Private hire and taxi insurance
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Taxi and private hire insurance
If you use your vehicle for ‘hire and reward’, then you will need some form of specialist public or private hire insurance.
That includes taxis, minicabs, minibuses, black cabs, hackney cabs and so on.
The ‘normal’ car insurance policies are not suitable for taxi drivers, who require extra policy features that can only be found with more specialist policies.
If you are a private hire taxi driver, then it is important that you make sure your car has the appropriate cover. Your car is effectively your livelihood, so it pays to stay on top of things and make sure that you will not be left out of pocket in the event of a claim.
Spending a lot of the time on the road is the reality for many private hire drivers, who are responsible for getting their passengers to their destination while dealing with a variety of driving challenges.
All private hire drivers require a specialist private hire insurance policy that takes into account the demands of driving a taxi, minicab or minibus for a living.
Do I need public or private hire insurance?
There can be a bit of confusion around whether a public hire or private hire taxi policy is needed, so that’s clear that one up.
Public hire refers to a taxi that anyone can hail down and get in, so is typically reserved for black cabs/Hackney cabs.
Private hire refers to private vehicles that must be booked in advance, so covers minicabs and services like Uber.
Due to the difference between a private hire service and a public hire service, they each require a different type of insurance coverage to protect you and your passengers.
You may think that as public hire taxis can be hailed by any member of the public on the street that insurance would cost more, but that is not always the case. Public hire vehicles tend to be newer models, and the drivers are usually older – both of which can result in cheaper insurance.
As with all forms of car insurance, you can opt for the main three cover levels for taxi insurance:
- Third Party Only
- Third Party, Fire and Theft
If you’re not sure about what these mean, read our guide: What does ‘third party’ and ‘comprehensive’ car insurance actually mean?
Taxi insurance policy optional extras
Due to the rather unpredictable nature of being a private hire driver, it can work out to consider some optional extras when looking at taxi insurance.
Some of the more popular extras include:
Motor legal insurance – get protection for the recovery of any uninsured losses and personal injury cover.
Taxi breakdown insurance – your private hire car is your livelihood, so breakdown cover can be very useful in getting you back on the road if you have a problem.
Excess protection – if you have to pay your excess in the event of a claim, e.g. if you are at fault for the accident or you are hit by an uninsured driver, then you can claim it back if you have excess protection.
Public liability insurance – As you deal with a lot of customers on a day-to-day basis, it can be a good idea for private hire drivers to have public liability insurance to cover passengers for any injury or property loss/damage while in your car.
As well as these policy features, there are also other considerations when arranging insurance for your taxi – whether you drive a private hire or public hire vehicle…
Taxi insurance – other options
You have a lot of options when it comes to taxi insurance, which we have identified and explained for you below…
You will probably find that this is the cheapest form of insurance for your taxi, but that is because it offers the most limited cover. It is therefore important to make sure that the policy is appropriate for your needs.
You should also note that fleet owners could see their premiums rise a lot on this sort of policy if extra drivers are named.
Named driver policies
If you just own a single taxi of which you are the only driver, then you may only require a named driver policy to cover yourself.
As you may be able to guess, this policy will provide cover for all drivers over a certain age (which is usually set at 25).
This is an option for taxi fleet owners, who will need to take into account the cost and convenience of this option against adding drivers to policy-only options.
How taxi insurance is affected by your location
One aspect of taxi and private hire insurance companies that differ from others is that they tend to have a regional focus when it comes to pricing their premiums.
For example, some may charge more for cover in London or another big urban area as this would be seen as having higher risk levels.
You may even find that some of the more well-known insurers do not offer taxi insurance in your area because of the risk levels. In these cases you will have to look for more regional-specific local taxi insurance providers who cater for your area.
Taxi insurance declarations
As with all forms of insurance, you must be honest and accurate when it comes to filling out a taxi insurance quote – which includes any modifications you may have made to your vehicle.
For example, if you have added disabled access to your taxi then the insurance company will see that as a modification – which can lead to higher premiums. It is important to declare all modifications though, as failure to do so could mean your policy is invalidated when it comes to making a claim.
Similarly, you must also declare the mileage you intend to cover over the duration of your private hire insurance policy. If you purposefully state a low mileage to get a cheaper premium you could end up in a situation where they insurance company refuses to pay a claim.
If you think your mileage is going to be extremely high, then you could consider a policy that offers unlimited mileage.
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