Following the outbreak of COVID-19, the public are being urged to self-isolate, which has resulted in Taxi and Private Hire Drivers seeing large reductions in the amount of work available to them.
We have had many taxi drivers contact us and enquire if and how exactly they can go about stopping their insurance policy payments, and if it is a case of cancelling or suspending the policy to help reduce their monthly outgoings.
This may seem like a logical decision. However, by doing so you could cause yourself problems. Here are some alternatives to cancelling along with a number of the many issues that taxi and private hire drivers could bump into over the next few months if you decide to do so…
Alternatives to Cancelling
Before you defintiely decide to cancel your policy its worth considering that during these difficult times some taxi insurers are offering the following options to assist:
- Remove public/private hire cover ie your cover will be purely for social, domestic and pleasure purposes and you will not be able to carry passengers. Your vehicle will remain covered for fire, theft and vandalism.
- Reduce your cover to Fire, Theft & Vandalism whilst parked ie you will not be covered to drive your vehicle in any circumstances.
If you instruct the team to proceed with one of these options you will reduce your premium. Depending on how you pay for your policy, you will either receive a refunded amount or benefit from reduced monthly direct debits amounts.To find out more about this you will need to contact our customer service team.
Instead of downgrading your cover you may wish to take advantage of the following news…..
Free Parcel & Food Delivery Upgrade
Many drivers will prefer to keep working. You could play a vital part in supporting the national effort and providing for those at risks members of the community who are required to self isolate.
Normally your policy is just for carrying fare-paying passengers. However our insurance partners have now agreed to allow you to use your vehicle for delivering food and parcels during the Covid-19 crisis. This could now allow you to seek an alternative source of income from the use of your vehicle via many of the app operators that facilitate these services.
To take advantage of this, you will need to contact us prior so we can arrange cover, and to read more about this topic please see our blog.
Problems with Cancelling
If reducing cover of utilising your vehicles aren’t suitable options then please consider the following before definitely deciding to cancel your policy:
Is your vehicle going to be remain taxed?
All vehicles which have Road Tax must be insured at all times. Failure to do so could result in fines, court prosecutions and your vehicle being destroyed. There are some exemptions and to learn more about this you can view the government website.
Do you still need to use your vehicle?
For many, you may use your vehicle for both work and personal life. Therefore, cancelling your insurance will prevent you from using it for either. This could prevent you from making any essential or emergency journeys. Additionally, if you have claimed from your insurance policy within this policy year, and the claim is not reimbursed, then you will not be entitled to any refund.
Where do you keep your vehicle?
If your vehicle is kept on a public road then the law states your vehicle must be insured, again you can read more about this on the government website.
Also, is your vehicle safe where it is parked? Should your vehicle be stolen or damaged whilst it was parked, and you have cancelled your insurance. This could leave you further out of pocket.
Licensing Requirements Breach
Under the terms of your public or private hire licence you may be required to maintain insurance cover over the whole duration of the vehicle’s licensing period. Cancelling your vehicle’s insurance may lead you to breach the terms of your licensing agreement and to incur the subsequent consequences.
Are there other solutions
We are working hard with our insurer partners and finance providers to try and provide additional solutions to ease the burden. We hope you understand that these are unprecedented times and everyone is having to cope as best they can to what is a fast changing situation.
Finance Partners & Payment Holiday Requests
If you pay your insurance via a monthly direct debit, this will be via a company called Premium Credit. They have advised anyone struggling to make payments towards their credit agreement, should contact them and each case will be assessed on an individual basis.
Unfortunately unlike a loan repayment for your car or your mortgage, your credit agreement for your insurance is not attached to an asset meaning it makes it difficult to extend payment terms in the form of payment holidays or to allow breaks. There may also be fees for cancelling that you will need to factor into your considerations.
Premium Credit has advised anyone struggling to make payments towards their credit agreement, should contact them, and each case will be assessed. You can contact Premium Credit on the following number 0344 736 9836
To Be Continued
As these are unprecedented times the landscape is currently changing daily. Therefore, we would recommend following us on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn and ensuring you are subscribed to our newsletters to ensure you up to date with our news during these challenging times.
If you require more information regarding this topic you can contact our expert Taxi Insurance team via email… TaxiCustomerServices@planinsurance.co.uk