Since the start of 2020, more than 1,400 carjackings have taken place in Chicago. Some of those victims have been rideshare drivers. One of the Lyft drivers is now grappling with the company’s $2,500 deductible after their stolen car was found totaled.
Lyft Driver James Durkin was carjacked by passengers who ordered a ride to 99th and Throop. According to the driver, the passenger placed a gun to his head, ordered him out of the vehicle, punched him multiple times in the face, and stole the car. The carjackers took off with Durkin’s car, wallet, and phone, so he wasn’t able to call the police after the incident. Instead, he started walking until he found a police officer who drove him home.
Days after the incident, Durkin saw an email notification that someone had ordered Uber Eats with his family’s credit card. About a week after the carjacking, the Chicago Police Department found the car severely damaged.
Durkin filed a claim through Lyft’s insurance policy with Progressive. He was offered just under $10,000, which was the value of the car minus the $2,500 deductible. While Durkin was aware of the high deductible, he hoped it might be waived since the damage to the vehicle was not his fault. When he reached out to Lyft, he was sent a $100 ride credit for his “transportation needs.”
The police followed up with Durkin, but no arrests have been made. He did, however, receive four red light tickets in the mail from the week the thieves had his car. The city agreed to waive those citations.
CBS 2 reached out to Lyft with questions regarding the incident and the policy. According to Durkin, he received a call from Lyft shortly after, and the company agreed to waive his deductible. They, however, are not changing the rules for other drivers. A spokesperson from Lyft said the company is in touch with the police and has deactivated the rider’s account.
While they said they could not comment on individual insurance claims or active police investigations, the spokesperson did release the following statement: “Safety is fundamental to Lyft, and the incident described is deeply disturbing. We have been in communication with the driver and continue to offer our support and assistance. We deactivated the rider’s account and have been in contact with law enforcement regarding any investigation.”