32 | APRIL 2019 | Claims Magazine |
An important prospect’s pur- chasing team is coming to town for a major sales pre- sentation. We arrange for a
ride-hailing service (e.g., Uber, Lyft) to
pick up our very important visitors at
the airport and bring them to our home
office. All is well until a truck makes an
illegal turn in front of the ride-hailing
car carrying our visitors, leading to an
accident with all three members of the
prospect’s team severely injured.
Some months later, we are served. The
prospects have filed suit naming the ride
service, the driver, the trucking company
— and us. Now what?
Let’s pause to parse this entirely plau-
sible set of events. We know that the ma-
jor ride-hailing services carry insurance
against such eventualities, but we read in
their own information that their policies
carry million-dollar limits. This sparks a
few questions, including:
•Is that limit per person or per
• Were we aware of the limit before we
ordered the ride for our guests?
• Do we have a corporate account with
the ride-hailing service or did one of
our executives put this ride on his
own personal account?
• If we have a corporate account, does
that include a contract that spells out
liability assignments? For example, if
our executive vice president (EVP)
put this charge on his own card, what
does his agreement with the service
say about liability in the event that
the policy limit is breached? Does
it even cover rides ordered for third
parties? Does his liability roll up to
Determining who’s liable
As these questions demonstrate, a
simple business courtesy like providing
a ride-hailing service for visitors can lead
to a complex web of potential liabilities.
Further, the liabilities are equally complex
if an organization establishes a corporate
agreement with a service to provide rides
for employees during normal business
travel. Companies have increasingly entered into these agreements to provide
a benefit to their employees and control
travel and expense. But how does this
arrangement impact the company’s obligations for workers’ compensation under
the “coming and going” regulations in the
states in which they operate?
As of today, courts have not provided definitive guidance on the issue of
workers’ compensation for a company arranging the use of a ride-hailing service.
By Gary Anderberg
Ride - Hailing