Private hire taxi insurance is a specialist type of cover that is designed to protect a taxi driver and his/her vehicle. All passenger journeys must be booked in advance. As a taxi driver, your vehicle is your business, this is why it’s more important than ever to protect it with a comprehensive policy. Fortunately, according to Utility Saving Expert cover does not have to be expensive and you can usually find a great deal using a comparison website. You can easily compare a range of leading insurers within minutes and filter results to find a cover that suits your needs.
Here is our complete guide to private hire taxi insurance, giving you all the relevant information, you need when purchasing or renewing your next private hire taxi insurance policy. If you wish to save money on your car insurance in 2024 – click here.
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Do I need private hire insurance?
As a private hire taxi driver, you will usually be covering a far higher number of miles in comparison to a standard car driver. You will often be working during unsociable hours and in built-up areas such as congested cities. For this reason, it is essential that you have appropriate private hire taxi insurance in place as your risk factor is increased greatly.
A standard car insurance policy will not provide sufficient cover if you are operating a pre-booked taxi service, making it vital that you have the correct insurance cover with the necessary protection. There are several common factors that determine this include the following:
Your taxi business type – Whether as a self-employed private hire taxi driver or working as an employee of a taxi rank, you will only be taking passengers who have pre-booked a journey.
Where your business operates – Your policy must cover the region you operate in e.g. countryside or inner-city.
Private Hire operator license – When you work for yourself or for a taxi rank your private hire insurance company will expect you to have applied for and be in receipt of a private hire operators license from your local authority which gives you permission to pick up pre-booked work such as airport transfers, hen or stag nights or work of a similar nature.
Vehicle type – A number of taxis have more than the standard five seats. Make sure your policy includes cover for this.
A number of vehicles – For those that have multiple taxis as part of their business, the fleet cover may work out to be more cost-effective. However, double-check that your policy has all the same inclusions that a private hire insurance policy would as not all cover is the same.
Vehicle modifications – Some taxis have been modified to allow wheelchair access. This must be declared to the insurer as any equipment must be able to be repaired or replaced in the event of an accident.
What does private hire insurance cover?
As standard, private hire insurance should include the motor cover and passenger liability cover. This will provide protection for you and your passengers should the unexpected happen whilst you are working. Insurers will also offer you a number of optional extras that can be included as part of your cover. These include the following:
Breakdown cover is one of the most useful add-ons, it can include separate onward travel to get your passengers safely to their destination. Although it’s worth mentioning that this doesn’t have to be bought with your private hire policy, breakdown cover can be purchased separately at a later date.
Many comprehensive private hire taxi insurance policies will include a courtesy car should your vehicle breakdown or be involved in an accident. This will be very useful as you’ll want to get back on the road to generate income in the shortest amount of time.
As a private hire taxi driver, a 24-hour claims assistance line is extra helpful especially as many in the profession will be working unsociable hours. The last thing you want is to be involved in an incident at 2 am and be unable to resolve the incident until lunchtime the same day.
Personal use cover will be needed if your vehicle is used for non-work purposes. Many taxi drivers will also use their work vehicle as their personal vehicle for everyday tasks.
What exclusions apply to private hire insurance?
As a general rule, most private hire insurance policies won’t cover the following:
- Drivers under the age of 25, although some insurers will make an exception for those with a clean license, but your premium is likely to be much higher.
- Theft of the vehicle if the keys are left inside. Always make sure to take your keys with you when exiting the vehicle.
- Unsafe or unauthorized vehicle use.
- Operating outside the region you have declared in your private hire taxi policy.
Do I need public liability cover as part of my private hire insurance?
Any private hire taxi driver that regularly takes children to school is legally liable for the child until care has been handed over to the school. You will be liable for the child’s safety when he/she is in your private hire vehicle and even during the short period of time in which they leave the vehicle to head towards the school’s gates. If a child were to be hit by another car while crossing the road after exiting your taxi, you may be held liable for this serious accident.
For this reason, it’s of utmost importance that your private hire insurance policy includes public liability cover as standard for any passengers in your care. Those dealing with councils and local authorities will want sufficient protection for their business before entering into any contracts. Check with your insurer to make sure you have the right level of insurance cover before entering into any formal arrangements.
Hopefully, this complete yet simple guide to private hire insurance has given you a good understanding of the subject. Before purchasing your next private hire insurance policy, check the terms and conditions for what is included and what limitations and exclusions may be applicable to ensure you are purchasing a policy that is suitable for your business needs.