Ride sharing has become popular recently, as it is usually much cheaper than a taxi. These services are accessed through apps on smartphones, making it especially attractive to the tech-savvy generations. Being able to schedule a ride, view a map, see availability, and get a time estimate all through a hand-held device makes this service very convenient for busy commuters.

There are also some concerns when using these services. Due to the rapid growth in this industry, regulatory departments haven’t been able to keep up with it.  There are bound to be laws modified and statutes written, but currently drivers can be anyone who chooses to participate.  There are no background checks or safety qualifications.  That’s quite a gamble to put you and your loved ones in the care of a virtual stranger. While ride-sharing is cheaper than taking a cab most of the time, there is nothing governing the prices.  For example, during the recent hostage situation in Sydney, drivers were charging four times their regular rates! Another thing to consider is whether or not the drivers have the proper insurance. Some think they can get by with just their personal auto policy, but when driving passengers as a fare, a commercial policy is required.

Many states, including Arizona, are hitting the brakes on this new trend. People use their personal vehicle to pick up some extra cash in their spare time, but Arizona is now targeting these drivers for insurance violations. Rather than picking up extra cash, it could cost them big! Shawn Marquez from the Arizona Department of Weights & Measures says the fines for this insurance violation are $2500-2700 per stop. “You’re hauling human beings around,” he said. “You’re not hauling pumpkins! It is a matter of public safety.”

“God forbid you get in a wreck or somebody else hits you,” said Marquez. “Your insurance company is going to find out you were transporting people, and you’re going to have your insurance canceled. Everyone is on the hook at that point.”

In 2014 Arizona has issued citations to dozens of drivers, busting them either through customer complaints or undercover stings. According to state records, 61 drivers have been cited with $2,700.00 fines—totaling $160,000.00 in penalties.

Insurance Professionals of Arizona can assist you in determining exactly what kind of policy and coverage you need for your situation. Call 480-981-6338 for more information on customizing an insurance policy with the most coverage for your money!

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