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Searching 2019-2020 Session

The Vermont Statutes Online

 

Title 23 : Motor Vehicles

Chapter 010 : TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANIES

(Cite as: 23 V.S.A. § 750)
  • § 750. Definitions; insurance requirements

    (a) Definitions. As used in this chapter:

    (1) "Digital network" or "network" means any online-enabled application, software, website, or system offered or used by a transportation network company that enables the prearrangement of rides with transportation network company drivers.

    (2) "Personal vehicle" means a vehicle that is:

    (A) used by a driver to provide a prearranged ride;

    (B) owned, leased, or otherwise authorized for use by the driver; and

    (C) not a taxicab, limousine, or other for-hire vehicle.

    (3) "Prearranged ride" or "ride" means the transportation provided by a driver to a transportation network company rider, beginning when a driver accepts the rider's request for a ride through a digital network controlled by a company; continuing while the driver transports the rider; and ending when the last rider departs from the vehicle. The term does not include:

    (A) shared-expense carpool or vanpool arrangements;

    (B) use of a taxicab, limousine, or other for-hire vehicle;

    (C) use of a public or private regional transportation company that operates along a fixed route; or

    (D) a ride furnished through a broker using a publicly funded network to connect riders to drivers through the Elders and Persons with Disabilities Program, Medicaid Non-Emergency Medical Transportation Program, or other similar governmental transportation program.

    (4) "Transportation network company" or "company" means a person that uses a digital network to connect riders to drivers who provide prearranged rides.

    (5) "Transportation network company driver" or "driver" means an individual who:

    (A) receives connections to potential riders and related services from a transportation network company in exchange for payment of a fee to the company; and

    (B) uses a personal vehicle to offer or provide a prearranged ride to riders upon connection through a digital network controlled by a transportation network company in exchange for compensation or payment of a fee.

    (6) "Transportation network company rider" or "rider" means an individual who uses a company's digital network to connect with a driver who provides rides in his or her personal vehicle between points chosen by the rider.

    (b)(1) Company's financial responsibility. Beginning on July 1, 2018, a driver, or a company on the driver's behalf, shall maintain primary automobile insurance that recognizes that the driver is a company driver or otherwise uses a vehicle to transport passengers for compensation and covers the driver while the driver is logged on to the company's digital network or while the driver is engaged in a prearranged ride.

    (2)(A) The following automobile insurance requirements shall apply while a participating driver is logged on to the transportation network company's digital network and is available to receive transportation requests but is not engaged in a prearranged ride:

    (i) primary automobile liability insurance in the amount of at least $50,000.00 for death and bodily injury per person, $100,000.00 for death and bodily injury per incident, and $25,000.00 for property damage; and

    (ii) any other State-mandated coverage under section 941 of this title.

    (B) The coverage requirements of this subdivision (2) may be satisfied by any of the following:

    (i) automobile insurance maintained by the driver;

    (ii) automobile insurance maintained by the company; or

    (iii) any combination of subdivisions (i) and (ii) of this subdivision (2)(B).

    (3)(A) The following automobile insurance requirements shall apply while a driver is engaged in a prearranged ride:

    (i) primary automobile liability insurance that provides at least $1,000,000.00 for death, bodily injury, and property damage;

    (ii) uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage that provides at least $1,000,000.00 for death, bodily injury, and property damage; and

    (iii) $5,000.00 in medical payments coverage (Med Pay).

    (B) The coverage requirements of this subdivision (3) may be satisfied by any of the following:

    (i) automobile insurance maintained by the driver;

    (ii) automobile insurance maintained by the company; or

    (iii) any combination of subdivisions (i) and (ii) of this subdivision (3)(B).

    (4) If insurance maintained by a driver under subdivision (2) or (3) of this subsection has lapsed or does not provide the required coverage, insurance maintained by the company shall provide such coverage beginning with the first dollar of a claim and shall have the duty to defend such claim.

    (5) Coverage under an automobile insurance policy maintained by the company shall not be dependent on a personal automobile insurer's first denying a claim nor shall a personal automobile insurance policy be required to first deny a claim.

    (6) Insurance required by this subsection may be placed with an insurer licensed under chapter 101 (insurance companies generally) or 138 (surplus lines insurance) of this title.

    (7) Insurance satisfying the requirements of this subsection shall be deemed to satisfy the financial responsibility requirement for a motor vehicle under section 800 of this title.

    (8) A driver shall carry proof of coverage satisfying this section at all times during use of a vehicle in connection with a company's digital network. In the event of an accident or a traffic violation, a driver shall provide this insurance coverage information to the directly interested parties, automobile insurers, and law enforcement, upon request. Upon such request, a driver shall also disclose whether he or she was logged on to the network or was on a prearranged ride at the time of an accident or traffic violation.

    (9) A person who fails to maintain primary automobile insurance as required in subdivisions (2) and (3) of this subsection (b) shall be assessed a civil penalty consistent with subsection 800(b) of this title, and such violation shall be a traffic violation within the meaning of chapter 24 of this title. A person who fails to carry proof of insurance as required under subdivision (8) of this subsection (b) shall be subject to a civil penalty consistent with subsection 800(d) of this title. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a person who operates a vehicle without financial responsibility as required by this subsection (b) is subject to administrative action as set forth in chapter 11 of this title.

    (c) Disclosures. A transportation network company shall disclose in writing to its drivers the following before they are allowed to accept a request for a prearranged ride on the company's digital network:

    (1) the insurance coverage, including the types of coverage and the limits for each coverage, that the company provides while the driver uses a personal vehicle in connection with the company's network; and

    (2) that the driver's own automobile insurance policy, depending on its terms, might not provide any coverage while the driver is logged on to the company's network and available to receive transportation requests or engaged in a prearranged ride.

    (d)(1) Automobile insurers. Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, insurers that write automobile insurance in Vermont may exclude any and all coverage afforded under a policy issued to an owner or operator of a personal vehicle for any loss or injury that occurs while a driver is logged on to a transportation network company's digital network or while a driver provides a prearranged ride. This right to exclude all coverage may apply to any coverage in an automobile insurance policy, including:

    (A) liability coverage for bodily injury and property damage;

    (B) personal injury protection coverage;

    (C) uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage;

    (D) medical payments coverage;

    (E) comprehensive physical damage coverage; and

    (F) collision physical damage coverage.

    (2) Nothing in this subsection implies or requires that a personal automobile insurance policy provide coverage while the driver is logged on to a company's digital network, while the driver is engaged in a prearranged ride, or while the driver otherwise uses a vehicle to transport passengers for compensation.

    (3) Nothing in this section shall be construed to require an insurer to use any particular policy language or reference to this section in order to exclude any and all coverage for any loss or injury that occurs while a driver is logged on to a company's digital network or while a driver provides a prearranged ride.

    (4) Nothing in this subsection is deemed to preclude an insurer from providing primary or excess coverage for the driver's vehicle, if it chooses to do so by contract or endorsement.

    (5) Insurers that exclude the coverage described under subsection (b) of this section shall have no duty to defend or indemnify any claim expressly excluded thereunder.

    (6) Nothing in this section is deemed to invalidate or limit an exclusion contained in a policy, including any policy in use or approved for use in Vermont prior to the enactment of this section, that excludes coverage for vehicles used to carry persons or property for a charge or available for hire by the public.

    (7) An insurer that defends or indemnifies a claim against a driver that is excluded under the terms of its policy shall have a right of contribution against other insurers that provide automobile insurance to the same driver in satisfaction of the coverage requirements of subsection (b) of this section at the time of loss.

    (8) In a claims coverage investigation, transportation network companies shall immediately provide, upon request by directly involved parties or any insurer of the transportation network company driver, if applicable, the precise times that a transportation network company driver logged on and off the transportation network company's digital network in the 12-hour period immediately preceding and in the 12-hour period immediately following the accident. Insurers providing coverage under subsection (b) of this section shall disclose, upon request by any other insurer involved in the particular claim, the applicable charges, exclusions, and limits provided under any automobile insurance maintained in order to satisfy the requirements of subsection (b) of this section. (Added 2018, No. 3 (Sp. Sess.), § 2.)