Update to Oregon Law – More Coverage for Taxi/Rideshare Passenger
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Oregon lawmakers recently fixed an issue that has been a problem for a while in the state. Until the recent amendments to Oregon law, passengers in taxis and rideshares did not have personal injury protection benefits (PIP). PIP insurance covers things like medical expenses, temporary wage loss, and funeral costs, and the fact that it did not include passengers in taxis and rideshares was an oversight, which we are glad to see the Oregon legislature correcting.
The basic change is that the law now adds taxis and “transportation network companies” (rideshares like Lyft and Uber) to the list of passenger vehicles that must have PIP coverage. This means that as a passenger in one of these types of vehicles, you now have access to PIP coverage in Oregon! The law went into effect on January 1st, 2022.

It is important to note that this date does not mean that any accident involving a rideshare after January 1st, 2022 is covered. The law only applies to new and renewed insurance policies. Eventually, this will be all insurance policies as they have to be renewed, but be mindful that an insurance policy issued before January 1st, 2022 does not have to have PIP coverage for taxis and rideshares.
Insurance companies also do not have to provide PIP coverage to drivers that did not inform the insurance company of the purpose of their trip. So, if a driver does not tell their insurance company that they are driving for a rideshare, the insurance company does not have to provide PIP benefits.

That’s what has changed in Oregon law on PIP coverage and rideshares. Now, how does that affect you? Let’s look at the top questions you likely have about this new law.

Can I get PIP benefits as a passenger in a rideshare in Oregon?

Thanks to the recent changes, yes you can! The changes state that all taxis and transportation network companies must provide insurance policies that provide PIP benefits. Whenever the vehicle is being used for the company, that insurance policy must cover the driver, passengers, and any pedestrians the vehicle might hit. Thus, if you are in an accident as a passenger in a rideshare you have access to PIP benefits. However, this access is still restricted by what we mentioned earlier. It only applies to new and renewed insurance policies, and it does not apply if the driver of a private vehicle does not inform the insurance company of the fact that they are driving for a rideshare.

Who pays my medical bills if I am a passenger in a rideshare and they get in an accident in Oregon?

If you get in a serious accident the last thing you want to worry about is medical bills. Before the change in law, if you were a passenger in a rideshare and were injured in an accident your own insurance would have to cover your medical bills. Now, the taxi company’s or rideshare company’s insurance policy will have to cover the bills. Medical bills are one of the things frequently covered by PIP benefits. Without PIP benefits you would need to wait for your case to close to get compensation, which can take a long time. PIP benefits ensure that you never have to worry about paying your medical bills, and the new law makes sure that you have PIP whenever you are in a rideshare.

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