Private hire insurance is a specialist type of cover that taxi drivers can take out to cover themselves and their vehicles. Those working in this profession will understand how important their car is to their work, making it essential that they have the relevant protection with a suitable policy. Drivers will be glad to know that private hire taxi insurance doesn’t have to be costly and a great deal can be found by using an online comparison site. By entering a few details which shouldn’t take more than 10-15 minutes, you can compare cover from a whole range of leading providers.
However, before you start looking, it’s helpful to know a little more about private hire cover in our beginner’s guide below.
Do I need private hire insurance?
Taxi drivers will cover a lot more miles each year when compared to a typical car driver who will mainly drive to work and back. Many in this industry will be working in congested areas and during unsociable hours. Due to this, drivers will need adequate private hire insurance as they carry a higher risk factor.
Those that are involved in pre-booked taxi services will not have sufficient cover with a standard car policy. This makes it of utmost importance to have the correct policy with the right protection. Below are some factors that will have an impact on your insurance:
Business type – Private hire taxi drivers should only be transporting passengers who have pre-booked a journey.
Business operation location – Your cover must make mention of where you are operating.
Vehicle type – Some taxis have more than the usual five seats. Your insurer must be aware of this.
Number of vehicles – Fleet cover may be recommended for those that have multiple taxis as part of their business. It could work out more cost-effective. With this in mind, you will need to ensure that if you opt for this cover that it has the necessary inclusions that a private hire insurance policy would.
Vehicle modifications– If your taxi has been modified in any way e.g. to allow wheelchair access. This must be declared to the provider as any equipment must be able to be repaired or replaced should an incident occur.
What does private hire taxi insurance cover?
You can expect a private hire taxi insurance policy to include motor cover along with passenger liability cover as standard. You and your passengers will be protected in the event of an unforeseen incident. Many insurance providers will also suggest a number of optional add-ons that can be included as part of your policy. These typically consist of the following:
Breakdown cover may well be the most valuable optional extra. It could provide separate onward travel to ensure your passengers reach their destination. With that being said, you don’t actually need to purchase breakdown cover through your private hire taxi policy, as it can be bought separately from a different company.
A courtesy car will be offered in many comprehensive policies. This is useful if your taxi breaks down or is involved in an accident and needs to be repaired or replaced. The reason this is so important to those working in the industry is because they will want to be back on the road as soon as possible to generate income.
A 24-hour claims assistance line is another helpful extra for private hire drivers. Why? Because many working in this sector will be operating during unsocial hours. If a driver is involved in an accident at 4am, they will want to find a resolution as soon as possible rather than wait.
If your car is being used for non-work purposes, personal use cover will be required. Many private hire drivers normally use their work vehicle for personal use as well, as it doesn’t make sense to purchase a second car for these tasks.
What exclusions should I know about?
Typically, most private hire taxi insurance policies will not cover the following:
• Drivers under the age of 25
• Unsafe or unauthorised vehicle use
• Operating outside the region you have declared on your insurance
• Theft of the vehicle if the keys were left inside
Do I need public liability cover as part of my insurance?
Taxi drivers that take children to school will be legally liable for the child until care has been transferred over to the school. They will be responsible for the child’s safety when he/she is in the vehicle, this even includes the short period of time when they exit the vehicle and walk towards the school’s gates. If any child is hit by another vehicle while crossing the road after leaving the taxi, you could be held liable for this accident.
Your private hire insurance should include public liability cover as standard. Any drivers working with local authorities will need adequate protection for their business before agreeing any new contractual obligations.
In summary, the above should give you a beginner’s understanding to private hire taxi insurance. Remember to always check the terms and conditions before purchasing cover, and make sure you are aware of any policy limitations and exclusions.