Taxis versus Uber: What’s Safer?January 30, 2020
When you need a ride, you have options. Between taxis and Uber, it’s fairly easy to get a ride at a moment’s notice.
While taxis and Uber essentially provide the same service, they do not offer the same level of protection—especially if an accident happens. Here’s why—and what riders may be risking by choosing to ride in a taxi, instead of with an Uber driver.
Taxis vs. Uber: Independent Contractors with Different Insurance Coverage
To understand how a taxi may offer riders less protection than an Uber after a crash, it’s first important to know that:
- Uber and taxi drivers are independent contractors, not employees of Uber or a taxi company.
- These drivers are typically required to carry their own auto insurance as part of the terms of employment.
- Although taxi and Uber drivers are advised to carry commercial coverage, not all of them do, and some only carry the bare minimum.
- In certain areas of Texas, like Houston, minimum insurance requirements for taxi drivers are the same as the state’s minimum auto insurance requirements for noncommercial drivers.1
No matter how much insurance an Uber driver may carry, however, (s)he may also be covered by Uber’s $1 million insurance policy with James River Insurance Company (JRIC).2 That can mean a lot more protection and options for riders if or when Uber crashes happen.
When Uber’s Insurance Coverage Can Come Into Play
Once an Uber driver picks up a rider and is on the clock, they are covered by Uber’s $1 million liability policy with JRIC. During the ride, this policy can cover:
- Hit-and-run accidents
- Accidents caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver
- Accidents caused by the Uber driver
Generally, Uber’s policy does not cover drivers when they are not on the clock transporting a rider. That means that, if an Uber driver causes a crash while he’s on his way to pick up a ride—or right after dropping off a rider, that driver’s personal policy would likely be the only available coverage.
The Bottom Line: Not All Rides Are the Same
When it comes to riding in a taxi or an Uber, it’s never easy to know how careful a driver may be or how safe the vehicle is or isn’t before you accept a ride. What you DO know ahead of time, though, is that riding in an Uber can come with the added safety net of a $1 million insurance policy—and that can make all of the difference if:
- An accident happens during your Uber ride.
- You and/or a loved one has been seriously hurt in an Uber accident.
Hurt in a Crash? A Houston Car Accident Attorney at the Amaro Law Firm Can Help You
If you or a loved one has been hurt in a taxi crash, an Uber accident, or any type of car wreck, contact the Amaro Law Firm. We represent drivers, passengers, and others in car accident cases, and we’re ready to answer your questions and explain more about your potential claim and recovery options.
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At the Amaro Law Firm, we know how devastating car accidents can be—and we know how to help victims navigate and overcome the challenges of the recovery process. From dealing with insurance companies to fighting for our clients’ rights in court, our lawyers are tireless advocates who are skilled at:
- Holding negligent parties liable
- Standing up to insurance companies
- Helping car accident survivors and families pursue the justice and recoveries they deserve.
Our goal is to help our clients maximize their financial recoveries so they can focus on healing and restoring their lives.
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1: According to this investigation and the Texas Department of Insurance
2: More details about Uber’s Insurance and Uber’s Certificates of Insurance (for each state)