House passes regulations bill for Ride Share Companies like Uber, Lyft

Posted at 5:28 AM, Apr 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-07 05:53:35-04

The fight to regulate Uber, Lyft and other ride share companies is pushing through Tallahassee right now. House bill 221 passed Wednesday unanimously, and Thursday, Senate bill 340 passed through a subcommittee.

Uber and Lyft have quickly become popular choices for folks looking for a cheap ride.

Karryn Palombo hasn't driven for Uber in a while but when she did, weekends were the time to log on and drive. She says getting approved to be a driver took about a week.

"Sending in your license, your registration and your proof of insurance; they obviously run a background check, so you have to pass all of that," said Palombo.

The bill doesn't change those requirements, Instead lawmakers say it enhances them to make sure you're better protected.

Right now, drivers may not be covered under their insurance if they are using their car to drive people around and make money. The bill would require you to have insurance with commercial coverage and the company you're driving for would be equally responsible for making sure you have the right coverage.

The new insurance requirement if you aren't driving someone is at least $50,000 for death and injury per person, $100,000 per incident, and $25,000 for property damage. While a passenger is in the car, a liability coverage of $1 million is required but Uber says it already provides that.

Palombo believes if insurance rates go up, ride share companies will lose drivers.

"We already have to pay even more money for maintenance - we are having to maintain our cars a lot more than normal people do," she says. "The cost of that plus now upping the insurance - would that even benefit us trying to make the money? Because the whole point of us is to make extra money."

If the bill were to become law, counties and cities would no longer have the ability to regulate ride share companies on a local level.