Taxi Insurance Rates: Running Around or Getting the Runs - Both Cost Money

When you have taxis with multiple drivers, each one brings his or her own baggage to the wheel. It's like musical chairs with some players on anti-depressants or speed.

Cabs are often on the road 24/7/365 and frequently driven at high speeds in crowded streets. This can cost insurance companies more than whiplash claims from a 20 car pile-up, but there are other less obvious risks.

Imagine a driver with gastrointestinal problems trying to negotiate the cab through traffic and get his fare to the airport on time. Here's a guy fighting waves of cramps, breaking out in a cold sweat, and using every ounce of concentration he has so his front seat doesn’t become a lavatory. How likely is he to get into an accident?

It's a question an actuary is paid to ponder.

And just who are these drivers?

A lot of cab drivers are career hacks who know how to manoeuvre their vehicles and are ace drivers at high speeds, in tight spaces and with enraged drivers and pedestrians cursing, screaming and throwing things at their cabs.

Then there's the rest of the crew. Part-time taxi drivers trying to make ends meet by driving cabs, with a lot on their minds beyond that red light they just drove through at double the speed limit.

Maybe the driver's been awake for two nights studying for his Knowledge exam.

How secure do you feel when the taxi driver can't stop crying? She just found out her husband is fooling around with his nineteen-year-old co-worker. She's raising her voice and the cab is flying across the highway. Her hands aren't even on the steering wheel: she's waving them in the air screaming about that b*****d and the slut he works with. Hello insurance!

When you step into the back seat of a cab, you put your life in the hands of a driver you know nothing about. Maybe he just decided to be born again, and you're asking for a lift to the Atheist Convention. It doesn't take much to set some people off.

Insurance companies know these things happen. They make their money by having customers pay inflated premiums to protect themselves from risks that are unlikely to materialize. Their premiums are overkill on the off chance a taxi driver crashes into the pope's limo, injures the pontiff and wrecks the cab in the bargain. It's about saving the bottom line.

Look at the average skyscraper housing an insurance company. Now look at the average taxi garage, full of rats, grease, stale sandwiches and toxic fumes.

Is this a fair fight? Do you really feel sorry for the stressed-out insurance executives?

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