Taxi Insurance

Taxi insurance, whether you are a private hire owner driver or run a fleet of black cabs, is a more complex subject than normal motor insurance thanks to the obligatory cover for "carriage of persons for hire or reward". There are a number of ways of reducing the premiums, some of them by substantial amounts, but every method has both advantages and disadvantages and need to be looked at very carefully. Here are a few which are worth considering:

1) One of the main factors that an insurance company will consider when working out your premium is the postcode of your office. An inner city address is likely to cost quite a lot more than a suburban, let alone rural location but before you head for the hills to save a few, or even not so few, pounds on your insurance policy you need of course to look at just where your business is coming from; inner cities tend to produce a lot more trade than areas further out.

2) If you have more than a couple of taxis it may be worthwhile looking at fleet cover. The advantage of it is that you can have a mix of vehicles on the same policy and some insurance companies will also allow you to include privately owned cars as well. This can very often work out much cheaper than insuring every vehicle individually. Whether you insure the vehicles for named drivers or any driver can be a debatable point; if the vehicles are insured for any driver it gives you maximum flexibility to change drivers around if one is ill or you have a sudden surge of work to cover. The disadvantage is cost; named drivers can be much cheaper particularly if they have good driving records; it is very rare for every driver to be equally claim- and conviction-free, and it is sometimes an advantage to take a driver with a less than perfect record, or a young and inexperienced one, out of the fleet policy and insure this person separately.

3) Whilst we're on the subject it is worth bearing in mind that many insurance companies see female drivers as being safer risks than male ones, and whilst it would be illegal to discriminate on the basis of a driver's sex it is a fact that many insurance companies could offer you lower premiums if you had a fair proportion of drivers of the fairer sex.

4) How the business operates can have a great bearing on premiums. Insurance companies tend to prefer a situation under which drivers go out in the morning to regular work for pre-arranged contract clients rather than irregular business which comes from picking up passengers from the street or those that the driver is directed to via a two way radio contact.

5) As with a normal car insurance policy, you can save a great deal by insuring the vehicle itself for third party only risks since this is the minimum legal requirement (although check that your local licensing authority is happy about this first). The drawback to this of course is that since the cab would be essential to your livelihood you could find yourself completely unable to earn your living if it was damaged or stolen. A less risky alternative could be to accept a much higher voluntary excess on the policy, and many insurers will give quite substantial discounts for this.

6) taxi insurance, as we stated above, is a complex and specialised subject so you might find it far better talking the whole thing through with a specialist broker, rather than try to navigate through the minefield of different options by yourself. Good luck!


 

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