Lyft driver's crash with fire truck could expose shortfalls of insurance coverage

by: Bob Ward Updated: Nov 22, 2016 - 6:44 PM

BOSTON - There may not be enough insurance money to pay for all the damage after a Lyft driver crashed into a Boston fire truck last month.

The driver hit the truck in the intersection of Commonwealth Avenue and Dartmouth Street, which sent the truck crashing into a row of parked cars -- causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

The driver of the Chevy Equinox was working for the ride-hailing service Lyft at the time. Boston police have cited him for the crash.

But owners of rideshare cars are suddenly realizing they’re in for a big headache as there may not be enough insurance money to pay for all the damage.

In an email to FOX25, Lyft says because its driver didn’t have a passenger or an assignment, its insurance is limited to $25,000 for the entire crash.

The Boston fire department told FOX25 it estimates the damage to its 20-year-old reserve fire engine, which suffered a bent frame, to be at least $50,000.

The owner of a luxury car showed us documents that his car was valued at nearly $14,000 and it was considered totaled.

Those two vehicles alone total $64,000, well above Lyft's $25,000 limit.

With the number of luxury cars damaged or destroyed, the total could easily top $100,000.

Mayor Marty Walsh told FOX25 insurance for ride-hailing services like Lyft has been a concern from the beginning.

“I know when legislation was passed we were concerned about some of the regulations and the ability to regulate car sharing and we don’t have that ability in the city. And I think one of the check marks we were looking at was insurance,” Walsh said.

The city hasn't made a decision on how it will move forward, it just knows that fire truck is going to be scrapped. 

Several of the owners of damaged cars say they're looking at their own options.

“Don’t let Uber and Lyft’s $1 million dollar insurance coverage fool you. This should be a great concern for other drivers on the streets, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Rideshare insurance coverage is NOT what you think. I’m hoping regulators in the future will understand the importance of this.”
— A#1 Cab Dispatch- Naomi Hjelm's thoughts on this article