State Farm announced a new coverage option in Tennessee to help fill insurance gaps for customers who use their personal cars to provide rides.
"Adapting and innovating to our customers’ changing needs is critical," State Farm spokesman Kip Diggs said in a prepared statement. "This new product is an example of our commitment to our customers and provides them coverage and peace of mind."
Uber came to the Chattanooga market in November 2014.
Transportation network companies such as Uber and Lyft are changing the livery and taxi industries by using mobile technology to allow customers to secure rides.
State Farm leaders said that with the new technology come new risks for drivers, because insurance provided by the transportation network companies may be limited. And personal auto policies generally don't provide coverage to people who are using their cars for services such as Uber.
To help meet customer needs, State Farm started offering their new coverage option this week in Tennessee.
According to a news release:
[Transportation network companies] in Tennessee may provide high liability coverage limits while a paying passenger occupies the driver’s vehicle or when the driver has been connected with a passenger and is on the way to pick that person up. But [the companies] tend to provide a much lower limit of liability coverage when drivers are just available for hire and may not provide the drivers with any medical payments, comprehensive or collision coverages at all.
And the companies may not be providing coverage for injuries to the driver or coverage for any damage to the driver’s personal car, also according to the State Farm news release.
The new policy enables customers to have their personal auto policy fill in the coverage gaps left by a transportation company's insurance.
Anyone who wants more information should contact their local State Farm agent.