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TLC Insurance: A Comprehensive Guide for Rideshare Drivers

TLC insurance is a mandatory coverage for private transportation drivers in New York and certain US regions, essential for those in the rideshare, taxi, and limousine industry. This guide simplifies the complexities of choosing the right insurance, ensuring you're well-informed and ready to navigate the roads safely.

What is TLC Insurance?

TLC Insurance is mandatory insurance for vehicles licensed by the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) in places like New York City. This includes taxis, Uber, Lyft, limousines, and other for-hire vehicles.

Holding a TLC license and the accompanying insurance is legally required for operating these vehicles for business. It assures passengers of the driver’s credibility and safety.

The insurance typically encompasses three fundamental coverages:

  1. Liability Coverage: This covers damages caused by the driver, including property damage and injuries to others.
  2. Injury Protection for the Driver: It covers the driver’s medical expenses and lost wages due to accidents.
  3. Uninsured Motorist Coverage: This protects the driver in accidents involving uninsured drivers.

The specific coverage levels and details can vary based on the insurance provider. However, these are the core elements typically included in TLC insurance policies.

TLC Insurance Requirements

According to the Taxi and Limousine Commission, the minimum insurance required for taxis and cabs carrying 1–7 passengers is $100,000 per person, $300,000 per accident, and $10,000 in property damage. For luxury limousines carrying 1–7 passengers, the minimum insurance level is $500,000 per person.

If you fail to meet the minimum insurance level, you won’t be able to renew your license or get a new one. You can find out the minimum insurance level for your specific car type here.

If your TLC insurance expires or changes for any reason, it’s on you to submit proof of your new insurance to the TLC. Otherwise, your renewal or transfer requests won’t get approved.

Moreover, if you keep using your vehicle for business although your insurance is expired or canceled, you may be subject to a fine, and your license will be suspended.

It’s better to dodge all that by staying up to date about minimum insurance levels and renewal dates.

Coverage Options Under TLC Insurance

As we’ve briefly mentioned, the basic coverage of TLC insurance in New York City includes liability, injury protection, and uninsured motorists. However, different brokers offer different insurance policies, so expect to see more options if you’re cruising the market for an insurance broker.

For example, some policies cover damages to your own vehicle, which aren’t covered under basic TLC insurance. You may think it’s enough to have personal auto insurance for that, but it’s not.

Personal auto insurance only covers private passenger vehicles, which means your car is only protected when you’re using it for personal purposes. When you’re operating it commercially, any damages occurring on the job aren’t covered under TLC insurance.

Aside from property damage, some policies also include personal coverage for injuries, offering further protection to the driver. On top of that, some plans include collision coverage, which covers the expenses of repairing your car after an accident.

How Much Does TLC Insurance Cost?

The cost of TLC Insurance varies based on several factors, including the driver’s experience, type of vehicle, past claims, and driving history.

Generally, experienced drivers with a clean driving record tend to have lower premiums. Conversely, drivers under 25 years old may face premiums that are approximately 20% higher. Traffic violations and citations on a driving record can also increase insurance costs.

As an example, consider the typical insurance premium for a 2015 Toyota Camry in New York City, driven by someone with no accidents or points over several years and with TLC driving experience. Younger drivers (under 25) usually see a 20% increase in their premiums.

To secure a lower insurance premium, maintaining a clean driving record is crucial. Additionally, installing a dashcam can reduce monthly insurance costs by about 10%. It’s also beneficial to explore various insurance provider options to find the most suitable and cost-effective coverage.

How to Obtain TLC Insurance

To obtain TLC insurance, you first have to choose your service provider.  There are plenty of brokers in NYC offering all kinds of different policies. Some of them, like INSHUR, have smartphone apps to make the process easier.

After you choose your provider, it’s time to land your plan of choice. Basic plans usually have the lowest fees, and then you pay more with every additional coverage you require.

The next step is collecting the necessary documents and information:

  • TLC License/Plate
  • Vehicle Info (mileage, make, model, VIN, etc.)
  • TLC base card
  • Driving history

Some brokers may require more information, based on what plan you’re choosing, but those are the basic requirements.

The last step is to file your information and sign off on your chosen policy. After you pay the fees, you should have your TLC insurance ready.

Factors Affecting the Cost of TLC Insurance

The cost of your TLC insurance policy may vary depending on a couple of factors:

  • Driving history: A clean driving history with no priors will likely get you lower insurance premiums. Meanwhile, if you have accidents or violations on your record, you may have to succumb to high rates.
  • Vehicle type: Some vehicles have higher minimum insurance levels than others, like luxury limousines and commuter vans. As the number of passengers increases, the minimum insurance required increases.
  • Coverage levels: Basic coverages usually call for the lowest rates. If you choose to add collision coverage to your package, you’ll pay higher rates. The same goes for any additional coverage, like personal injuries.

Tips for Choosing the Right TLC Insurance Policy

If you’re worried about choosing the right TLC insurance policy, here are a few tips to help:

  • When comparing insurance providers, prioritize the ones with apps to make the entire process easier. You’ll also want to check reviews and testimonials before reaching a final decision.
  • Make sure to get an all-inclusive view of your policy’s coverage before signing off on it. Ask your insurance agent about collision coverage, vehicle damages, and personal injuries.
  • Remember to consider getting collision insurance with your chosen package. It can be pretty expensive to repair a car after an accident or even a mild hitting-a-fence incident. Having adequate coverage for that never hurts.

TLC Insurance Providers

Two popular avenues you can take to obtain TLC insurance are through traditional automobile insurance agencies like American Transit Insurance Company, Green Dart insurance brokerage, Pearland Brokerage, LJ hub, Lone Star Brokerage, TA Anchor Insurance, Next Century Insurance, A & Y Royal Insurance Brokerage, AAA Brokerage, and Interwest United Insurance Brokerage. Or… the INSHUR insurance app.

We recommend the latter due to ease of use and speediness.

Your first option is going through an automobile insurance company in New York City.

This will entail heading to a brick and mortar insurance agency or contacting them via phone or email.

The old-fashioned way will be much more time-consuming.

You’ll need to provide extensive personal information and your driving history.

After that, they’ll examine your record and come up with a TLC insurance quote.

This can take several days or even weeks.

Most people don’t have time for this process.

What info is needed to get a TLC insurance quote?

At minimum, you’ll need the following: Your name, address and age.

TLC license/plate.

Driving history (accident history, points, years on the road).

Vehicle information, (age, make, model, mileage, value, VIN #).

Vehicle title or bill of sale.

TLC base card.

What if I’m a new driver?

If you’re new to the FHV industry and you intend to operate in New York, you’ll need to obtain your TLC license and vehicle plate prior to applying for insurance.

TLC has minimum eligibility driver requirements- see the FAQ guide below for details.

You can also find out more by reading the step by step guide to getting your TLC license on the Uber website at: https://www.uber.com/drive/new-york/get-a-license/

What else is needed?

As well as insurance, TLC has certain minimum vehicle requirements for NYC.

These state that FHV operators must drive a four-door car or minivan, model 2006 or newer.

It must be in good condition with no cosmetic damage, have no commercial branding and has passed an emissions test and can show valid certification.

Drivers are also advised that vehicles should be kept clean inside and out and always be well maintained.

Instead, you can choose to use INSHUR — an app-based insurance solution.

You can get a TLC auto insurance quote and lock in a policy from your phone in a matter of minutes.

The entire process is all handled through the app.

There’s no need for phone calls or lengthy emails.

INSHUR is undoubtedly the quickest and most convenient option for getting TLC insurance in a hurry.

Signing Up for TLC Insurance With INSHUR

INSHUR is likely the easiest and quickest way to obtain your TLC insurance.

The app requires very little information and can have a policy ready for you in a few taps of your smartphone.

The sign-up process is simple — just follow the steps in this video:

1. Download the INSHUR App

You can download the INSHUR app from the App Store or Google Play.

2. Provide Your Information

Upon opening the app, you’ll be required to provide basic personal information, including your name, email, and phone number.

3. Take a Picture of Your TLC License

Provide a picture of the front and back of your TLC license.

The INSHUR app will then match your information with the vehicle you have registered in the TLC and DMV database.

4. Choose Your Insurance Plan

Choose between three different insurance policies — Silver, Gold, or Platinum.

The Silver plan offers minimum liability coverage and is the cheapest option.

The Gold plan — which is slightly more expensive — gives you full coverage but with a higher deductible.

The Platinum plan has the highest monthly fee but offers full coverage with a lower deductible.

5. Select Your Start Date

Select a start date with the payment plan suited to your needs.

You’ll also need to provide your phone number.

At this point, you can provide a referral code if you have one.

6. Review Your Plan and Sign Off

Review your policy to make sure everything lines up with what you’re looking for.

If everything checks out, you can proceed to give your digital signature.

7. Confirm Your Payment Details

Provide your payment information and confirm the transaction. That’s all it takes.

You’ll then have your TLC insurance policy and be ready to hit the road.

There’s no need to drive to an insurance agency or wait around for an insurance quote that could take several days.

The INSHUR app handles the entire process in a matter of minutes.

Wrapping Up

After going through an accident, whether severe or mild, the first thing you probably worry about is how much the repairs will cost you.

If you have a solid TLC insurance policy in place, you won’t have to worry about that. It’ll cover damages to your car, the other vehicle, and any injuries sustained in the accident.

For that, you’ll want to do deep research and choose your service provider and insurance policy wisely. If you feel like you’re in over your head, it never hurts to consult with professionals to get the best policy.

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