Part 2: Easy Peasy TNC Insurance Legislation for Florida (diagnose the gaps)

FLHSMV & FLOIR appear to be playing deaf dumb & blind to the new market conditions & liability questions Uber has unleashed on Florida and Uber drivers.

It feels like you are being intentionally stonewalled when you submit valid questions to these agencies.

Then I saw an interesting fact. Uber’s old background check company Hirease is NOT protected by Uber’s forced arbitration agreements with drivers.

Then it hit me. Maybe the 3rd party lease agents that supply cars to Uber drivers (orchestrated & controlled by Uber including lease payments deducted from driver’s earnings & forwarded to the leasing companies weekly) believe they are covered 24/7 app on or off by Uber’s smoke & mirror $1 million dollar James River policy?

Or maybe Uber contracted 3rd party lessors KNOW Uber’s cheese cloth insurance doesnt shield their liability. But they are simply rolling the dice that the victims in Uber accidents will simply run out of lawyer cash when they are trying to figure out who to sue: Uber, Uber driver, personal insurance, or the 3rd party lessor.

Out of that gang of four, 3 parties have the cash to sue each other playing “Not It” FOR YEARS. While you run out of lawyer money. Your totalled car is still totalled. Your medical bills unpaid.

As your lawyer is dropping you as a client he suggests if you can scrape some more cash together you can sue the Uber driver and garnish his minimum wage paycheck til he is 90.

Make no mistake here. The PCIAA and PIFF lobby (powerful lobby for Allstate, Geico, Progressive etc) that once was on the public (and the Uber drivers) side has long since joined forces with Uber. Uber minions drafted “agnostic” aka ambiguous TNC bill language “model legislation” to ensure neither Uber nor PCIAA/PIFF insurers will be left holding the bag.

Language like “either Uber or THE UBER DRIVER” & “TNC driver is required to maintain ‘adequate’ liability insurance” (which no one sells)…. Must be deleted from any TNC legislation. It must be spelled out who is primary insurer and when. It must be spelled out exactly what the Uber drivers BIL & PDL limits are 24/7. And who is writing those policies.

So my research went to Uber orchestrated 3rd party commercial leases for Uber drivers. How were Uber drivers able to register and insure these cars when the insurance doesnt exist? And if it did… Uber drivers could not afford it? And the lease agreements are commercial?

My research turned to FLOIR. Who said “gee we dont know but FLHSMV regulates FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY”

I thought “this is it.” I was hot on the trail of an Uber/FLOIR conspiracy theory. How does the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation “not know?”. So I went in for the kill to FLHSMV to prove my case.

I set the ball up easy for a spike over the net. Game point. I got em.

“So FLHSMV which ordinance requires the driver to register a commercial lease contract agreement car as commercial & not personal? And get a commercial insurance policy?”

LoL I didnt even say Uber driver. Because of course FLHSMV has a statute that covers this sort of thing for ANY driver that signs a commercial lease…

I almost dropped my Android as I read FLHSMV’s response email to the commercial lease question.

THERE IS NO STATUTE THAT COVERS THAT.

W T F ? ! ? !

So I went back to google research. NFW. None. NdoubleFW.

And on google search “Florida regulation financial responsibility lease cars” I (thought) I found the smoking conspiracy gun.

“If lessee (Uber driver) does not have required BIL B.ody I.njury L.iability & PDL P.roperty D.amage L.iability(just like a taxi)(not required in normal personal insurance car registration) of 100/300/50 or $500k combined THE LESSOR (Uber 3rd party leasing agent) IS LEGAL OWNER WITH 24/7 $1 MILLION DOLLAR+ FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY”

If this is the law how the hell could FLHSMV have never written a statute requiring commercial lease drivers to commercial register and insure the lease?

My conspiracy theory was back at Category 5.

But then it hit me. Since the dawn of FLHSMV, way before Uber was even a concept, any lessor writing a commercial or non commercial lease knew to C.over Y.our A.ss

FLHSMV never had to write a statute regulating commercial or non commercial leases because FLHSMV AND the LESSOR knew the LESSOR’s FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY ass was on the line if the lease driver did not have a 100/300/50 policy in force that covered the driver’s activity. But that direct laissez faire accountability evaporated when Uber’s murky James River non 24/7 insurance sauntered onto the playing field.

Yes. This negates my prior FLHSMV & FLOIR Uber conspiracy theory. While at the same time opening a new can of insurance gap regulatory questions & concerns….

Under current or pending Florida Senate, House, FLOIR, & FLHSMV laws is Uber or Uber orchestrated 3rd party Lessor agent 24/7 LEGAL OWNER & FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE as the Uber driver lessee sure bet dollars to donuts does NOT carry 100/300/50 BIL and PDL?

Florida Senate, House, FLOIR, and FLHSMV have to write a new statute into law requiring any lessor that commercial or non commercial leases to a TNC Uber or Lyft driver register & insure the car as commercial.

Other Gaps. FLHSMV claims it does not regulate ANY Vehicle for Hire.

Not true. FLHSMV regulates taxi drivers to the tune of 100/300/50 BIL and PDL.

FLHSMV needs to step up to the plate and create across the board BIL PDL limits for taxi, limo, motor carrier, or TNC people moving drivers in non buses or non trains.

The non answer that FLHSMV does not regulate VFH & only requires driver to prove 10/20/10 personal insurance coverage ability to pay to register a car for commercial Uber driving is a joke.

Florida lets fix this right the first time. Level the field. Protect public hire drivers. Protect the Public. FFS.