What is Private Hire?
The standard use of a taxi can be unpredictable and time consuming.
Private hire taxis book all fares in advance – journeys, destinations and passengers are pre-booked, providing a solution to the busy, modern lifestyle.
Why do you need Private Hire Insurance?
It’s a legal requirement for every road vehicle to have insurance; furthermore, insurance cover for your private hire vehicles are essential to protecting your business.
Should anything happen, private hire insurance means claims can be dealt with quickly and efficiently, getting you back on the road as soon as possible.
Private Hire Insurance is different to both a standard private car and a public hire insurance policy. It’s important to make sure you have the right cover for your taxi insurance requirements.
Private Hire Insurance or Minicab Insurance?
The terminology may be different, but there’s little difference in meaning; a minicab is just the Public Carriage Office’s (PCO) term for a private hire vehicle in the London area and much of southern England. All private hire drivers across the U.K. require private hire insurance cover for their vehicles.
Levels of Private Hire Insurance Cover
There are three levels of private hire insurance:
- Third Party Only
- Third Party Fire
- Theft and Comprehensive
Third Party Only (TPO) is your basic, standard cover. If you’re involved in an accident, any damage caused or compensation due to another party involved (the Third Party) will be covered. If you are the policyholder, you’re responsible for any damage to your own vehicle, and any compensation due to your driver.
Third Party Fire & Theft (TPF&T) cover provides extra protection, such as damage caused by fire or theft/attempted theft.
Comprehensive Insurance provides full protection. The above is covered, and insurance for any damage done to your vehicle is included.
Private Hire Insurance for Fleets
If you own a fleet of vehicles and employ many drivers, they can all be insured under a special private hire insurance policy, which saves both time and money. As a result, you also have the freedom use an Any Driver option.
Some insurers will accept fleet policies on a minimum of three vehicles, but the majority require a minimum of five. However, it’s allowed to mix vehicle types (e.g. saloon cars and minibuses,) and different levels of cover per vehicle.
What Your Insurer Needs To Know*
Before contacting an insurance provider regarding private hire insurance, be prepared to discuss the following requirements in detail:
- What level of cover will you need; TPO, TPF&T or Comprehensive?
- Will you need specific policies, or an Any Driver policy?
- Does any local authority or contractual requirements need considering (e.g. Public Liability Insurance)?
- Do your vehicles have any security features already fitted?
- Have your drivers any relevant additional qualifications (e.g. Advanced Driving or DSA qualifications, NVQs)?
- Do your drivers have any motoring convictions on their licence?
- Do you know how much No Claims Discount (NCD) you have, or do you have your last 3 years’ Claims Experience summaries to hand?
* 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.
Failure to disclose material facts could result in your policy being invalidated.