Legally, every driver needs insurance. At its heart, insurance is simply meant to protect you and others from risks like car accidents and theft. But because driving for the Taxi and Limousine Commission of New York involves more parties than simply driving yourself, there are more risks associated with being on the road. For that reason, the NYC TLC vehicle insurance requirements are greater than the requirements for other drivers.
What is TLC Vehicle Insurance?
TLC insurance is similar to normal car insurance, but it specifically covers drivers while they are driving for the TLC. This includes the time when you are driving a TLC vehicle like a taxi or limousine or if you are driving your own or a rental vehicle as a for-hire driver.
Who Needs TLC Vehicle Insurance?
The Taxi and Limousine Commission provides regulations for drivers of yellow taxis, green taxis, livery, black cars, commuter vans, paratransit vehicles, limousines, as well as for-hire vehicles which includes rideshare services such as Uber and Lyft. Anyone who falls under the jurisdiction of the TLC is required to have TLC insurance.
Why Is There a Separate TLC Insurance?
As we mentioned earlier, driving a car for the TLC involves greater risk. Passengers are one added risk factor, but the added time on the road is another, perhaps greater risk factor. The more times you get in a car, the more likely you are to get into an accident. For that reason, personal car insurance often doesn’t cover people driving for commercial purposes. That means that even if you have car insurance, you, your car, and your passengers may not be covered if you get into a car accident while driving for the TLC. Getting TLC insurance doesn’t just tick a box off the checklist – in your best interest.
What Does TLC Insurance Cover?
The most basic coverage that fulfills your legal requirements as a TLC driver is focused on third-party protection. Third-party protection financially covers harm done by your vehicle to other people or property. The three basic coverages in this policy are personal damage liability coverage (PD), personal injury protection (PIP), and uninsured motorist coverage (UM).
Personal damage liability coverage helps to pay for damage done to someone else’s vehicle by your car. Personal Injury protection covers medical expenses and potentially lost wages for the other driver, passengers, and pedestrians, no matter who was at fault for the accident. Uninsured motorist coverage focuses on protecting you if you are in an accident in which an uninsured driver is at fault. This insurance covers the medical and property costs that the driver cannot pay.
These are the most basic NYC TLC vehicle insurance requirements. You may notice that other than uninsured motorist coverage, the basic coverage requirements do not cover you as the TLC driver. There are some separate funds that can cover personal injuries on the job for those who qualify for it, such as the Black Car Fund and the Independent Livery Driver Benefit Fund. Otherwise, you will want to look into getting additional coverage if you want to be sure that your own property and personal health are covered in the event of an accident while driving for work.
What Factors Into TLC Insurance Cost?
Just like personal car insurance, there is not a single flat rate for every driver. There are several factors that will impact how much you will pay for TLC insurance.
Type of Car
Depending on if you are driving a medallion taxi, commuter van, paratransit vehicle, luxury limousine, or a black car, you will have different insurance costs. The cost tends to go up depending on how many seats are in your car since insurance is required for each potential passenger in the car.
Insurance companies will examine your personal history to decide how much “risk” you pose as a driver. If you are a driver with a history of car accidents, speeding tickets, or with a police record, you will likely have to pay more for your premiums. If you don’t have a history of insurance claims, accidents, or traffic violations, your premium will likely be smaller.
Age and Driving Experience
Although younger drivers have a shorter driver history, they often have a higher premium than older drivers. That’s because younger drivers are statistically more likely to get into car accidents than older drivers. If you are a younger driver and continue to drive safely, your premium should go down over time. But even if you are an older driver, you may still have a higher premium if you have fewer years of experience driving for the TLC. The more years of positive driving experience you have, the better your premium for TLC insurance should be.
How Do I Get TLC Insurance?
Getting TLC insurance is actually not much different than getting any other type of car insurance. There are brokers who specialize in selling TLC insurance who can be contacted through their offices. You will need to bring certain documentation to the brokers, fill out paperwork, and then you will be able to obtain coverage. At a minimum, you are typically required to have your TLC and New York license, a base, a vehicle title, and proof of address in order to get TLC insurance. You can also get your TLC insurance online and through apps such as INSHUR which allow you to get coverage without talking to a broker or insurance.
What If I Am Renting My TLC Car?
The beauty of using Fast Track Mobility’s rental car service is that it comes equipped with TLC insurance. You will be signed up for Fast Track Mobility’s TLC insurance at the time you sign up to rent a car. That means you don’t have to sign up for any kind of outside TLC insurance prior to coming in. That’s why it pays to drive for Fast Track Mobility if you are looking for a TLC car for rent in Queens, NY or in any other part of the city.
As a TLC driver, you put yourself at risk every day. You ought to have the coverage you need to ensure that you, your passengers, and your vehicle are protected.
Learn more about additional Uber and Lyft driver requirements before you apply.