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Taxi Insurance Essentials


If you drive a hackney carriage or private hire vehicle for profit you will need a specialist taxi insurance policy, as standard car insurance won't cover this type of business use. Whereas a standard insurance policy protects a vehicle, a specialist taxi or private hire policy helps to protect not only the vehicle but the investment and livelihood connected to it. Taxi insurance is available with third party only, third party fire & theft or fully comprehensive cover; however, there are also three specific types of policy available that vary, in both price and levels of cover.



Types of cover

Policy only cover: rhis is the least expensive form of public hire and private hire insurance. Whilst this type of cover is very basic, it may also be the most cost effective and may be suitable for new drivers and owner operators. Named drivers can be added to this type of policy, but this is likely to result in a higher premium.

Named driver cover: this is generally regarded as the most suitable type of cover for individual drivers who require cover for themselves and their vehicle. This type of cover only applies to the named individual and will not cover other drivers or motorists.

Any driver cover: this type of cover is usually the most expensive option, but it allows any licenced motorist to drive the insured vehicle. Any driver cover is normally best suited for companies with multiple vehicles and drivers, and although adding further drivers to the policy is often expensive it allows for a greater level of flexibility. Some insurers will only allow cover for drivers over the age of 25; however this isn't always the case and certain providers may have different age criteria.

The cover options mentioned above are available for both private hire and public hire insurance. Private hire insurance is for pre-booked vehicles that cannot be hailed on the street or at a designated taxi rank, whereas public hire insurance is for vehicles licensed by a local council to pick up fares on the street. Although factors such as a driver's age and annual mileage are used when calculating premiums, the differing levels of risk for both public hire and private hire drivers are also taken into account.

Additional features

Some insurance policies come with additional features and benefits included as standard; however some insurance providers will offer them as optional extras. The most common features available are:

(1) Personal accident cover: this type of cover will provide financial compensation in the unfortunate event that the insured driver suffers from a physical injury or psychological trauma. It may also provide compensation to the family of a driver if they are fatally injured in an accident.
(2) Public liability cover: public liability insurance will protect a driver from claims made by passengers if they are injured whilst travelling in a public or private hire vehicle.
(3) Taxi breakdown cover: breakdown cover may be essential for some owner drivers or fleet operators. The breakdown cover is normally provided by specialist companies who will aim to get a vehicle back on the road as quickly as possible, in order to avoid a potentially substantial loss of earnings.


Common problems

Theft and vehicle damage are common types of claims made on taxi insurance policies. Leaving a vehicle in a secure area, such as a compound or garage, will help to reduce the risk of theft and damage caused by vandalism. Investing in a good quality car alarm may also reduce the risk of theft if a vehicle is left unattended in a public area. Opportunist theft, if a driver leaves the vehicle to collect a passenger, is an ever-present problem which is why many drivers only get out of their vehicles when it is absolutely necessary.


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