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Do I need Taxi Insurance?
If you drive any vehicle for hire and reward then it is a legal requirement to have the correct insurance in place. It helps to protect you, your vehicle and your passengers from a variety of different risks. Driving without insurance or with inadequate cover could cost you your livelihood, so it’s important to get it right.
There are a variety of different taxi insurance policies to suit a range of different needs. You should make sure that the policy covers you for the type of taxi you drive and the amount of miles you cover.
You’ll need either a private hire or public hire policy. A public hire vehicle doesn’t need to be pre-booked. It’s licensed to pick up passengers from a cab or taxi rank, and can be hailed from the street. However, a private hire taxi (or minicab) needs to be pre-booked, and is unable to display a taxi for hire sign. You can also get variations of these policies to cover Uber drivers, chauffeurs or specialist use vehicles.
What does Taxi Insurance cover?
Taxi insurance policies come with a range of different options including:
- Cover type – Taxi insurance policies provide either fully comprehensive cover; Third Party or Third Party, Fire and Theft. Most drivers can save money with a fully comprehensive policy.
- Public liability cover – Can help to cover the cost of any claims made by customers who are injured whilst travelling in your vehicle.
- Taxi breakdown cover – Just like standard breakdown cover, this can provide support if you breakdown whilst driving your taxi.
- Windscreen cover – Some insurers will offer a £0 excess. Always check the policy details
- Personal miles – Some insurers will extend cover for personal use. It’s usually best to keep this to a minimum as a taxi policy tends to be more expensive than a standard car policy.
- Additional drivers – Some insurers will allow you to add extra drivers to your policy.
- Fleet cover – If you’re looking to insure two or more vehicles for the same individual or company then you’ll need a taxi fleet policy (please note that we do not provide quotes for fleet policies).
When you compare taxi insurance quotes online it is important to remember that it is not the same as standard car insurance. If this is the first time you’re looking for an insurance policy, it can be quite daunting to decide exactly what it is you need. If you find yourself in the situation without the correct level of cover, there is the potential to be unable to make a claim or be in the position of being liable for litigation against you. If you are in any doubt we’d always advise that you speak to the insurer directly after getting a quote.
Types of Taxi Insurance
Public hire vehicles are also known as London Black Cabs or Hackney Carriages. These taxis do not require pre-booking, and can be hailed in the street. They are also free to pick up passengers at a taxi rank. Most will have a taxi light fitted to the car roof, that shows if the taxi is vacant and for hire.
Private Hire Vehicles (PHVs) are sometimes known as minicabs. They can be pre-booked through a taxi office or over the telephone and are also licenced to carry passengers, but cannot be hailed in the street. Minicab insurance policies will differ slightly to those offered for public hire taxis, so make sure you enter your details correctly and check documents carefully before purchasing your insurance.
These drivers offer a superior chauffeur service, usually for weddings and special events. They may require a more specific policy for a higher insurance group and higher value model of car. Some policies may have features which make them more suited to chauffeur hire, such as increased public liability insurance.
An MPV normally carries between 6 – 9 passengers, whereas a Mini-Bus is capable of carrying between 10 -15. MPVs usually fall into a higher insurance group than a standard 4 – 5 seater taxi, (including the driver), as they are considered to be a higher risk due to number of passengers. For this reason taxi insurance policies for MPVs tend to be more expensive.
Some taxis have been modified or purpose built to carry wheelchairs. If you operate a WAV then you may require this type of taxi insurance policy. Remember to declare any modifications which have been made to your vehicle when you get a quote.
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How much is Taxi Insurance?
Taxi Insurance is calculated based on the “risk” you present as a driver. When you apply for insurance, an insurer will assess your risk based on a number of factors. This helps insurers set prices relative to each driver, so in theory a driver who is higher risk will pay more than a driver who is low risk. Although this method seems fair, it can often feel like you’re getting a bad deal.
Several things can affect your premium:
Your age and experience – If you’re over 25 and have a good driving history with no claims or convictions then you’ll find it easier to get a good deal on your taxi insurance. Younger drivers drivers often pay more as they haven’t had chance to build up a no claims bonus.
Your vehicle – In the same way as with personal car insurance, the make and model of your vehicle can affect your insurance premium. If you drive a larger taxi or minibus capable of carrying more passengers, then you are also likely to pay more.
Security – To reduce the risk of theft and vandalism, try to store your vehicle in a garage or under shelter when not in use. You could also take additional steps to minimize risk by fitting tracking equipment, anti-theft gadgets, security alarms and immobilisers.
Average cost of Taxi Insurance
If you’re new to the industry then you are probably desperate to find out the average cost of taxi insurance. Unfortunately there is no easy answer as costs can vary wildly depending on your age, location, driving history, the type of car you drive and more. However most drivers find taxi insurance for new drivers to be particularly expensive, with older drivers benefiting from lower premiums once they have developed a history of good driving. If you’re still curious to find out how much you would be likely to pay for a policy then you can compare taxi insurance quotes online, it’s free and only takes a few minutes.
Why is taxi insurance so expensive?
Taxi drivers usually cover more miles than other motorists, often in cities and other built up areas. This increases the chance of the vehicle being involved in a collision and therefore increases the “risk” to insurers. You’ll also need to be insured to cover the liability of the passengers you carry.
How to get cheaper Taxi Insurance quotes
Taxi insurance is probably one of the largest expenses for a driver and just like any other motorist. You want to obtain the best available quotation for you for the lowest possible price. Although this may seem impossible, there are a few things you can do to help reduce your insurance premiums. Try these tips to lower your premium and save money on your taxi insurance:
- Choose a vehicle from a lower insurance Group – High performance cars tend to be in the highest group. Cars in groups 1-20 are usually a safe bet!
- Drive safely to avoid convictions – Points on your licence will increase the cost of taxi insurance
- Build up a history of no claims discount – Drivers who remain claim free for a year get a reduction of 20% – 30%. If you can remain claim free for five years you could reduce your premium by up to 75%
- Increase your voluntary excess – This can help reduce premiums but make sure you are happy with the amount you may have to pay in the event of a claim.
- Keep your vehicle secure – Additional security features such as CCTV and alarms could help to reduce your premium.
- Shop around – Never auto-renew! Compare taxi insurance online and you could save £100’s in an instant
- Be honest – Remember that if you lie or fail to declare something important when obtaining quotes, then you may not be covered in the event of a claim. Always be honest and discuss any issues or questions you have with your insurer.