BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - Louisiana Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon is issuing a new warning to consumers about rideshare programs popping up in cities across the country.
Uber, which is one of the popular rideshare programs, began servicing the Baton Rouge area earlier in July.
"This is a new, rapidly spreading phenomenon that comes with this danger, no question about it," said Donelon.
The danger he refers to is knowing the proper insurance drivers partnering with rideshare companies need to have to keep themselves and their riders safe.
"[A drivers] own UM coverage may kick in and provide some protection, but from the passenger's point of view, the driver that they're riding with, because of the exclusion of that person's personal passenger vehicle policy, they would be riding in an uninsured vehicle," Donelon explained.
Donelon said drivers partnering with rideshare companies need to make sure they have a commercial auto insurance policy, rather than an individual personal policy. According to Donelon, the commercial policy allows coverage for the driver and passenger when operating a riding service for money.
"My heads up is be careful, know that you should be getting verification of commercial insurance coverage from anyone you sign up for a ridesharing program," Donelon added.
"Our partners have $1 million of commercial insurance coverage for driver liability,” Uber officials said in a statement. “This policy is primary to a ridersharing partner's personal auto insurance policy, and our policy is 20 times what is required of a taxi in Baton Rouge."
Uber is currently the only rideshare company operating in the Capital region.