Thanks to the rise of firms like Uber, taxis are increasingly being afforded free reign over UK roads - but there's one thing that isn't likely to change any time soon. Any driver who interacts with the public needs to take out a private insurance policy specially designed for any eventualities that may arise during their daily work.
What do I need to cover myself against?
The function of taxi insurance is to cover yourself in the event of an accident or skirmish involving either a member of the public - be it a passenger or bystander - or damaged property for which you could be liable.
Keep in mind, however, that it's not there to cover you against damage to your own vehicle. In other words, you will still need to take out a regular vehicle insurance premium, on top of your taxi insurance cover, to guard against unforeseen accidents and breakdowns for which you or your driver are the only party affected.
Taxi insurance will also not come into play in the event any injuries suffered by your a member of your own fleet. To protect yourself in this instance, you will need to take out a separate employers' insurance premium - which is, in most cases, a legal requirement for any compant, regardless of their field.
Which policy should I take out?
The short answer here is that it depends entirely on the size of your fleet, and how many different drivers you need to insure.
For example, a 'policy only' type of deal provides cover for more than one driver, but you need to make clear exactly how many need to be covered at a given time. Under this arrangement, the cost goes up with each occasion you add a new employee to your approved list.
If you are working independently - and do not employ any other drivers (remember that those who man the phones in the office don't need to be covered by this!) - then you can take out a 'named driver' policy instead. This is where you nominate a single insured driver, and no further employees can be added.
The final alternative is an 'any driver' policy. As the name implies, this policy will provide blanket cover for an unlimited number of drivers. Though this is the most expensive option, it can be a good idea if you have a large fleet of drivers, or your staff turnover is abnormally high.
What factors will influence my premium?
Unfortunately, taxi insurance tends to be much more expensive than bog-standard car insurance - even though the drivers are necessarily more experienced and therefore, one would think, less likely to be involved in any road accidents.
Perhaps the biggest factor that will influence your premium is how many miles you put in on the road. However, there are other things to consider here too, such as the size of your vehicle (larger cars - in theory - can do more damage if involved in a collision).
Another quite big factor is driver's age and driving experience and background. If the driver is inexperienced on the road and not knowing the roads well - then it's quite understandable why the policy will cost more.
You can try and offset all of this by employing experienced drivers (often they will only cover those over the age of 25) and putting them in districts with which they are fully acquainted. The more the experience is - the lower the premium.
Another factor affecting your premium is the time of driving. If you prefer to work at night, especially Friday and Saturday when the risk of accidents is greater, then expect to pay more for your taxi insurance.
You may want to read about: Breakdown Cover.