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When you run a taxi business, you know that reliability is important to your customers. Reliability is also key when it comes to buying the right taxi insurance. But can you be sure you’ve got the correct cover to protect you and your business? If you don’t, it could end up costing you your livelihood. To help you to find reliable, good cover at the best price, our team answers your taxi insurance FAQs.
1) First, do I need taxi insurance?
Whether you’re a self-employed part-time driver or you run a large fleet, specialist taxi insurance is a must-have. That’s because ordinary car insurance won’t cover you if you take any passengers for reward. Remember, you’ll need specialist insurance even if you only drive for a reward very occasionally. For example, you sometimes drive your classic Rolls Royce as a wedding car.
Taxi insurance can be tailored for all types of professional drivers, including:
If you do drive a taxi, minicab, or limousine without the right insurance:
- Your cover will be void, so you’ll receive no payout if something does go wrong. This could leave you seriously out of pocket.
- You’ll be breaking the law. This can mean a fine and penalty points on your licence. This will make buying insurance even more expensive in the future.
- Your taxi licence could be revoked and you may be banned from driving. That means you’ll have to find a new career.
2) Do public and private hire taxis need different insurance cover?
When you get an insurance quote, you’ll need to specify whether you drive public or private hire vehicles (or a combination of both). However, the type of cover you need to consider will be the same. This includes:
- Vehicle cover. Just like standard insurance, you can opt for third-party cover or fully comprehensive cover. Third-party insurance is the minimum level of cover you need to hold. If there is an accident, it pays out to the other party. Remember, it won’t cover your costs, for example, to repair or replace your vehicle if it is damaged in an accident. For that level of cover, you need to opt for fully comprehensive insurance.
- Public liability insurance. This covers you if a member of the public makes a claim against you for injury or damage to property. For example, if you have an accident and your passenger suffers an injury, they can claim compensation from you. Public liability insurance covers your legal costs, including solicitor fees and compensation pay-outs.
3) Do I need public liability cover?
You don’t have to hold public liability insurance, but we strongly recommend it. Whilst it is not a legal requirement, you may find that many authorities do insist that any licensed taxi driver operating in their area holds it as part of their licensing agreement. Speak to your local authority to find out if it is something you need to have.
It’s also worth bearing in mind that with the culture of no-win, no-fee legal support it is very easy for someone to bring a claim against you. Even if you are not found liable, it can be very expensive and traumatic to get to that point. With public liability insurance, you’ll have access to legal advice and support with no surprise bills to worry about.
4) What factors can make my policy more expensive or cheaper?
As with any other type of insurance, several factors influence the cost of your cover. These include your age, driving experience, and claims history. Bear in mind that your claims history includes any claims made on your own personal motor insurance. The type of vehicle you want to insure, your location, and the nature of your business can also influence costs. For example, if you have a luxury vehicle this is likely to cost more than insuring a more standard model.
You may find it difficult or expensive to get a comprehensive taxi insurance package if you are under 25 years old. If you have convictions or a history of previous claims it can also be trickier to find an insurance company willing to take you on. That does not mean it’s impossible, so speak to your insurance broker for advice.
Taxi insurance FAQs number 5) I have a fleet of taxis. Can you insure all of my vehicles?
At Park Insurance we can offer comprehensive taxi insurance to both individuals and large companies. We help UK operators running everything from one or two vehicles to a large fleet to get affordable cover. If you do have three or more vehicles, you can save a considerable amount when compared to insuring each vehicle individually.
6) I share a Black Cab with a business partner. Can you provide me with insurance?
The cost of buying and running a Hackney carriage can be high, especially if you are just starting in the trade. We are often approached by Black Cab drivers who ‘share’ a vehicle. For example, one driver covers the day shift while the second driver covers the night shift, using the same vehicle. We can arrange for insurance that will give you the cover you need, whether you own the vehicle outright or part-own it with a business partner.
7) What add-ons are available as part of my package?
We tailor-make every taxi insurance package for each individual customer, so whether you’re a solo operator or are running a fleet of vehicles, we can help. Your cover can include almost anything you want, including specialist vehicle cover, public liability insurance, employer’s liability cover for fleet managers, taxi breakdown insurance, and personal injury insurance. Our impartial advisers will help you pick the right options to create a bespoke portfolio of cover that protects you, your vehicle, your customers and your business.
8) Finally, what licensing requirements do I need to get taxi insurance?
Some insurance providers may need to see proof of your licensing agreement with your local administrative authority or council or if you are a Hackney Carriage operator, your badge number. Fleet operators will often need to supply proof of a current licensing agreement to get insurance.
For more help
We hope we’ve answered all your taxi insurance FAQs. If not, our expert taxi team is here to help you. Call us on 0117 955 6835 or get a free quote.
This article was originally published in January 2017. It has since been completely updated to give you the best and most accurate information.