What is a Transportation Network Company?
Transportation network companies, TNC for short, are companies that fall under the umbrella of ridesharing. Uber, Lyft and DoorDash are the obvious examples of extremely successful TNCs. Any company that hires people as individual contractors and employs a shared-economy type business model can be considered a Transportation Network Company. A Transportation Network Company is required to have TNC insurance.
Since the early 2010s, the TNC industry has taken off at a rapid pace especially in California’s large urban cities. The impact of Transportation Network Companies in cities has resulted in a decline in public transportation in recent years. San Francisco has become ground zero for a lot of the giants that dominate the ridesharing industry such as Uber and Lyft. The next big Transportation Network Company in California could be your business, but first insurance!
If you’re reading this, you’re probably looking for the necessary information to grow or get your TNC off the ground. One of the most important steps required for your business venture is to make sure your drivers and passengers are protected with TNC insurance. Keep reading to find out how to make sure your Transportation Network Company is properly insured and protected.
Where to start with TNC insurance
Being in the TNC industry, it may be difficult to find the proper broker that is able to provide TNC insurance. Most everyday insurance companies are most likely not willing to insure a rideshare company due to the high-risk nature of the industry. Insurance companies that write specific policies for TNC insurance are generally specialized brokers who focus on this unique marketplace.
Luckily for you, here at American Business Insurance Services, we have a direct line to brokers that provide TNC insurance. With 35 years of experience insuring a wide variety of corporate auto fleets, we know exactly what these insurers are looking for in order to get you the best policy.
Questions you may have while looking for TNC insurance:
- Why you need TNC insurance
- Types of TNC insurance
- How to prepare for a quote
Why you need TNC insurance
While researching insurance options for your Transportation Network Company you will quickly realize personal auto insurance doesn’t cover commercial use. However, commercial insurance doesn’t cover independent TNC drivers, even while driving for the company. Therefore, you need TNC insurance for your company to ensure your passengers and drivers are covered incase of an incident.
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners, NAIC, have identified three specific periods TNC drivers are not covered by their personal auto insurance.
- First period: when drivers have signed into the application but have not yet been matched with a customer.
- Second period: when drivers are on their way to pick up the customer.
- Third period: when the driver has picked up the customer and is taking them to their destination.
Types of TNC insurance
In addition, there are two different types of TNC insurance coverage. The first being auto liability insurance for your Transportation Network Company. Auto liability insurance is required by law and protects you as well as your business when you’re at fault in an automobile accident.
Depending upon the coverage, most auto liability insurance covers your company from financial losses surrounding vehicle damage and medical bills of the passengers involved. In other words, auto liability insurance will pay for the damage to other people and their property for which you’re responsible. Furthermore, auto liability insurance usually covers the second and third periods of TNC driving listed in the bullets above.
As for the other type of TNC insurance, there is physical damage insurance. The purpose of physical damage insurance is to protect shared company vehicles from damages. Whether the driver was at fault or not.
To elaborate, physical damage insurance can cover damage caused to your vehicle that is out of your control. For example, vandalism, theft, fire, accidents involving animals, acts of nature, etc. Physical damage insurance also covers at-fault damage caused to the vehicle. However at-fault damage is usually only covered when said damage is caused by the scheduled driver.
If you want to read more extensively about TNC insurance coverage provided by American Business Insurance Services, Inc. click here
How to prepare for a TNC Insurance quote
If you’re looking to establish your TNC as the next Uber or Lyft, there is a lot of preparations to be made before doing so. Insurers need to do an in-depth analysis of your company before being able to provide you with a quote for TNC insurance. Therefore, in the interest of time, it’s best to have made these preparations before contacting the insurer.
1. Build the app
One of the first things you want to do is make sure your app is properly constructed and optimized for collecting favorable data points. For example, average speed. If you can prove that, on average, your drivers drive below the speed limit, you’re more likely to get a lower quote than if they tended to speed.
Furthermore, insurance companies want to be able to know things such as: when a trip starts and stops, number of miles per trip and duration of each trip. Therefore, it’s beneficial to both you and your insurer if you have built and optimized the app before contacting for a TNC insurance quote.
2. Business plan and projections
For the most part, this is all relatively simple information you may or may not have already put together when looking for investors. This should include things such as your plans for company growth. How you plan on monitoring and enforcing safety/loss control. And Finally, a set plan on how your company plans on making a ROI.
3. Safety and Training
Due to the nature of their business, insurers are going to care a great deal about safety. They are going to want to see that you have the proper rules, regulations and restrictions in place in order for your company to operate as safely as possible. They’re also going to want to know how often you plan on/provide training to your drivers for a variety of different things.
Insurers are going to want to know a lot about your hiring practices. How old are the youngest drivers you’d be willing to hire? How often do you have them background checked? These are all important questions that will need to be answered in order to get the best TNC insurance quote.
4. Financial balance sheet
Insurers are interested in this information because they want to see two things. First they want to see that you will be able to pay for, and continue paying for, the policy they provide you with. Second they want to see that your company will have the ability to stay afloat until you start turning a profit. The latter is mostly due to the fact that many TNCs don’t start turning a profit in their first year of operation.
5. Other information
Finally, insurers want to see information that will lend further credibility to your name. One thing that will help you accomplish this is information on your investors. Not only do insurers want to get to know your TNC, but they also want to get to know the source of the money behind the TNC. Writing bios on company executives and investors is a good way to allow an insurer to get to know your TNC more thoroughly.
Another thing that helps in regard to the lending of credibility to your name is a summary of your terms of service and privacy conditions. This is where you want to show the insurer that you have policies in place to protect your customer.
Guidance for finding TNC Insurance from American Business Insurance Services
While this may seem like a lot of information to gather for an insurance quote. Insurers need to see this information in order to make sure they are able to match you with the best TNC insurance provider and get you the best policy. Furthermore, insurers are looking for long term, mutually beneficial relationships. Supplying them with this information is an excellent way to build a positive and long standing relationship with your TNC Insurance provider.
Here at American Business Insurance Services, we understand the process of launching a TNC. We understand that it takes a lot of time and effort. And we understand the industry. We can be there for you every step of the way to help make sure that you understand too.
If you have questions or are seeking further guidance, please don’t hesitate to contact us via phone or email. We would love to help you get your TNC off the ground and paired with an insurer that’s right for you.