Farmers Insurance rolled out insurance coverage this week to Nebraska drivers who provide ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft — most likely becoming the first insurance group to offer the coverage in the state.

The additional insurance, available to existing and potential customers, adds about $15 a month to a driver’s personal auto premium, though the figure may vary depending on the type and amount of coverage selected.

A customer must have an underlying personal auto policy with Farmers Insurance to add the new endorsement.

The policy satisfies Nebraska’s new ride-hailing law that requires drivers to possess insurance coverage at all times while they are working.

“Our coverage extends to drivers whether they drive for Lyft or Uber or both,” said Mariel Devesa, head of product innovation for Farmers Insurance. The coverage is not available in Iowa.

Farmers’ “Rideshare Insurance Coverage” offers drivers coverage for the “ride-hailing coverage gap,” which has been a source of litigation in some jurisdictions.

Under a Farmers ride-hailing policy, drivers are covered from the time they turn on the app and during the time they’re awaiting a match, Devesa said.

Although some ride-hailing companies offer insurance during that period, it’s usually minimal. It’s not until a driver accepts a ride request in the app that the ride-hailing company’s full liability coverage kicks in. It ends once the rider ends his or her ride.

State Farm does not offer ride-hailing coverage in Nebraska or Iowa, though earlier this month it began offering a new endorsement in Colorado to fill insurance gaps for customers who drive for ride-hailing companies such as Uber or Lyft, said Ann Avery, a regional State Farm spokeswoman.

Geico has said it plans to offer coverage in Nebraska; according to its website, it offers ride-hailing policies only in Connecticut, Georgia, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. Geico did not respond to a request for more information. Geico is owned by Berkshire Hathaway, which also owns The World-Herald.

Farmers said it worked with the Nebraska Department of Insurance, legislators and Uber and Lyft to develop its ride-hailing policy.

Contact the writer: 402-444-1142, janice.podsada@owh.com

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