what to look for and how to get it

Insurance for independent contractors: what to look for and how to get it


Finding or getting complicated things such as TLC compliant insurance doesn’t sound quick or easy, but if you know what you’re doing, it can be both. In this post, we’ll share what we know, including the key steps toward getting what you need, including:

  • Why drivers need extra insurance
  • The types of insurance available
  • What to look for in an insurance policy
  • Insurance for rideshare drivers
  • Inshur: quick, easy and protective TLC insurance for rideshare drivers

Why drivers need extra insurance

When you’re a rideshare driver, your personal auto policy won’t cover everything. Uber, Lyft or Via may provide additional coverage while you’re picking up or carrying passengers, but that’s still not enough. All drivers, everywhere, need to have rideshare insurance simply because they’re using their vehicles for commercial purposes.

You shouldn’t try to ignore or get around this when you’re a rideshare driver. If you’re not protected, you could wind up in a lot of trouble. For instance, if you don’t bother to tell your insurance carrier that you’re a rideshare driver, they could refuse to cover you, even if you file a claim for an incident that happens while you’re totally off the app.

In some localities, such as the New York metropolitan area, there’s even more to consider. To drive for a rideshare company in New York City, drivers must meet the requirements of the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC). They are legally required to have a TLC license, TLC plates, and TLC insurance. 

As you can see, there can be more to insurance for rideshare drivers than meets the eye. Let’s look more closely at rideshare driver insurance coverage to see what you really need.

What kinds of insurance are available?

There are two basic kinds of insurance. First, there’s the auto liability coverage policy. In most states, it’s not possible to legally drive at all, let alone for rideshare, unless you carry a basic liability policy. Most Uber and Lyft drivers purchase a rideshare endorsement as an add-on to their basic policy. 

As we pointed out above, rideshare drivers who work in New York City need the second kind of policy, which is TLC insurance. This policy protects third parties, namely passengers and other drivers. TLC insurance does not cover injury or damage to you or your property, so you will need additional coverage for yourself.

How can you get the most coverage for the least amount of money? That’s always a great question. Let’s start by learning more about what insurance policies have to offer.

What to look for in an insurance policy

There are basic requirements for drivers in every state, and you can learn more about them from your local insurance companies and agents. Your lender might also give you additional requirements for insurance, in many cases. You’ll need to check into all that, but in general, you will need policy that has at least these types of coverage:

  1. Liability: covers bodily injury and property damage to another person or their property.
  2. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage: protects you from being stuck with medical and/or repair bills should the other party involved be without adequate coverage of their own.
  3. Comprehensive coverage: covers damage resulting from theft, fire, weather, or vandalism.
  4. Collision: allows you to get money to repair or replace your car should you hit another vehicle or an object that damages your vehicle.
  5. Medical payments: pays for hospital visits, surgery, X-rays and other medical costs resulting from an accident.
  6. Personal Injury Protection: This kind of coverage isn’t available in all states. It pays for medical expenses, but also may help to cover your costs for child care or lost income.
  7. Optional protection might include coverage for rental reimbursement, transportation expenses, gap insurance, towing and labor costs, sound systems, and rideshare.

It’s also good to have flexibility, the option to choose the types of coverage, beyond what’s required, that you wish to purchase. In addition, it’s crucial to determine whether your policy’s coverage has limits that are per person or per accident. Also keep your eyes peeled for the costs of deductibles. If you make a claim, you won’t want to have to pay more than you can afford before the insurance even kicks in.

As you can see, there’s a lot that goes into knowing what the right policy for you might be. Don’t buy until you feel comfortable with what you’re getting. Always purchase insurance from a company you can trust to give you the most coverage for a fair amount of money.

Insurance for rideshare drivers

One of the first things you should look at when you buy insurance is whether the company you’re dealing with has policies designed for rideshare drivers. Rideshare insurance in New York is a special case, and the company you choose should have expertise in these two types of coverage:

TLC Insurance:

If you want to be a rideshare driver in New York City, TLC Insurance isn’t optional. The TLC regulates the activities of all activities related to customers who pay to be driven from one place to another by a driver or company. Because of the mandatory nature of TLC Insurance for independent contractors, you won’t be cleared by any rideshare app without it.

TLC Insurance requirements are put into place in order to protect passengers, pedestrians, and other drivers who may be affected by a mishap caused by a driver for hire. Based on your vehicle and the number of passengers it holds, coverage may vary, but the baseline minimum coverage is as follows:

  • $100,000 per person
  • $300,000 per accident
  • $200,000 personal injury protection
  • $10,000 in property damage

Cost can vary. The best way to keep your TLC insurance costs down is to maintain a clean driving record. Age also factors into the costs companies will charge for insurance. If you are under the age of 25, for example, expect to pay as much as 20% more for your premiums than your older friends might. 

What do you get, besides TLC compliance, for the price of TLC insurance?

  • Protection from paying for medical or property damage of passengers or other motorists.
  • Coverage for medical expenses, lost wages, and rehabilitation expenses of passengers and other motorists. This is what is known as Personal Injury Protection (PIP).
  • Protection in the event you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured or underinsured motorist.

Even without the regulatory requirement, you wouldn’t want to be a New York City rideshare driver without this kind of protection. In addition, though, you’re going to have to get protection for you and your property. That will come as General Rideshare Driver Insurance Coverage. You can get it as an extension to your personal policy, or as an all-in-one, combined policy that covers your personal and commercial use.

With General Rideshare Insurance, you’ll get:

  • Coverage for the time when you are on the app but not yet driving to pick up or carrying passengers
  • Possible coverage for portions of the high deductibles of insurance provided by TNCs should an accident occur while you are in the process of picking up or carrying passengers

This, again, is protection you won’t want to be without. Getting the right amount of protection is a delicate balancing act. You may also want to know that while rideshare insurance offers viable protection, you will still need to purchase collision and comprehensive insurance in order to be fully covered.

Now that you know what to look for in an insurance policy, how would you go about finding the right one? In the past, drivers would have to go to TLC insurance brokers, in their stuffy, often walk-up offices, in order to sign up for TLC insurance. 

Fortunately, the past is behind us. Now there is a company that makes getting TLC insurance quick and easy.

Inshur: quick, easy and effective TLC insurance for rideshare drivers

Now, you can get rideshare insurance coverage in just 3 minutes, with Insur! No more painful trips to insurance brokers, or long waits holding the phone. Insur lets you get quotes, purchase a policy, and make changes, with a few taps or clicks on the screen, because Insur handles it all online. 

With almost immediate service, flexible pricing, no hidden fees, and backing from some of the world’s most trusted insurance companies, Inshur can take care of all your rideshare insurance needs, including TLC insurance.

Inshur is smart insurance protection for the way you work. You can even make changes to your policy or check on a claim while you’re out and on the go. Inshur protects you and your business, with flexible payment plans through your credit or debit card. 

Because Inshur is designed to make the lives of rideshare drivers, you can get everything you need in one simple policy. You get physical coverage, liability and personal use, all included. The smartphone app makes it simple to get your policy and make changes to it; but if you ever need it, Inshur’s award-winning customer support is available in English and Spanish.

With Inshur you can go from quote to purchase in less than 3 minutes, and get automatic coverage for rideshare and personal use. There are no hidden fees, no hassles, and no fast-talking brokers to deal with.

Just click the button below to download the Inshur app, and secure your TLC policy while you’re on the move!


Related Posts

Download Gridwise today

For iOS and Android