Having the right taxi cab insurance is an important part of protecting your driving business and keeping it profitable. But it also needs to be kept regularly updated. If you don’t, then not only might you be paying for cover you don’t need but your policy might not be valid when you eventually make a claim.
Keeping on top of business matters like taxi cab insurance is a great way to help you hold on to more of your hard-earned cash. Let’s look at 18 great reasons you might want to update your policy by calling the helpful team at Taxi Insurer now.
1. New vehicle
There are some amazing vehicles on the market and buying a new one for your taxi business can be an exciting time with lots of questions worth asking.
Will you opt for diesel or electric this year?
What vehicle will give you the best fuel economy?
Or even, which has the comfiest seats? But you also need to consider the effect it will have on your insurance costs.
After all, while you expect to pay more to insure a high-performance car like a BMW rather than a Ford Fiesta – the same applies when it comes to taxis. In broad terms, more expensive cars with larger, more powerful engines will cost more to insure than those more suited to the school run.
Insurance premiums could also be higher if your new vehicle is popular with thieves or has a poor safety record. So, if you're the owner of a brand new taxi, make sure you let your insurer know before you pick up your new set of wheels.
Even before you invest in a new vehicle, it's sensible to get an idea of how it’s likely to affect your insurance costs. While you’ll obviously want to speak to the knowledgeable team at Taxi Insurer, you can also get an idea of how much insurance will cost by checking out what insurance group the vehicle will fall into.
All cars fit into an insurance group between 1 and 50 (1 is the cheapest to insure, 50 is the most expensive). This group rating system is run for the Association of British Insurers (ABI) by Thatcham Research, and most insurance providers adhere to it.
As you would expect, insurance companies want to reward responsible drivers. Which is why you’re offered a bonus if you don’t make any claims. Indeed, as the claim-free years go by, the discount on your insurance can become substantial.
Because of this, drivers are often happy to pay a little more on their premium to protect their no claims bonus. After all, they don’t want to be penalised for making a single claim every now and again.
If you haven’t already, then updating your policy to add Protected No Claims Bonus could be a good idea.
We know that as a taxi driver you’ve got a lot of things to think about on a daily basis. However, it’s always sensible to put some time aside to reconsider the level of taxi cab insurance you require.
By law, if you drive any vehicle on the road then you’ll need a minimum of third-party only insurance in place at all times. This is to cover any third party who is injured or suffers damage as a result of an incident in which you’re involved. But it won’t cover damage to your own vehicle.
The next level of cover is third party, fire and theft insurance. Similar to third-party only, but with some additional benefits to protect your livelihood. If your vehicle is stolen or damaged by fire then this policy will cover you.
Fully comprehensive insurance is the highest level of cover available. It covers everything included in the other levels plus additional options for things like accidental damage caused to your own vehicle and loss of income.
Taxi insurance comes in many different forms. As well as those discussed above, the main choices are between a named driver policy, a policy-only deal or an all-driver policy.
A named driver policy may suit individual drivers who only need cover for themselves and their vehicle. A policy-only option can be cost effective, but if you own a fleet of taxis, an all-driver policy could give better value.
As your business needs change, your insurance needs will alter, too.
No matter how careful you are, as a professional driver an accident may occur. And when this happens, the insured driver will have to pay the first part of any claim, which is known as an ‘excess’. This is the amount you pay of any claim before your insurer steps in to cover the rest of the claim.
By opting to pay a higher excess, you can reduce your insurance premium.
But remember, don’t set it so high that you’d have difficulty paying it in the event of a claim. It’s always advised to set your excess at a level you could comfortably pay. If you don’t then you might end up being unable to get back on the road, which will harm your business.
Taxi drivers will obviously spend some long hours behind the wheel. In all weathers, often at peak travel times and on the most congested routes. Because of these challenging driving conditions, you’ll often have to pay more for insurance.
The more you drive each year, the more risk there is of a claim, and the more you’ll be expected to pay for your cover.
As your business changes you may see your annual mileage going up or down substantially. Be aware, if your mileage is a lot more than you estimated when you took out your policy, you might get into difficulties when it comes to making a claim. Equally if you are driving much less than you did previously, you could be paying more than you need to.
If there are any changes to the way you use your car, it’s important to tell your insurance provider as soon as you can.
Whether altering the suspension, changing the wheels or modifying your taxi to be accessible to wheelchair users, remember to update your insurer with the details of any changes you make to your car.
These could include changes to your engine, suspension, brakes, body, exhaust, paint work or wheels. But be careful, some insurers won't cover modified vehicles and doing so could invalidate your cover. It’s important that you declare any modifications to ensure you are fully covered and this expensive equipment can be repaired or replaced in case of an accident.
When you move house or business address, you’ll always need to inform the appropriate authorities and any insurers about the change. But where you park your taxi can also have an effect on your premium because it may be more likely to be damaged or stolen if parked on the road in a dodgy part of town.
Insurers tend to prefer if a car is parked in a garage or using off-street parking in a low-risk neighbourhood.
When you tell your insurer that you're keeping your taxi in a different place, the costs of your policy might change to reflect this.
Depending on where you move, your premium might go up or down. This is because your address is one of the big things that can affect the price of your insurance. And if you’re tempted not to tell your insurer you’ve moved, don’t. Having incorrect details on your policy could seriously affect your cover further down the road.
Just as with any skilled job, experience is important and insurers recognise this. Someone who hasn’t been on the road for long won’t yet have the skills and understanding of an experienced taxi driver. Generally speaking, a less experienced driver will pay the most for insurance.
As you grow in experience make sure to stay on top of your insurance policy. For example, if you’ve completed an advanced driving course then it could be worth updating your policy to reflect this.
The unfortunate fact is there are certain health conditions that can make it more likely you’ll be involved in an accident. If you develop a physical or medical condition that affects your ability to drive, then you'll need to tell the DVLA.
If you don’t, you could face a fine of up to £1,000. And may even be prosecuted if you’re involved in an accident as a result of your condition.
But it’s also important to update your insurer. If you make an insurance claim, and it turns out you have an undisclosed medical condition, your claim might be rejected.
Consult the government list as to which conditions need to be reported. You can also find the relevant DVLA form or questionnaire to complete to begin the process.
You also need to tell the DVLA if you change gender. And this change needs to be reflected in your insurance policy details. This shouldn’t affect the price of insurance and generally doesn’t need to be done mid-policy. But when your insurance is up for renewal it's worth updating your insurer as to the change.
A common question from taxi drivers is whether their spouse can drive the taxi for non-work-related purposes? This is usually no problem and you can simply update your policy to add them as a named driver. However, always make sure your licensing authority allows this first.
Be aware that if the person you want to let drive is under 25 then this might affect your premiums. Younger drivers tend to have more accidents and you’ll need to update your policy to reflect this.
The named driver’s details also all need to be kept up to date. If there are any changes then let your insurer know.
Speeding or breaking any of the other traffic rules will not only get you in trouble with the authorities. Getting points on your licence could also see your premiums rise as the insurer thinks you are more of a risk. In some cases, you may even be refused cover.
By driving safely and sticking to the rules of the road at all times you’ll not only reassure your passengers but it’ll also help keep your insurance costs down.
Even if you’re not planning to make a claim, it’s still vital you report any accident that causes damage or injury to your insurance company.
Working at night, especially on a Friday and Saturday night, can be very lucrative. But with the streets livelier, your vehicle could be at greater risk of damage.
On the other hand, daytime driving is generally cheaper to insure. Although if you transport vulnerable groups such as children, the elderly or very sick people then your premiums might be higher.
Any changes in work patterns need to be reflected in your insurance coverage.
From fitting CCTV to a vehicle immobiliser and alarm, there are many security measures you can take that are worth telling your insurer about.
Those driving vehicles for private hire (such as minicabs and Ubers) or public hire (such as Hackney carriages or black cabs) can pay different insurance premiums.
Private hire vehicles (PHVs) can only be pre-booked and can't be hailed at a taxi rank or on the street. While public hire vehicles can go to pre-booked jobs but can also pick up fares on the street and at taxi ranks. The application process to work as a public hire taxi driver tends to be more thorough and takes longer.
In view of these differences, these two categories have different levels of risk involved. So, if you change from one to the other, you’ll need to update your policy.
Be aware that the cost of your policy is more likely to depend on factors like your age, location and annual mileage rather than whether you drive a PHV or black cab.
Rest assured that Taxi Insurer provides cover for both private and public hire vehicles so talk to the team today about your needs.
Paying your insurance premium via a monthly plan can make your taxi cab insurance more manageable alongside your other expenses. By paying monthly you can spread the cost throughout the year, so you don’t need to find a big cash sum all at once.
But you may decide you’d prefer to pay your insurance costs annually. If you want to change payment terms then you’ll need to update your insurer.
Remember, to keep your direct debit up to date you’ll need to tell your insurer whenever your bank details change.
Taxi cab insurance should provide you with a high level of cover as standard. But there will also always be a range of options you can add to your policy to create bespoke cover that suits your individual needs. The following are worth considering:
Common exclusions under taxi cab insurance policies
As a final thought, it’s also worth knowing what taxi insurance policies do not usually cover. Common exclusions are:
Whatever reason you have for updating your policy, we’re always looking for ways to make life that bit easier. If you have any questions at all, give us a call first for straightforward answers.
Get a quick quote for taxi cab insurance today and protect your business.