There are a lot of people who are using their cars to make a little extra money on the side. Through companies that help people connect for private car service and ride-sharing, enterprising drivers are able to pick up and drop off passengers for payment. Other people are making money by hiring themselves out as part-time delivery and messenger services. Before you join their ranks, however, make sure that you have the right ICBC insurance rate plan, or you could be risking a lot. Here's what you need to know.
Before You Drive Passengers For Payment
In order to legally drive passengers for payment, you need to make sure that you've taken a few specific steps.
- Acquire a Class 4, commercial driver's license.
- Acquire a license plate that's designated for use with a taxi or limousine.
- Have your vehicle inspected for safety and acquire a National Safety Code certificate.
- Discuss your plans with your insurance broker so that your insurance is charged under the taxi or limousine rate.
These steps are necessary to protect both you and your passengers. Without the appropriate licensing, you could incur legal penalties, like having your license suspended or your car impounded.
If You Use Your Car For Other Types Of Business Services
What if you are only doing occasional deliveries on the weekends for floral shops or package services? Delivery class insurance rates vary depending on what you are delivering, what type of vehicle you're using, how far you travel, and whether you're driving in a mostly urban area or not.
The rules are similar for people who use their vehicles for other business purposes. If you're starting a side career that requires you to drive to meet your clients or take samples of products to customers, such as a salesman, interior decorator, or an event planner, you may need to be covered under a business class insurance rate.
If You Have The Wrong Type Of ICBC Coverage
Not having the right insurance coverage can cost you more than tickets and impound fees. If you use your vehicle as a car service or for business purposes, the wrong insurance means that you might not be covered if you're in an accident.
For example, if you are using your car as a pick-up service, your passenger could fall in a pothole while getting out of your car. If you lack the proper third party liability coverage that goes along with operating a taxi, your injured passenger could try to claim his or her damages through your home, or future paychecks.
Having the right type of insurance also protects you if you end up injured in an auto accident. Carrying extra under-insured motorist protection coverage will provide you with benefits if you're injured by someone who doesn't have enough insurance to cover your injuries or other financial losses.
If you've been injured in a car accident while operating your vehicle as a taxi, or for other business purposes, it's important to realize that your legal situation can become very complicated. Depending on who caused the accident, and who else was injured, you could find yourself involved in simultaneous lawsuits where you are the defendant in one claim and the plaintiff in another.
ICBC will only represent you if you are the defendant in a lawsuit, leaving you without representation if you are the injured party. That means that finding private legal representation, such as Yearwood Lawyers, to protect your interests, and not that of ICBC, could be very important to your financial future.