If you drive a Taxi, it is not just your car but your livelihood too. You need protection against the risks you face as a professional driver.
This guide highlights and explains the main features of Taxi Insurance including: Private Hire Insurance, Public Hire Insurance, Fleet policies and named driver or any driver options.
What is Taxi Insurance?
Taxi Insurance will protect you against many risks you face when driving your cab, or your legal liability towards your passengers and their belongings.
Taxi driving typically takes place at unsociable hours. A large percentage of your driving time may be in busy inner-city areas where there is a higher statistical risk to have a motor accident.
You are also likely to be driving more miles than the average driver. Therefore, you are more likely to be involved in a road traffic incident – even a minor one.
Due to the extra risks you may encounter compared to other motorists, it is important for you to find the right insurance policy, with the adequate level of cover.
Policies can stipulate a minimum driver age (commonly 25), have a restriction on the amount of miles you drive or how many hours you drive in one day. Some policies can be regional, excluding certain cities from your cover.
Insurance can also vary according to who drives the car:
- A Named Driver policy allows a number of specifically named people to drive the vehicle or just you if you are the sole driver.
- An Any Driver Policy allows anyone (usually over the age of 25) employed by you to drive the car.
What cover does Taxicab Insurance provide?
There are many types of insurance that you may need as a Taxi driver. Recommended cover includes:
- Breakdown and Roadside Recovery – To get you started again if you break down at the road side. Onward transportation can also be provided for any passengers you have in the vehicle.
- Home Start Recovery – Assistance at your home if you taxi won’t start.
- Public Liability – Even though your taxi isn’t a commercial building, it is still your place of work and you are responsible for the safety of anyone in your cab. Public Liability Insurance will provide cover should a customer have an injury or damage their property in your vehicle.
- Employers Liability – In the UK, if you employ any staff (even if they only work on a part time voluntary basis), employers liability is a legal requirement.If you own a fleet of cabs with many drivers then you need Employers Liability Insurance. This provides cover should an employee have an accident as a direct result of working for you.
If you have a base office where your drivers congregate and a call centre where the dispatch system operators work, you will need further cover, including:
- Buildings Insurance – This will insure any damage done to the physical property. It can also provide you with additional premises should your building be uninhabitable due to an insured accident such as fire or flooding.
- Contents Insurance – To cover the cost of theft or damage to your buildings contents such as furnishing, computers of even money left in a till.
- Cyber or Data Protection Insurance – If you keep a record of clients details such as names, addresses, contact and payment details on file, then you face the possibility of it being hacked into online or even stolen from your office. Cyber Protection can cover you for any legal liability you have as well as reinstating security that may have been compromised.
What type of vehicles can I insure?
When thinking of Taxis, most people will picture the traditional Hackney Carriage, or Black Cab. However, any vehicle can be used to drive passengers for different needs – so it’s important that you get the right insurance for the kind of cab you drive.
- Public Hire Taxi Insurance – Public Hire Taxis don’t need to be pre-booked and can just be hailed by customers on the street. Public Hire Taxis could store cash in their vehicle which would need insuring. They are also more likely to be driven at antisocial hours.
- Private Hire Taxi Insurance – Private Hire Taxis need to be pre-booked and they can’t display a taxi sign.
Whilst the chances of carrying cash in their private hire vehicles are reducing, the vehicles themselves can be of a higher value, especially if chauffeur contracts are undertaken. The average age of Private Hire drivers tends to be lower than Public Hire drivers.
- Minibus Insurance – For larger vehicles with more than the standard 5 seats. This can include people carriers, MPVs and minibuses. Minibuses are more likely to have been modified and these need to be declared when taking out your policy.
- Taxi Fleet Insurance
If you need Minicab Insurance, Public Hire Cover or a mixture of both for many vehicles, a Fleet Policy may be the most cost effective way of insuring your vehicles with only one renewal date to keep track of.
What else might I need to consider?
- Declare your taxi’s modifications – 100% of Taxis in London and 58% (and rising) in the rest of the UK now have wheelchair access, so there is a high chance that your vehicle has been modified. It is important that you declare any modifications to your insurer as this could affect your premiums.
- Vehicle Security – Fitting your vehicle with CCTV and additional security may lower your Insurance premiums, but also provide you with added personal protection.
- DVSA Test – Some councils insist on you taking the DVSA test before you can legally drive a cab. To find out if your local council requires you to take this test, click here.
If you have any questions about your Taxi Driver Insurance cover, call one of our specialist advisers on 0800 542 2743 for more information and to get your personalised Taxi Insurance Comparison Quotes.