When your vehicle covers 30 to 40,000 miles a year, or more you might expect insurance to be higher than for a family car doing perhaps a quarter of that at most. In fact, motor insurance for hire and reward is one of the biggest outlays both for taxi and private hire drivers.
If you own or lease your own cab, you will need specialist commercial insurance. Fortunately there are many specialist taxi insurance packages available. Search online for ‘taxi insurance’ or look in your local phone book for brokers that will be jostling to help you. Some insurance packages include additional legal assistance or accident management support. Make sure you know what excess charge applies and especially what your policy offers in terms of a replacement vehicle and/or loss of earnings cover if yours is off the road for a period of time, due to a bump. This could be hugely important when your vehicle is your livelihood and you still have monthly finance payments to make. Remember too that you may need a specialist vehicle in order to meet your council’s local conditions of fitness.
You’ll find separate insurance packages for public hire taxi and for private hire minicabs. There are also schemes designed for minibuses. If you’re starting a private hire taxi company or own several hackney taxis, you’ll need to look into taxi fleet insurance.
Unfortunately bogus claims have driven up taxi insurance prices in recent years. These even include scams where passengers get in a taxi, then a pal drives in front of it in a car. Nest thing the car slams on the brakes, the taxi driver comes to a controlled stop – then finds the passengers have thrown themselves on the floor of the cab. Their goal is to make a personal injury claim, which can become hugely expensive for the insurer. Thankfully the insurance industry and the government are now working together to try to reduce insurance fraud, which is helping bring taxi insurance premiums under control.
Nevertheless, commercial insurance remains a significant cost of business. With annual premiums amounting to many hundreds or into the thousands of pounds, you’ll be relieved to know that many taxi insurance brokers do instalment plans, so that you can spread you premium over monthly payments.
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