Being a Taxi driver is a fantastic occupation, although it’s one that comes with its own challenges and hazards too. Meeting new people can be a great aspect of the job, but sometimes you’ll have to deal with objectionable passengers too. And for every hour spent enjoying driving the streets of your favourite city, there’s another hour you’ll spend stuck in traffic that drives you up the bend. While unfortunately, we can’t help you with any of these, we can assist you with that other great chore of being a taxi driver – navigating the confusing and often expensive world of taxi insurance.
At High Gear Insurance, we’ve got a team of experts on hand ready to compare taxi insurance on your behalf to help you find the very best deals around. But before you start shopping, take a quick look at our simple guide designed to help you easily understand the ins and outs of taxi insurance.
Do I need taxi insurance?
Taxi insurance is a legal requirement for anyone that intends to charge a fee to carry passengers any distance. Whether you are a private hire driver who only picks up passengers at pre-booked appointments or a public hire driver picking up passengers without booking, you must have insurance in order to be operating within the law. Because all motor vehicles must have insurance unless they are declared SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification), you’ll need to make sure your taxi is covered even if you only use it a few times a year. Keeping a vehicle without insurance is illegal, and you could face a big fine if caught.
Why does taxi insurance cover cost more than regular motor insurance?
When you first start looking at policies, it can be overwhelming and frustrating when you realise how much more expensive it is to insure your taxi than to insure a regular car. While this can seem unfair at first, the higher rate is due to a few reasons: mainly, the fact that as a Taxi driver you are likely to cover far more miles than the average car driver – and often in more congested traffic such as city centres – making your risk of a potential accident higher. This risk is reflected in a higher premium for your Taxi insurance. Also, taxi drivers often drive larger vehicles and carry more passengers than regular drivers – a fact that again is reflected in the cost of your insurance.
What are the different types of taxi insurance?
What type of Taxi insurance is right for you depends on the type of service you offer your customers. If you are operating on a private hire basis, taking telephone or internet bookings from passengers and arranging to collect them at a pre-arranged time, then you need private hire insurance cover. This insurance covers you for all pre-arranged bookings, but does not allow you to pick up customers on an ‘ad-hoc’ basis – e.g. waiting at a taxi rank for a fare, or allowing passengers to hail you in the street. If you want to be able to carry both types of fares, you need a public hire or ‘hackney carriage’ license. These policies are used to cover vehicles such as London Black Cabs whose drivers wish to accept fares on a more informal basis. You will need public hire cover if you want to pick up passengers without prior bookings at places like train stations and airports, or in busy city centres on the weekends.
What types of cover are available?
Taxi insurance companies offer a range of different coverage options, so make sure you check that your policy covers everything you need. Typically, insurers offer three types of cover: Third Party Only (TPO), Third Party Fire & Theft (TPFT), and Comprehensive (Fully Comp) Insurance. You can choose to insure only yourself to drive your vehicle or insurance that allows anyone to drive your taxi. All of these options can be applied to both private and public hire vehicles, so there are plenty of ways in which you can personalise your policy to get the right cover for you. There are some other types of policy you can consider too: for example, drivers who work for companies rather than as individuals may want to look into getting Taxi Fleet Insurance that covers all the vehicles in your fleet. You might also want to consider paying a little extra for an ‘unlimited mileage’ policy, although it’s worth taking some time to estimate your annual mileage to see if it’s worth the cost. If you’re under 25, you might find it difficult to find a policy to cover you. Because Taxi insurance carries a higher level of risk for the insurer than regular insurance, their minimum age limits are often slightly higher. That’s not to say it’s impossible, though – talking to the experts at highgear.co.uk is a great way to learn more about what options are available to you.
How to get cheap taxi insurance deals?
Nobody likes spending a fortune on something that’s essential to their jobs – particularly if it’s something like Taxi insurance that you can’t work without. However, there is light at the end of the tunnel for those that are watching the pennies and hoping to find the very best deal. Here are some simple steps you can take to get lower quotes for your insurance:
Choose your car carefully
Did you know there are as many as 50 different car insurance groups that vehicles are split into? The Group Rating Panel (a national team of insurance experts) decides which group to place a vehicle in dependent on a variety of factors including repairs, the value of the vehicle and the cost of spare parts. Those in the higher groups cost more to insure, while those in the lower groups attract the cheapest insurance quotes. Take the grouping of your vehicle into consideration when choosing a car – although remember that other factors such as fuel efficiency will also have an impact on overall costs.
Use your no-claims bonus discount (NCB/NCD)
If you’ve been driving a personal vehicle for a while without incident and have built up a no-claims discount (Also known as NCB or NCD), some insurers might allow you to transfer this over to a public or private hire policy. Similarly, if you spend years behind the vehicle of your cab without making any claims, you can reap the benefits of your safe driving with cheaper premiums in the future.
Use a price comparison service
Once you’ve got your head around the basics of Taxi insurance, the best way to make sure you get a great deal is to use an insurance comparison service like highgear.co.uk to find out more about what options are available to you. At highgear.co.uk we’ll take on board all the details about you and your business, then shop around all the insurers on your behalf to find the very best deals for you.
I have convictions or points on my license – Can I still get insured?
Firstly, always declare your motoring (and non-motoring) convictions. If you have been convicted of a motoring offence this can have a detrimental effect on the price of your premium, or even being offered coverage at all. At High Gear, we offer various schemes that can help convicted drivers.
Can I be a named driver and save money on my insurance premium?
Most insurers will rate the premium based on the highest risk. The other disadvantage of being a named driver is that you will not earn any no claims bonus. In some cases it could be cheaper for insured & spouse on personal car Insurance, however, this also depends on various other risk factors.
Do you offer taxi insurance to young drivers?
Yes, we have fantastic Taxi Insurance schemes for Young Drivers, however, our minimum age is currently 21.
Do you insure Uber drivers?
Yes, we have schemes available for Uber drivers.
Do you offer weekly or monthly Taxi Insurance policies?
No, we don’t currently offer weekly or monthly policies, however, we offer competitive monthly payment plans to spread your insurance payments over the year. Please note that you cannot earn a No Claim Bonus discount with weekly/monthly policies. Got any more questions about taxi or private hire insurance? At High Gear we’re experts on all the ins and outs and how they affect you as a driver – so don’t hesitate to get in touch and we’ll do our best to answer any queries you might have.