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  • Your Guide to Private Hire Insurance

    Private hire insurance

    In order to give guidance on Private Hire Insurance it's important to first clarify exactly what Private Hire is.

    What is Private Hire?

    Private hire taxis are those that have all fares booked in advance. Private hire drivers are unable to pick up passengers from anywhere (including taxi ranks) unless that passenger has pre-booked the journey. Private hire vehicles have become more popular in recent years thanks to our busy modern lifestyles and the unpredictable nature of flagging down a taxi.  

    Why do you need Private Hire Insurance?

    First of all, it’s a legal requirement for every motor vehicle on the road to have insurance.

    However, any owner of a private hire vehicle has made an investment which should be protected wherever possible. We consider having insurance cover for your private hire vehicle essential to protecting your livelihood. Therefore, should the unexpected happen, private hire insurance will ensure a claim can be dealt with quickly and efficiently to get you back on the road as soon as possible.

    It’s also important to note that private hire insurance is different to both a standard private car, and even a public hire insurance policy. It is therefore just as important to make sure that you have the right cover for your taxi insurance requirements. Using a specialist insurance broker is often the best way to do this.

    Individual drivers are known to often spend up to 70 hours per week on the road, whilst multiple vehicle owners spend similar hours managing their fleet. As time is money in the taxi business, the burden of searching for and arranging the correct private hire insurance cover can be eased by employing the assistance of a specialist intermediary.

    Bluedrop Services are recognised fleet insurance brokers and are in the best position to find the best deal and cover to suit your business on your behalf.

    Private Hire Insurance or Minicab Insurance?

    Don’t be confused by the terminology; there is no difference! A minicab is simply the Public Carriage Office’s (PCO) term for a private hire vehicle in the London area and much of southern England. So whether you’re a private hire driver in Edinburgh or a minicab driver in London you still need private hire insurance cover for your vehicle to be used for hire and reward purposes.

    Levels of Private Hire Insurance Cover

    There are three levels of private hire insurance policy available; Third Party Only, Third Party Fire and Theft and Comprehensive.

    Third Party Only (TPO) is the most basic of covers and means that, if you are unfortunate to be involved in accident, any damage caused or compensation due to another party involved (the Third Party) will be covered. However you, as the policyholder, would be responsible for any damage to your own vehicle or compensation due to your driver.

    Third Party Fire & Theft (TPF&T) cover adds an additional layer of protection to your insurance. This cover allows for any damage to your vehicle caused by a fire, theft or attempted theft.

    Comprehensive insurance is the option giving you total protection. This covers all of the above and includes insurance against any damage to your own vehicle.

    Private Hire Insurance for Fleets

    If you own a fleet of vehicles and employ a number of drivers, you can insure them all under a single specialised private hire insurance policy. This could save you both time and money as you will no longer have to manage the paperwork for each individual vehicle insurance policy, perhaps on different renewal dates and could also give you the freedom of an Any Driver option.

    Some insurers will accept fleet policies on as little as two vehicles, whilst most require a minimum of five. However, you can always have a mix of both vehicle types (saloon cars and minibuses) and even levels of cover on each vehicle.

    What your insurer will need to know*

    Before you contact an insurance provider regarding your private hire insurance, it is wise to be prepared to discuss your requirements in detail:-

    • What level of cover would you prefer; TPO, TPF&T or Comprehensive?
    • Would you prefer a policy for specific drivers on each vehicle or an Any Driver policy?
    • Are there any local authority or contractual requirements that need to be considered? For example additional Public Liability Insurance.
    • Do your vehicles have any additional security features fitted already? These can help reduce your insurance premiums!
    • Have your drivers any relevant additional qualifications? Advanced Driving or DSA qualifications, NVQs etc
    • Do any of your drivers have any motoring convictions on their licence?
    • Do you know how much No Claims Discount (NCD) you have OR have your last 3 years’ Claims Experience summaries to hand?

    * Failure to disclose material facts could result in your policy being invalidated. Material facts are those facts which might influence the acceptance or assessment of your policy. If you are in any doubt as to whether a fact is material you should disclose it.

    Want to find out more about Bluedrop's taxi fleet insurance?
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