When traveling in a taxi, the last thing that you want to be concerned about is whether it is fully insured. Recently, a growth in the transportation industry (vis-a-vis, Uber.com) has lead to a discussion about the safety of using taxis that are not official TLC yellow taxis.
Firstly, all taxis are required by local and state law to carry a minimum of $100,000 liability coverage and $50,000 medical coverage. This means that a taxi driver that causes an injury to his passengers is protected up to $100,000 in the event that the taxi driver is responsible for injuring a passenger due to a motor vehicle accident.
A few things that you should be aware of: not all vehicles that are transporting you are truly “taxis.” If you are driven by a non-TLC vehicle, you may be placing yourself at risk with an under insured vehicle. If you are seriously injured in such a vehicle, you may not be given the same benefits as if you were injured in a TLC registered vehicle.
Another side issue: Always wear a seatbelt while a passenger in a taxi. Without one, you may be caused to suffer horrific injuries because most taxis are equipped with plexiglass partitions. If your face strikes this partition, you can be sure that you will suffer horrible facial and dental injuries. I have represented many (unfortunate) clients who felt comfortable being in a taxi without a seatbelt – this is a serious false sense of safety.
Just remember that you are in a better position as a passenger in a TLC taxi than in a so-called “Gypsy cab.”