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St. Patrick’s Day Safety

St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner and you know what that means — everyone travels near and far by way of the red line to celebrate one thing, being Irish! And being located right on West Broadway in the heart of South Boston, we are no stranger to this day. That’s why we’re offering the inside scoop to celebrating St. Patty’s in Southie, safely, of course.

 

Attending the Parade

St. Patrick’s Day falls on a Saturday this year, but the annual and historic parade will hit the streets in Southie on Sunday, March 18th at 1:00pm. If you plan on attending the parade, the best way to get a front and center view is to arrive early to stake out your viewing spot. St. Patrick’s Day is a busy time in town, so your best bet is to take the T to Broadway or Andrew and find a viewing location along the parade route.

 

Out on the Town

The parade isn’t the only tradition that happens in Boston on St. Patrick’s Day. There are 5k runs, concerts, and of course, pub crawls. But no matter how you spend the day, remember you are in a crowded city and safety should always be a priority.

1. Stay Together — It’s important that you keep track of your friends and stay with a group. The city is a busy place every day of the year, but it becomes even more hectic on St. Patty’s Day. Make sure the people you arrive with are the same people you leave with. And don’t forget to fully charge cell phones in case someone gets separated from the group.

2. Set Limits — Remember it’s a marathon, not a sprint. If you find yourself going from one pub to the next, Guinness after Guinness, don’t forget to mix in some waters every now and again. While you’re at it, you should enjoy some corned beef and hash too.

3. Get Home Safely — When the night is over, get home safely. Make sure you have a sober ride home. An Uber is just a few clicks away and cabs are around every corner.

 

Hosting Friends

Whether you’ve decided to skip the parade altogether or host the after party, there are things you need to know before opening your doors to everyone wearing green.

1. You’re Responsible — This means that if an intoxicated guest leaves your home and gets into an accident, you can be held liable for any harm to third parties or property. It also means if Boston police are called, you’re the one they look to if any legal issues arise.

2. Read Your Lease — As a renter in Boston, you should fully understand your lease before opening your home. Sometimes your lease agreement limits parties based off of size or doesn’t allow them at all. You don’t want to end a fun day with an eviction notice, so when in doubt, read your lease and ask your property manager.

3. Create a Guest List — The more the merrier? That’s not always true. Plan ahead with a guest list to ensure you know everyone coming into your home. This also helps ensure that the party doesn’t get out of hand.

4. Provide Snacks and Water — Be sure to serve food and non-alcoholic beverages to help guests stay hydrated and make sure they are not consuming alcohol on empty stomachs. It’s also important for guests that are not consuming alcohol, like sober drivers!

5. Help Friends Get Home Safely — After a long day or night of celebrating, make sure all your friends get home safely. Offer to call cabs for those that need a sober ride or allow them to spend the night. Do not let anyone get behind the wheel after drinking.

We know St. Patrick’s Day in Southie is something you want to check off your bucket list — but make sure it’s one to remember by making safety a priority! Happy St. Patty’s from all of us at Lighthouse Insurance — we hope the luck of the Irish is on your side.

 

Last-Minute Moving Tips

September 1st is finally here, which means that renters will be moving in and moving out all over Boston this week and into the long Labor Day weekend! The city is about to get a whole lot busier — that’s why we have some last minute tips to help your move-in day go smoothly.

1. Read Your Lease

It might seem like a no-brainer, but it’s important to read your lease so you don’t miss any details. Often times, there is a tenant moving out the day before you move in, which means the landlord or management company may need some time to clean the property. The last thing you want is to show up at your apartment, moving truck and all, at 9 am when your lease specifies that you can’t move in until after 1 o’clock.

2. The Move

If you haven’t reserved parking for your moving truck — do so right now. You can reserve a parking spot through the city of Boston, to make your move a little easier. No one wants to lug your stuff from three streets over, so make sure you plan ahead.

If you have hired movers to haul your stuff for you, don’t forget to tip! If you have somehow convinced your friends to help, handshakes and smiles won’t do. Buying everyone lunch will make sure they’re still your friends after a long day of moving.

3. Don’t Get “Storrowed”

If you’ve rented a moving truck, do not drive on Storrow Drive! Storrow Drive passes under several low bridges and every year, without fail, at least one truck gets stuck. Not only will you block traffic, you’ll also damage your truck and possibly your stuff. You don’t want to be that person. You should also avoid Memorial Drive for the same reason. Plan your route ahead of time to make sure you’re not unknowingly following your GPS through these parts of the city.

4. Allston Christmas

Boston is home to over 35 colleges. With all of these students moving out, there tends to be a lot of stuff that gets left behind. Although this phenomenon has become known as “Allston Christmas,” you can score free stuff all over the city. When it comes to digging through furniture and other items left on the sidewalk, we advise you to be careful with what you take. If you do decide to partake, we recommend avoiding anything with upholstery, as these items can host pests like bed bugs, which you can then bring into your new apartment. And if you take wood furniture, be sure to inspect it for small holes, which could also indicate a pest infestation.

5. Renters Insurance

When moving day is all said and done, make sure your new place and everything that’s in it is covered in case of an accident with renters insurance. It’s often mistakenly understood that if your landlord has insurance, then you do too. However, this is not the case. Renters insurance provides three essential protections:

These three coverages protect your belongings, safeguard you against lawsuits, and help cover costs if you have to temporarily relocate due to a covered loss, like a fire.  

Not sure where to start? A Lighthouse Insurance agent can help you evaluate your property and belongings and find coverage that suits your needs and your budget! Give us a call at 617-464-3777 or visit or website for a new or existing policy.

 

Traffic Safety Tips

Boston is known for a lot of things: our famous sports teams, the unpredictable weather, dropping the ‘r’ … and of course our driving. While we’re not proud of our terrible reputation as drivers, it is something we are working to improve with the goal of increasing safety for everyone on the road, including drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. No matter how you get around the city — these safety tips can help improve traffic safety for everyone.

Pedestrians

Be Seen

  • Before crossing traffic, make eye contact with drivers.
  • Wear bright or reflective clothing if walking or running at night.

Cross Streets Safely

  • Cross streets at corners, using traffic signals and crosswalks when available.
  • Always look left, right, and left again before crossing a street, and keep watching as you cross. Be aware that drivers have differing levels of eyesight and skill in operating motor vehicles.

Be Alert

  • Watch for cars turning onto streets, even if you have the right of way.
  • Use particular caution when crossing driveways and alley entrances. Drivers may not expect you to be there or see you.
  • Avoid using your phone while crossing streets. If you walk into traffic with your head down, your reaction time will be delayed.

Bicyclists

Watch for Pedestrians

  • Always yield to pedestrians in crosswalks — wait for them to return to the sidewalk before continuing.
  • Pass pedestrians with care by announcing “on your left” or “passing on your left” or by using a bell.

Signal Turns

  • Use hand signals to indicate change of lanes or turns.

Travel with the Flow of Traffic

  • Remember that you have just as much a right to be on the road as a driver.
  • If there is a bike lane, use it, otherwise you are entitled to an entire lane of traffic.
  • As a slower mode of transportation, it is safer to remain to the right of traffic, unless making a left hand turn.

Ensure Your Safety

  • Don’t text, listen to music or do anything else that could distract you by taking your eyes, ears, and mind off the road and traffic.
  • Wear a helmet.
  • In Massachusetts, you are required to have reflectors on the front and back of your bike to be seen at night.

Drivers

Pay Attention

  • Watch for pedestrians and bicyclists at all times.
  • Yield to pedestrians when making turns.
  • At red lights, come to a complete stop and look for bicyclists before making a ‘right on red’ turn.

Share the Road

  • Move over for bicyclists and only pass when it’s safe to do so.
  • Obey the speed limit and allow for reaction time.
  • Limit Distractions
  • Avoid talking on the phone and do not text while driving.
  • Enjoy your coffee or snack once you have arrived at your destination.

Whether you get around town on two wheels, four wheels, or two legs — we all have to follow the rules of the road. Pay attention and be alert to ensure everyone’s safety. Here at Lighthouse Insurance, we understand Bostonians are proud of their city, so let’s also make our safe roads another reason to love this place. If you have questions about traffic safety or your auto policy, a Lighthouse Insurance agent is happy to help — visit our website or give us a call 617-464-3777.

 

Neighborhood Patios: In and Around Southie

The sun is out and you should be too! Whether you’re soaking up Vitamin D on your lunch break or enjoying a delicious brunch with friends — we have a run down of local hotspots with great outdoor seating that you should not miss.

 

Coppersmith

40 West 3rd Street, South Boston, MA 02127

Coppersmith

via Coppersmith

This converted industrial warehouse is a vintage gem in South Boston. It features a cafe, a dining area with indoor food trucks and of course a roof deck.

 

Worden Hall

22 W Broadway, Boston, MA 02127

Worden Hall

via Worden Hall

At Worden Hall you can enjoy modern American cuisine and an extensive choice of craft beers. If that’s not convincing enough, they also have more than 100 whiskeys and modern inventive cocktails.

 

Atlantic Beer Garden

146 Pier Four Blvd, Boston, MA 02210

Atlantic Beer Garden

via Atlantic Beer Garden

At ABG you can take your pick from the front patio or roof deck. And should we mention you only have this year left to enjoy the food and drinks here — so go while you still can!

 

Sullivan’s

2080 William J Day Blvd, South Boston, MA 02127

Sullivans

via Sullivan’s

Since June of 1951, Sullivan’s has been offering delicious food at an affordable price on Castle Island. This Southie original only offers outdoor seating and is a definite must for dining al fresco this season.

 

Barlow’s

241 A St, Boston, MA 02210

Barlows

via Barlow’s Restaurant

Barlow’s features a great vibe and even better food. Their menu serves up everyone’s favorite comfort foods. Caught right between Southie and Fort Point — Barlow’s makes the list for patios to check out this spring.

 

Row 34

383 Congress St, Boston, MA 02210

Row34

via Row 34

If you’re looking to avoid the “college bar” scene — Row 34 has you covered. This professionals-only restaurant has a raw bar that will make you want to change your diet to oysters only.

 

The Barking Crab

88 Sleeper St, Boston, MA 02210

The Barking Crab

via The Barking Crab

Dine underneath the tent of The Barking Crab, located right on Fort Point Channel. The atmosphere is casual clam shack meets the funky feel of urban life.

 

75 on Liberty Wharf

220 Northern Ave, Boston, MA 02210

75 on Liberty Wharf

via 75 on Liberty Wharf

Enjoy the patio day or night at 75 on Liberty Wharf because this small and cozy restaurant has big views that don’t disappoint. The food isn’t too bad either — as one reviewer writes SO FREAKING GOOD.”

If it were up to us, we’d eat every meal outside. Make sure you don’t let summer go by without taking advantage of these great outdoor eateries, right in our Southie back yard! Remember, before you know it, winter will be back … so make sure you don’t have any regrets!

 

Your Guide to NECANN 2017

The New England Cannabis Convention (#NECANN17) is coming up on April 22-23 at Hynes Convention Center — and we want to make sure you’re ready for it! With more than 200 exhibitors and over 100 industry expert speakers, this is going to be the largest and most significant cannabis industry event of the year.

With so much to see and learn, we know it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Don’t worry, Lighthouse is here for you. Here’s a quick run down of 10 businesses to watch from this year’s New England Cannabis Convention:

  • BloomBoss — Looking for high quality LED grow lights? BloomBoss has you covered. Located in Framingham, MA, this local company has been perfecting the art of LED lights since 2010.
  • CW Hemp — Charlotte’s Web created a hemp oil extract bred from their own unique strain of hemp intended to improve overall health and wellness. Strong believers in social responsibility, CW donates a portion of each purchase to the Realm of Caring Foundation for cannabis science and cannabinoid therapies research.
  • CannaKorp — Have you heard of the ‘Keurig for Cannabis’? That was this MA-based startup! Dedicated to simplifying and improving the cannabis experience for medical marijuana users, CannaKorp created the first single-use pod and vaporizer system.
  • Coast of Maine — You can’t grow anything without good soil, and good soil is exactly what Coast Of Maine specializes in. All Coast of Maine products are organic and locally sourced, to ensure that your plants have the nutrients they need to grow and thrive.
  • New England Veterans Alliance — NEVA is here to support those who have already sacrificed so much. The non-profit aims to help veterans improve their quality of life through more natural means while reducing reliance on pharmaceutical options.
  • Urban-Gro, LLC — Urban-Gro is a one stop shop for commercial growers. With lighting, pest management, fertigation, and water treatment solutions, urban-gro helps commercial cannabis growers grow better, more uniform plants.
  • New England Grass Roots Institute —  Want to learn more about how cannabis can be used for medical purposes? Interested in the latest scientific cannabis research? Formed by activists, the New England Grass Roots Institute hopes to educate the public on how marijuana can be used for holistic health enrichment.
  • Kushley LLC — Designed with discretion in mind, Kushley created several different products, including candles, sprays, lotions, and soaps to help eliminate the odor of marijuana. Plus, they’re all organic!
  • HISIERRA Compliant Packaging — HISIERRA prides themselves on being a sustainable and socially responsible company. Their CRREO style bags are not only made from natural sugar cane, their entire cannabis bag factory also runs on 100% wind generated electricity. As an added bonus, the bags are also certified child resistant.
  • MassCann/NORML — With all of the uncertainty surrounding the cannabis industry these days, it’s good to know that the people of MassCann and NORML are constantly advocating for ‘more moral and rational public policy regarding all uses of the cannabis plant’. Sounds good to us!

If you’ll be at NECANN this year, make sure to stop by the Lighthouse booth to say ‘Hi’! We’ll be there all weekend learning, networking, and of course, talking all about insurance for cannabusinesses!

Boston Business Insurance — What Business Owners Should Know

As business owners ourselves, we know — you’ve worked hard to build your dream business in Boston. Really hard. And when it comes to protecting your hard-earned work, having the correct business insurance is crucial. Why? Because accidents happen. Very. Expensive. Accidents.

Luckily, having the proper insurance can protect your employees, your customers, and your investment. For example — say your restaurant was the victim of a data breach, and your patrons’ credit card information gets compromised. Would you have the resources to identify and resolve the source of the breach, notify all of your customers, and then deal with any damages resulting from the hack? Or imagine this scenario: someone slips and falls on the stairs in your building after a particularly bad snowstorm. Not only do they break a leg and sprain their wrist, but they also chip their two front teeth. Could you afford their costly medical and dental bills? If you’re not sure, read on! Just one single incident shouldn’t have to be the end of your livelihood.

Here are the Lighthouse Insurance top-five business insurance coverages we recommend you invest in.

General Liability

General Liability insurance helps cover expenses like legal fees or medical expenses when something happens on your property. It protects you, your business, and your staff against claims resulting from property damage or bodily injury. This insurance can even protect you from copyright issues and instances of libel, slander, or misleading advertising. For example, say your taxi company accidentally uses a copyrighted slogan. You’ve painted it on all your cars and even paid for a few digital and print ads. Now, someone wants to sue. The proper taxi insurance coverage could be a lifesaver.

Commercial Property Insurance

If a fire, wind, or hailstorm took place in Boston and damaged the building your business is in, commercial property insurance would protect your business’ physical assets. For example, say a nasty storm blows through town knocking down a tree in front of your restaurant, which then shatters your floor to ceiling glass windows and ruins all your tables, chairs and place settings. Having the right amount of commercial property coverage included in you Restaurant and bar insurance could save you a lot of money in repairs. This type of insurance coverage also covers acts of vandalism.

Liquor Liability

Liquor liability insurance protects establishments that serve alcohol, whether you are a casual fine dining restaurant, pizza shop or bar. It protects these businesses when anyone they’ve served alcohol to subsequently injures him or herself or others, or if he or she damages someone’s property. Massachusetts made this insurance a requirement to obtaining a liquor license in 2010. And while this is now a mandatory coverage, the required limits are often not enough to fully protect a bar or restaurant in the face of an accident. Which is why we suggest you consult an independent agent today to figure out what liability limits your unique business should have.

Cyber Liability Insurance

Cyber liability insurance is quickly becoming a necessary part of any business insurance package. A cyber security insurance policy can offer coverage for data loss, fines, losses resulting from identity theft, reputation management, and more. Data from Travelers Insurance states that the average amount a business has to pay for a single compromised account is $217. Now multiply that by the number of clients your business serves…it really adds up quickly. Could your business afford that on your own? Unfortunately, almost 60% of small businesses attacked by a data breach close their doors within six months. Avoid becoming a part of that statistic by adding cyber liability to your insurance package.

Commercial Auto Insurance

Commercial auto insurance covers any vehicle that you own, lease, rent, or borrow for business purposes. If you’re using any vehicle for work, whether it’s a catering van, a truck for your plumbing business, or your fleet of limos, it’s crucial that you have a good commercial auto insurance policy. Without it, a lawsuit from someone injured in an accident involving your company’s vehicles could mean the end of your business.

It’s always said that business owners wear many hats. Leave the insurance hat to a Lighthouse Insurance agent! For questions about what business insurance might be right for you, call us at 617-464-3777 or visit us at our convenient office in South Boston at 470 West Broadway.

Get Renters Insurance and Be Safe Southie

Don’t Be Like All Uncool; Get Renters Insurance and Be Cool.

Living in South Boston, or Southie to you and me, used to be the best-kept secret in Boston. Now that the secret is out, it’s not quite the same old Southie. “Apartments” for rent are now everything from renovated warehouses, churches or new construction tucked away between West Broadway and Congress Street.

Yet with all of the changes, in many ways it is the same Southie we’ve always known; a place many of us still call home, our real home. This is the place where we went to kindergarten, celebrated birthdays, learned how to ride a bike, had our first kiss, got married and had babies.

As your local insurance agent, Lighthouse Insurance has celebrated many of life’s milestones with you; from passing your driver’s license test, to buying your starter home, or, as exciting, renting your first apartment.

Like any good Southie neighbor, we are happy to share our wisdom with newcomers to our town whenever it’s needed. So if you’re just joining our community for the first time, welcome to the neighborhood. Or, if you’re a young Southie native venturing out on your own for the first time, don’t worry we have your back too.

No matter what your situation is, we want to make sure you protect yourself and the place you call home. This means having “the talk,” but this one’s about something not so sexy. However, it is very important. We want to discuss the value of having renters insurance. Was that just a big sigh of boredom from everyone? Okay, now that you have that out of your system, get ready to learn why renters insurance is actually much cooler than you think.

Why do I need renters insurance?

Great question and we are glad you’re paying attention! Of course the Bostonian in us wants to just say, “because we told you so,” but as your local insurance professionals we would be doing you a disservice so we are going to tell you why. Here are the three main reasons getting renters insurance is a smart move:

  • It covers all the personal property you own
  • It gives you a level of liability protection
  • It provides you with additional living expenses

So what does all this mean? Let’s look at each coverage separately. No this is not a waste of time; trust us, we will make this really interesting!

Coverage for your personal property.

Basically coverage for personal property means all the stuff you’ve worked so hard to buy, like your TV, computers, furniture, Xbox, headphones, street/mountain bike, snowboard, fancy handbags, shoes, and other belongings. These are all protected if stolen or damaged due to fire, smoke, vandalism or some other unexpected calamity. You may need a little extra protection for collectibles or jewelry, but that is an easy thing to add on for very short money.

Liability coverage.

Most people think this is something they don’t need, but we’re here to make sure you aren’t one of them. Instead, we are going to tell you why liability coverage is such an important coverage and why we think it’s the coolest part of your renters insurance policy.

Liability coverage protects you financially, no matter how much money you earn or the size of your bank account. When someone sues you they are not checking your bank balance for adequate funds; instead they are going after compensation that they believe to be fair for injury or damages caused by you, whether intentional or not. And no matter how much money you have, or don’t have, one thing’s for sure; you are going to have to find a means to pay for any judgments against you.

Liability coverage can save you from having to borrow money, look for a second job, or cut back on your expenses to pay the legal bills. Specifically, here are some examples of what kind of lawsuits this coverage can safeguard you from:

  • bodily injury you or your family members cause to others
  • property damage that you or your family members cause to others
  • damage your pet(s) cause

Liability protection in a renters insurance policy will also provide you with no-fault medical coverage which means that you can submit medical bills directly to your insurance carrier should someone get injured in your home. Liability coverage will also pay for the cost of defending you in court and for any money awarded to the complainants, up to the limit of the policy.

Yup, we just blew your mind didn’t we? That’s a lot of coverage but we haven’t even gotten to the best benefits of renters insurance yet.

Additional Living Expenses.

Now that you know you have your stuff and your money protected, what happens if you are displaced from your apartment due to circumstances outside of your control? Need an example? Unfortunately, home fires are more common in the city then you think. This past summer there were actually two serious blazes that prompted us to write a blog post about fire prevention for Southie residents, who as you know, live precariously close to their neighbors. But fire is just one reason you may be displaced from your apartment. There are other scenarios that are just as unsettling to think about. Consider what you would do if your upstairs neighbor’s commode burst and water flooded down into your apartment while you were both out of town for the weekend. That would literally stink!

If these or any other type of catastrophe wrecks your apartment, do you have a back-up plan? Well, if you have an extremely cool renters insurance policy, then you can be certain you will not have to go back to mom and dad’s or crash on a friend’s couch. A good renters insurance policy provides additional living expense coverage that could pay for hotel bills or temporary rentals, restaurant meals and other expenses you incur while your apartment is being repaired or rebuilt.

Okay, let’s get real, how much does renters insurance cost?

This is really the most awesome part of all! Renters insurance is cheap; hugely important, but, yes, cheap. For as little as $12 bucks a month you can get all the coverage we outlined here. As we like to say, it’s less than a skinny margarita or a craft beer at the trendy bar on the corner. So eliminate one of those beverages a month and you have your renters insurance covered. And if you own a car, you can save even more by combining your auto and renters insurance with the same carrier, in some cases as much as 20% on your auto insurance. Like a wise old Southie neighbor might say, “You can’t afford not to get this kind of protection.”

How many people are covered under one renters insurance policy?

We hear you, you have roommates to consider as well. It’s cool of you, and considerate, to wonder whether your renters insurance policy covers your roommate and their stuff as well? The answer is both yes and no. A single renters insurance policy covers two people, you and your significant other or one of your roommates at no additional cost. However if you live with more than one person, then someone will need to get a second renters insurance policy.

Also, we are going to give you some more neighborly advice about sharing a renters insurance policy; please make sure you trust that person. This might sound obvious; after all you’re living with this person so they must have earned your trust. But we mean really, really make sure you know your roommate or the person you live with. Because when you have to make a claim, any check you receive from your insurance carrier will be made out to all the parties on the policy. This means that even if the check is to cover damages or losses to only your belongings, your roommate will still have to co-sign the check. So choose your policy buddy carefully!

In the event that it’s your roommate that causes damage to your belongings, it’s important to know that these losses will not be covered if you are both on one policy. We can’t stress this point enough; be 100% certain that the person you decide to add to your renters insurance policy is someone you know well and can trust completely.

The big finish

In closing, we want to share one last piece of advice, to #BeSafeSouthie. Protect yourself whether walking home from the local watering hole late at night, driving to work in the morning, or cooking a meal for a group of friends in your cool new apartment. Accidents happen, and if they happen to you, your friends at Lighthouse Insurance want you to have the protection you need. If we’ve left you with more questions than answers, feel free to call us at 617-464-3777. Or, if you have a strong desire to see the faces of the people who wrote this insightful, and admit it, cool blog post, you can typically find us between the hours of 4:30 – 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday at our neighborhood hangout STATS. Where yes, everyone knows our name.

5 Things to Know Before Becoming A Rideshare Driver

Rideshare services have quickly become one of the most popular components of the modern gig economy. With so many services available, it’s never been easier to join the Transportation Network Company (TNC) industry. Whether driving has become your full time job or is just a side gig you do in your free time, there are a few things any rideshare driver should know.

Understand how each rideshare company is different

Each rideshare company will have different rules and regulations for things like number of years of driving experience or record requirements. For example, to become a Lyft driver in Massachusetts, you must be at least 21 years old and have had your license for at least a year. For Uber, however, if you are under the age of 23, you must have at least 3 years of driving experience. Vehicle requirements can also differ, even within a company. Uber, for instance, has different vehicle requirements for their different services such as UberX or UberSUV.

Know the specific regulations for your city

Each city or state will have its own regulations for how rideshare companies can operate as well as where they can pick up fares. Background check requirements will also differ from state to state as well as specific driving restrictions. In Boston, for example, rideshare services are not allowed to pick up riders at Logan Airport, however they are allowed to drop passengers off there.

It is possible to drive for multiple companies

Many rideshare drivers in Massachusetts choose to work for multiple services. This way, if rides are slow on one app, there is a backup way of finding a fare. If this is your plan, make sure that you understand and meet driver and vehicle requirements for both services.

Filing and Paying Taxes

New drivers should remember that they are required to pay taxes on their rideshare income, even if it is only a side job. Make sure to track your miles and expenses such as gas, insurance, taxes, car repairs and depreciation to get the appropriate tax deductions. Driver should also know that the standard write-off for business use of a car is 56 cents per mile.

Vehicle Registration and Insurance

Once you begin working for a rideshare service, your personal auto policy will not cover you when you are driving for fares. Rideshare drivers should register or rewrite existing personal auto policies as commercial auto policies. In fact, in Massachusetts, on page 2 of the general information portion of the personal car insurance application, drivers are specifically asked whether they are collecting fares for driving. Saying “no” to this question as a rideshare driver is actually a federal offense.

Although some services like Uber offer insurance, drivers should know that this insurance is not regulated and that the amount of coverage is dependent on several factors, including but not limited to: the phase of a trip you’re in (ie just on the app, accepted a trip, picked up a passenger, or ending a trip) or the type of accident you get in. You wouldn’t want to find yourself facing a million dollar lawsuit with only the insurance provided by your rideshare company. We can’t stress enough how necessary a commercial auto policy is for rideshare drivers.

The best way to make sure you’re covered? Get your commercial auto policy from an agent who understands how TNC insurance works.

Driving for a rideshare service can be a great way to make extra income, especially if you have a car and the time to do it. As with any job though, it’s important to do your research before starting. Follow these tips and guidelines to ensure that you are making the most out of your driving time.

Need more help or advice about starting work for a rideshare service? Lighthouse Insurance is an expert in transportation insurance with a specific focus on the TNC industry. Our team is very involved in local Massachusetts TNC regulation and are the best option to make sure you, your vehicle, and your passengers are covered at every step. Give us a call today at 617-464-3777 or visit our website to learn more.