Code of the District of Columbia

§ 50–301.29c. Insurance requirements for private vehicles-for-hire.

(a) A private vehicle-for-hire company or operator shall maintain a primary automobile liability insurance policy that provides coverage of at least $1 million per occurrence for accidents involving a private vehicle-for-hire operator at all times when the operator is engaged in a prearranged ride.

(b) A private vehicle-for-hire operator or a private vehicle-for-hire company on the operator’s behalf shall maintain a primary automobile liability insurance policy that, for the time period when a private vehicle-for-hire operator is logged onto a private vehicle-for-hire company’s digital dispatch showing that the operator is available to pick up passengers but is not engaged in a prearranged ride:

(1) Recognizes that the operator is a private vehicle-for-hire operator and covers the operator’s provision of private vehicle-for-hire service while the operator is logged into the private vehicle-for-hire company’s digital dispatch showing that the operator is available to pick up passengers;

(2) Provides minimum coverage of at least $50,000 per person per accident, with up to $100,000 available to all persons per accident, and $25,000 for property damage per accident; and

(3) Either:

(A) Offers full-time coverage similar to the coverage required by § 50-301.14;

(B) Contains an insurance rider to, or endorsement of, the operator’s personal automobile liability insurance policy required by § 31-2406; or

(C) Offers a liability insurance policy purchased by the private vehicle-for-hire company that provides primary coverage for the time period in which an operator is logged into the private vehicle-for-hire company’s digital dispatch showing that the operator is available to pick up passengers.

(c) If a private vehicle-for-hire company purchases an insurance policy under this section, it shall provide proof to the DFHV that the private vehicle-for-hire company has secured the policy.

(d) A private vehicle-for-hire company shall not allow a private vehicle-for-hire operator who has purchased his or her own policy to fulfill the requirements of this section to accept a trip request through the digital dispatch service used by the private vehicle-for-company until the private vehicle-for-hire company verifies that the operator maintains insurance as required under this section. If the insurance maintained by a private vehicle-for-hire operator to fulfill the insurance requirements of this section has lapsed or ceased to exist, the private vehicle-for-hire company shall provide the coverage required by this section beginning with the first dollar of a claim.

(e) Nothing in this section shall require an operator to obtain a personal automobile insurance policy that provides coverage for the time period in which an operator is logged into a private vehicle-for-hire company’s digital dispatch.

(f) If more than one insurance policy purchased by a private vehicle-for-hire company provides valid and collectable coverage for a loss arising out of an occurrence involving a motor vehicle operated by a private vehicle-for-hire operator, the responsibility for the claim shall be divided on an equal basis among all of the applicable polices; provided, that a claim may be divided in a different manner by written agreement of all of the insurers of the applicable policies and the policy owners.

(g) In a claims coverage investigation, a private vehicle-for-hire company shall cooperate with any insurer that insures the private vehicle-for-hire operator’s motor vehicle, including providing relevant dates and times during which an accident occurred that involved the operator to determine whether the operator was logged into a private vehicle-for-hire company’s digital dispatch showing that the operator is available to pick up passengers.

(h) The insurance requirements set forth in this section shall be disclosed on a private vehicle-for-hire company’s website, and the company’s terms of service shall not contradict or be used to evade the insurance requirements of this section.

(i) Within 90 days of March 10, 2015, a private vehicle-for-hire company that purchases insurance on an operator’s behalf under this section shall disclose in writing to the operator, as part of its agreement with the operator:

(1) The insurance coverage and limits of liability that the private vehicle-for-hire company provides while the operator is logged into the company’s digital dispatch showing that the operator is available to pick up passengers; and

(2) That the operator’s personal automobile insurance policy may not provide coverage, including collision physical damage coverage, comprehensive physical damage coverage, uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage, or medical payments coverage because the operator uses a vehicle in connection with a private vehicle-for-hire company.

(j) An insurance policy required by this section may be obtained from an insurance company authorized to do business in the District or with a surplus lines insurance company with an AM Best rating of at least A-.

(k) A private vehicle-for-hire company or operator shall have 120 days from March 10, 2015, to procure primary insurance coverage that complies with the requirements of subsection (b) of this section; provided, that until such time, a company shall maintain a contingent liability policy meeting at least the minimum limits of subsection (b) of this section that will cover a claim in the event that the operator’s personal insurance policy denies a claim.

(l) Within one year of March 10, 2015, the Mayor shall assess whether the insurance requirements of this section are appropriate to the risk of private vehicle-for-hire services and shall report its findings to the Council.

(m) For the purposes of this section, the term “pre-arranged ride” shall mean a period of time that begins when a private vehicle-for-hire operator accepts a requested ride through digital dispatch, continues while the operator transports the passenger in the operator’s vehicle, and ends when the passenger departs from the vehicle.


(Mar. 25, 1986, D.C. Law 6-97, § 20j-3; as added Mar. 10, 2015, D.C. Law 20-197, § 2(k), 61 DCR 12430; June 22, 2016, D.C. Law 21-124, § 401(dd), 63 DCR 7076.)

Editor's Notes

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-197: Section 7 of D.C. Law 20-197 provided, in part, that §§ 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the act shall apply as of March 10, 2015.