By Christiane Cordero

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — The 2019 Final Four will mark yet another big-time event for Twin Cities tourism. With the increase in car and foot traffic comes an inevitable increase in Uber and Lyft requests, a side job many Minnesotans took advantage of during the 2018 Super Bowl.

When it comes to making money, financial expert Ben Perkins, from COUNTRY Financial, advises potential drivers or short-term home rental hosts be realistic about certain costs and expectations.

For example, drivers and hosts’ insurance policies might not cover certain scenarios. The same goes for the sharing companies’ policies. In those cases, buying additional coverage can bridge the gap.

Once people get into home sharing websites, a homeowner’s policy might have exclusions and limitations for a service that is technically considered a business.

“[Users will want to] talk to their insurance agent to make sure they are getting the right kind of coverage they need to make sure they’re properly covered,” Perkins said.

That is assuming the homeowners association or city allows short-term rentals. Some do not, and some have limitations.

With ride sharing apps, drivers might need a special permit to pick passengers up and drop them off at certain locations, including Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Maintenance is, perhaps, one of the more expensive factors.

“It’s not just list it and do it,” Perkins said. “And then hopefully there is no claim or something goes wrong, and that’s going to create even more spending.”

While big-ticket events are likely to help drivers and hosts earn a decent bonus, Perkins suggests people be skeptical of how sustainable it is.
A recent COUNTRY Financial survey found 94 percent of ridesharing drivers said they make less than $500 a month during normal months.

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