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Joining forces: National Taxi Association endorse TIC

Joining forces: National Taxi Association endorse TIC

Posted by Grant Georgiades on June 10, 2016.

The National Taxi Association invited Plan Insurance Brokers to present their innovative plans for how the industry can confront the widespread issue of taxi insurance fraud at the recent annual conference.

Plan Insurance Brokers have been lobbying regulators and insurers along with the taxi and private hire industry to promote the need for funds and resources to be allocated to tackling the problem of drivers operating with invalid cover. They believe their plans for an online portal with the working title Taxi Insurance Checker (TIC) would provide a quick, low cost and effective solution.


Why is action needed now?

Uninsured taxi and private hire drivers have become a more high profile problem over the last 2 years due the emergence of fare booking apps such as UBER that have seen driver numbers increase by 62% since 2010.

 

Why Taxi and Private hire drivers must have appropriate cover:

  • Public Safety Concerns – as illegal touts target vulnerable passengers
  • Delayed Compensation Payments – for passengers if vehicles are involved in accidents
  • Higher Motor Insurance Costs as law abiding drivers subsidise premiums
  • Licensed Taxi and Private Hire drivers not being “fit and proper” persons

 

TIC information pack

Click here to view our Taxi Insurance Checker (TIC) Information Pack PDF

Flaws in current systems

Outdated systems for detecting uninsured taxi and private hire drivers can seemingly no longer cope with the volume of drivers. MD of TfL Leon Daniels described the current means of detecting drivers without suitable insurance as a “laborious, hopeless manual system.”

There are now over 300,000 drivers licensed to carry passengers on the U.K.’s roads. A nationwide audit leaked to the BBC in 2011 revealed that up to 93% of drivers might have invalid cover. Due to the volume of drivers now operating the problem is only likely to have escalated.

 

How are uninsured taxi drivers evading detection?  

Presenting False Insurance Documents
Either doctored or duplicated documentation is supplied when applying for a Taxi or Private Hire licence.

Operating with Expired, Cancelled or Invalid Cover
To avoid their vehicle showing up on the police’s Automatic Number Plate Recognition checks as unregistered on the Motor Insurance Database drivers take out cheaper private car insurance that does not provide cover to drive passengers for the purposes of “Hire and Reward.”  This could be up to ten times cheaper than the premiums they should be paying.

Using Identity mirroring” scams
Multiple drivers may be operating under one licence using one vehicle 

 

Ryan Georgiades, Managing Director of Plan Insurance Brokers believes TIC is the way forward to help rid the road of uninsured drivers:

Taxi Insurance Checker online portal proposal

TIC is a perfect example of how technology can streamline processes and reduce costs. If implemented it will not only save operators time but it will give them complete confidence that their drivers have valid cover in place.

And it’s not only us who think that the portal is a good idea:

 The association believe the thinking behind TIC is beneficial towards not only insurers and operators but more importantly, the safety of the travelling public

Wayne Casey Administration Officer of the National Taxi Association

The GMB will keep lobbying regulators such as TfL to make this a top priority. Tackling the issue of drivers with invalid insurance is vitally for operators in order to protect both the good name of their business and the reputation of the industry as a whole.”


Steve Garelick  Branch Secretary of GMB Union Professional Drivers’ Branch

 

So how will TIC Work?

 

TIC will provide authorities access to live information regarding the validity of taxi and private hire drivers’ insurance and crucially whether their policy provides cover for carrying passengers for the purposes of “Hire & Reward.”

The portal is similar in concept to the Motor Insurance Database, which has significantly reduced the number of uninsured drivers on the UK’s roads.

All taxi and private hire insurers will need to be registered on a database as approved suppliers.

Each taxi insurance certificate they issue will have a unique encrypted identifier code printed on it.

This can be decrypted by regulators, law enforcement officers, vehicle inspectors and operators by via the TIC portal.

Read more about the Taxi Insurance Checker (TIC) here.

 

Progress hits a road block with TfL

TfL initially expressed interest in developing such a system. The main strength being that it would provide operators access to key information that would otherwise be restricted to them due to data protection.

However TfL state they have been working with the MIB to provide authorised parties (which excludes taxi and private hire operators) access to “class of use” data for private hire and taxi vehicles via the MID.

They state private hire drivers are already having their insurance checked against this system at inspection centres.

 

TIC information pack

Click here to view our Taxi Insurance Checker (TIC) Information Pack PDF 

Plan have cause for concern regarding the accuracy of the “class of use” data held by the MID.

Despite insuring over 7,000 taxi and private hire vehicles their main insurer partner has received no contact from the MIB to request they supply the relevant information in the required format.

Plan have also been informed unofficially that some police forces have stopped ANPR cameras running full MID checks as the MIB charges on a per search basis and the searches were proving too costly.

 

Read More: Plan win Family Business of the Year Award!

Read More: The most expensive short-stay airport car park is…?

 

 

Meet the Author Grant Georgiades

Marketing Mastermind with a love of dark chocolate, Grant is the youngest of the 3 Georgiades brothers. His industry experience is applied to writing blogs on all manner of topics….. but don’t ask him anything about engines.

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