The ubiquitous taxicab is a fixture in the more densely populated areas of the United States. The sheer numbers of such vehicles, and the intensive nature of the manner in which they operate, create types and volumes of risks that implicate numerous issues in the area of auto insurance and the insurance coverage afforded in incidents involving such vehicles.
In addition to the usual questions about insurance coverage that are raised by the ownership and operation of any motor vehicle, the operations of taxicabs present problems unique to the use of automobiles for such a purpose. The fact that taxicab rides involve interactions between strangers, and the urgency and stress with which they are sometimes conducted, may result in incidents that raise issues of whether such intentional acts as assaults during the course of a taxicab ride are to be considered accidental occurrences for purposes of determining insurance coverage. Similarly, questions may arise as to whether the actions of passengers are to be deemed a part of the use and operation of a taxicab for coverage purposes. Taxicab operations are often covered by municipal ordinances and regulations that may impose insurance requirements of their own, adding one more layer of legal standards to the laws governing insurance coverage of taxicab operations.
The business of insurance in the United States, including that of motor vehicle insurance, has historically been governed by the separate laws of each of the states rather than by a single unified body of federal law. As a result, the legal standards related to insurance coverage of taxicab operations will vary from state to state, and will be found in the state statutes regulating the business of insurance and in the decisions of courts dealing with insurance law.