Unit 4 – What to do in an accident – How to get help from Uber / your personal Insurance

If you haven’t read our section on Uber driver insurance, you’ll want to read it now.  That section will explain to you what is covered by Uber and what is covered by your personal insurance.  Your personal insurance may not cover you in an accident while driving for Uber!

In this unit we will cover what to do when you are in an accident. We’ll try to answer questions like which insurance company do you call first?

What to do in an accident?

If there are injuries call 911 immediately.

What to do in an accident while driving for Uber?

  1. If necessary, call 911. The police and emergency services may be needed.
  2. Make sure to take photos of damage to your car and the other cars at the scene.
  3. Make sure to get the license plate and contact information for other drivers. (Take a photo of their plate if you can.)
  4. Collect information from witnesses.
  5. Call Uber’s emergency hotline: 800-353-8237. Save this number to your phone for future reference. If this number isn’t working you may have to send an email to Uber support@uber.com
  6. Call your insurance company.
  7. NEVER admit your fault. Even if you think it is your fault don’t say so.
  8. Maintain your calm. Don’t blame the other driver. Don’t argue.
  9. Record your thoughts on the accident so that you can remember the details better if you need to.

Whose insurance do you contact first?

Were you in “online” mode in the Uber Partner App?

Did you have a passenger? – Were you en route to pick up a passenger whose request you had accepted?

It is recommended you contact Uber first. However, if you do Uber will deactivate you as a driver. This could mean you go weeks without driving.

Contact Uber’s hotline at: 800-353-8237 (ONLY to be used in emergencies such as accidents.)

If you cannot reach them there are several other ways to contact Uber. You can contact them in the app, via twitter, the web, or email. Our page on how to contact Uber has all the details.

Were you online in the Uber Partner app and waiting for a ride request?

Your coverage from Uber is contingent upon your personal insurance coverage.  Contact your personal insurance coverage first, then contact Uber.

If you were NOT in online mode in the Uber Partner app.

Contact your personal insurance company as usual. Uber’s insurance does not apply if you didn’t have the Uber Partner app turned on and in driver mode.

Do NOT fake it.  Do NOT lie and say you were in online mode.  Keep in mind the app is tracking your coordinates, time of day, and everything via GPS. If you try to lie to get Uber to cover you, this is fraud. You could go to jail.

A few important things to note:

Can you afford Uber’s $1000 deductible?

REMEMBER, your phone is a great tool in an accident. You have a camera on your phone to take pictures of the accident. You have the ability to record video. You can also record audio. You can even take notes on your phone.

James River is the insurance company Uber uses. You may be contacted by them and your passengers may be contacted by them to provide details regarding the accident.  If you are not contacted by James River, it is probably because the damage is too minor and wouldn’t reach the $1000 deductible Uber has.

WARNING: Uber Deactivation

Uber will de-activate you as a driver.  They will do this while they investigate whether you are at fault. They will also want to investigate the damage to your car.  Is it so much damage that it will prevent you from driving?

While Uber is investigating your claim you cannot drive for Uber.  This can take weeks.

If your car is damaged, you cannot drive for Uber. Uber will want you to repair the car before driving.

While you are deactivated by Uber you can drive for other rideshare services like Lyft. We have Lyft driver training available to help you get started with Lyft.


When wondering what to do in an accident while driving for Uber, the most important thing is to stay calm.  If you have a passenger call Uber first. If you don’t have a passenger or are not online call your insurance company first.  If you were online in the app Uber will provide secondary coverage. If you were not online, it is up to your insurance company.

Make sure you have personal rideshare insurance or GAP insurance to cover the gaps in your insurance policy. There are a lot of accidents Uber won’t cover while driving. Not to mention Uber’s $1000 deductible and their deactivating you may make it difficult for you to pay. If you have personal insurance coverage for ridesharing it can save you a lot of headaches.  Read more about Uber driver insurance here.

We hope you never have to ask “What to do in an accident while driving for Uber?”  If it does happen to you this guide can help.


Looking for more?

Return to Module 3 – Getting Started with Uber.
View more Uber Driver Training Modules.