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UPDATED: Dec 2, 2017
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As a taxi driver, there’s nothing more important to you than giving your passengers a safe trip to where they need to go. Car insurance plays a big role in this endeavor.
It’s crucial to make sure that in the case of an accident, you have adequate insurance to cover the following:
- Your passengers
- Your vehicle
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, a taxi business is one in which a car or van is used to carry passengers through non-regular routes on a regular schedule. If you wish to establish a taxi business, the basic requirements are as follows:
- You must have a valid driver’s license
- You must not have any prior criminal convictions for DUI, weapons possession, or vehicular homicide
- You must be between 25 and 65 years old
Many insurance companies have specialized packages to make auto insurance more affordable for eligible taxi cab drivers. These commercial insurance plans address the specific needs of taxi drivers.
Contact your insurance agent or shop online to get quotes. Enter your zip code into our free insurance comparison tool to find the best rate for your auto insurance needs.
Will your personal policy work?
If you meet the above eligibility requirements, it is possible to start a taxi business using just your personal car insurance. However, some car insurance companies have exclusions prohibiting commercial driving of any kind.
According to the Insurance Information Institute, future legislation may make it easier for taxi and taxi-like services such as ride shares to get coverage under a personal policy. Check with your insurance agent to learn more.
If your policy does permit commercial driving, then starting your taxi business will be relatively easy to do.
Make sure that your car is in good working order, then apply for a taxi permit at your local DMV. For further protection from liability, an insurance policy specifically for taxis is recommended.
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Shopping for Discounts
When shopping for quotes, keep in mind that there are some factors that could help lower your premiums.
For example, if you have previous experience owning and operating a commercial vehicle, the insurer may view you as less of an accident risk and, therefore, lower your premium.
Commercial driving can include:
- Truck driving
- Bus driving
- Working as a chauffeur
Having homeowner’s insurance demonstrates responsibility and lower risk, which may result in lower car insurance premiums.
Types of Taxi Cab Insurance You Need
Insurance policies are highly customizable and can be tailored to the exact needs of your business, but there are a few types of insurance that are essential.
When you get into an accident for which you’re at fault, liability coverage is the one you need.
It covers the cost of damages and injuries resulting from the accident, for which you are legally responsible. It can also help offset any legal fees you incur while defending yourself.
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Uninsured Motorist and MedPay
For accidents in which you were not at fault, you take for granted that the other party’s insurance company will pay. What if that person is not covered, doesn’t have enough coverage, or does a hit and run and cannot be found?
Uninsured motorist (UM) protection allows you to get your car replaced or repaired, pay legal fees, and recover lost wages regardless of whether the person who hit you was insured.
Property damage insurance will provide protection against uninsured motorists as well. In addition, you can opt to add collision damage protection to your UM policy.
Adding collision waives your deductible in cases where the driver who hit you was not insured.
MedPay is short for “medical payments” and is a good provision to add to your UM coverage. While your health insurance is likely to cover most of your medical expenses, there might be co-pays, deductibles, and other fees that are not covered by health insurance.
MedPay can help with these medical expenses.
Of course, if you were the one at fault, then you’ll be tasked with covering the other party’s medical expenses.
A research study reported by the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association states that accidents cost up to $1 trillion annually and that individual, at-fault drivers are responsible for paying roughly 26 percent of that cost out of pocket.
Bodily injury insurance not only covers the cost of medical bills for all parties involved in the accident, it also covers the cost of medications, follow-up doctor visits and even medical transportation such as ambulances or airlifts.
This coverage pays out a set amount of money per person, per accident.
The cost of having your vehicle towed after an accident can be steep, especially if the wreckage was severe or the car needs to be towed to multiple locations.
Towing insurance can cover the cost of towing and storage for your damaged vehicle.
Collisions are just one way your taxi could be put out of commission. Other hazards are also possible, such as:
- Tree damage
These and other specified perils will be detailed in your specified peril policy, which protects you in the case of a non-collision auto accident. It is especially helpful to have in cases where you do not own the vehicle, such as in a lease or rental.
You can return the vehicle to the title holder, if need be, without any out-of-pocket cost to you.
Car accessories such as GPS are essential to the success of your taxi business. They enhance the quality of service by creating ambiance for passengers and make successful navigation possible.
If your GPS system, radio, CD player, or other significant car accessory is damaged in an accident, accessory insurance will cover the cost of having it repaired or replaced.
Insuring Employees and Their Taxis
Your taxi driver’s insurance can extend to other eligible drivers that you have hired to work for your business. Make sure that the policy covers damage to your vehicle as well as death or injury to you and your passengers.
Consider insurance, not only for drivers and taxis, but also employment insurance to protect against liability for sexual harassment, wrongful termination, or discrimination.
One accident could prove catastrophic to your taxi service. Talk with your insurance agent about the best coverage options for your companies unique budgetary and service needs.
Safe, reliable, responsible service is possible with the right taxi insurance policy.