Unlicensed taxi drivers causing issues for insurance companies

Former Gov. Patrick signed a bill to try and address the issue

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Let’s say you get into an accident after a formal cash agreement to drive someone you don’t know to work.

You’re essentially operating as an unlicensed taxi driver, and your insurance company would be unlikely to cover the cost. If it happens when your friend is in the car, and he gave you some money for gas, it likely would be covered.

The rideshare service Uber is being criticized by taxi drivers for having unlicensed drivers. Uber said their only a platform and don’t own any of the vehicles.

Before he left office, former Gov. Deval Patrick signed a bill to try and address the issue, but some say it’s confusing.

Peter Whalen, the President of Whalen Insurance, said, “It was very loose language. For instance they said that anybody doing this would have to have appropriate coverage, but what’s appropriate? Is it the minimum 20/40 limits that Massachusetts calls for or is it something more than that. They are pretty much condoning the behavior but not saying what would be required.”

Whalen acknowledge that since many of these transactions are done under the table and in cash, it may be difficult for an insurance company to investigate a claim of an unlicensed taxi driver.

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