Any vehicle will be required by law to be insured when on public roads, but taxi insurance goes considerably further than standard car insurance. It's worth being aware of the differences, the types of taxi insurance, advisable addons, as well as how to lower your taxi insurance premium.
A taxi is an income, and without the taxi, through theft or damage, significant losses will be experienced. It's therefore critical to make sure that the most appropriate cover is acquired, protecting not only the vehicle, but the income too.
What Is Taxi Insurance?
Taxi insurance is generally higher than car insurance simply because the vehicle is on the road for much more of the time, and therefore statistically more likely to be involved in an accident. Having said that there are a number of ways in which the premium for taxi insurance can be reduced, which we'll cover in a moment.
The two types of taxi insurance are basically for the two types of taxi - private hire and public hire. Private hire taxis are those which are not allowed to use taxi ranks or pick people up without a prior booking having been made. Public hire taxis are those which can display a lit 'For Hire' sign, use taxi ranks and stop to pick people up anywhere. It's important to make sure that the type of taxi insurance chosen matches the type of taxi license held.
As with most car insurance policies, taxi insurance can be taken out as either Third Party, Third Party, Fire & Theft, or Fully Comprehensive. Clearly the cheapest insurance will be Third Party, which will cover any costs involved should your taxi cause any damage to other vehicles, property or injury to people, but won't cover the taxi itself.
Third Party Fire & Theft is the same as Third Party, with the added benefit that if the taxi is stolen or damaged by fire it will be covered up to the current market value of the vehicle. Fully Comprehensive will cover all costs, but will also be the most expensive type of taxi insurance.
There are two additional options which it is highly advisable to take out, especially if you only have Third Party taxi insurance. The first option is Liability Insurance. This means that if any of your passengers are injured whilst in your care, you'll be covered in the event of any claim.
The second option which is highly advisable is Legal Protection. If your vehicle is damaged, and it's not your fault, Legal Protection will provide you with the necessary legal advice and support to claim back the cost of any repairs from the other party, quickly. If your taxi can't be driven at all, then Legal Protection will also be able to arrange for a hire car which will also be paid for by the other side.
How Can You Lower The Cost Of Taxi Insurance?
- Experience - The more experienced you are as a taxi driver, the lower your premium should be. Make sure that any and all taxi experience is made known to the insurance company in order to help lower the quote you receive.
- No Claims - As with normal car insurance, the more years you can accumulate without a claim, the lower the cost of your insurance. In some cases drivers choose to foot the bill for a repair rather than claim because the discount on the insurance having built up a number of No Claims is of more value than the cost of the bill. No Claims bonuses should be fully transferable between taxi insurance companies.
- Voluntary Excess - In the case of an accident the Voluntary Excess is the amount of money you have volunteered to pay before the insurance company pays up. So if a repair costs £500, and your Voluntary Excess is £100, you'll need to pay this, and the insurance company will then pay the remaining £400. The higher your voluntary excess, the lower your overall premium. Although it is sometimes possible to have no voluntary excess at all, this will significantly increase the cost of your taxi insurance.
- Only Insure What You Need - It's easy to end up paying for things you don't need if you don't read the small print of your taxi insurance policy. For example, it's often the case that extras such as window cover, radio cover, courtesy car and breakdown cover are all included, but not necessarily required. Check to make sure you're not paying for things you don't need, and this will help trim the premium.
- Change Your Insurance Company - You may have had a good deal in the past, but are you still getting a good deal? Unfortunately taxi insurance companies don't tend to be very competitive when it comes to existing customers, and so often you'll find that by shopping around and taking a few moments to compare taxi insurance you'll be able to save money by doing almost nothing!
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