gif.
Dara Kerr
2 min read

A Lyft driver displays the service's iconic pink mustache on the grill of his car. Lyft

One of regulator's biggest concerns with peer-to-peer car service companies is driver insurance. It appears Lyft is looking to ease this concern by partnering with the auto insurance company MetLife.

The ridesharing service announced Tuesday that it has partnered with MetLife to enhance the insurance already required of drivers, which will in turn do more to protect passengers.

"In the coming months, we will work together with MetLife Auto & Home to develop insurance solutions that further protect Lyft's drivers and passengers when utilizing this new sharing economy platform," Lyft wrote in a blog post. "MetLife has recognized the opportunity to serve Lyft users in this emerging marketplace for community-powered transportation, with millions of rides shared among users across the country."

Most states that allow peer-to-peer car services already require drivers to carry high liability insurance. For example, California drivers must be licensed by the California Public Utilities Commission, go through criminal background checks, attend driver-training programs, carry $1 million per-incident insurance coverage, and have a zero-tolerance policy on drugs and alcohol.

Other ridesharing apps also have strict insurance policies. Lyft competitor Uber said last year that it added a $2 million minimum insurance policy for drivers in the new cities and states it expanded to. Uber also enhanced its insurance policy in March after a driver hit and killed a 6-year-old girl in San Francisco on New Year's Eve.

It's unclear what exactly the Lyft and MetLife partnership will bring to drivers and passengers. Lyft only wrote that it will have "more news to share soon."

Correction, 2:25 p.m. PT: This story incorrectly stated when Uber announced its $2 million insurance policy. Uber announced the policy in April 2013.