Black Cab Insurance
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What is Black Cab & Hackney Insurance?
Black cab & hackney insurance is a specific type of vehicle insurance for those who have passed the Knowledge exam and have a license to drive a black cab. As a professional driver, you face increased risks and need the proper protection to cover your passengers, you, your car and your business.
As a result, you need a special type of motor insurance; let’s take a look at black cab policies and what they cover.
Black Cab Insurance & Hackney Carriage Insurance
You’ve passed the Knowledge of London exam, now what? If you’re just starting out as a black cab or hackney driver, then you’ll need to invest in the right insurance coverage. Or maybe you’ve been a black cab or hackney driver for years, and now it’s time to renew your insurance coverage.
Whatever your situation, we’ve put together a guide on hackney carriage and black cab insurance. We’ll answer the most common questions and give you some tips on finding the right insurer at the right price.
Where is Black Cab & Hackney Insurance Needed?
This type of insurance is needed not only in London, but wherever black cabs or hackneys are driven—anywhere in the UK.
Why is it Needed?
As a black cab driver, you’re required by law to have the minimum level of public taxi insurance. If you drive passengers for a profit (fare), then the law requires that you have this type of insurance. There’s no way to provide taxi service without it.
Black cab insurance is made to protect your passengers, you and your business from legal actions, financial issues due to accidents, etc. If you cause damage or injure someone, you’re protected.
Three Main Types of Black Cab & Hackney Carriage Insurance
You’ll find there are three main types of black cab insurance, including:
- Third party insurance: covers the cost of compensation for damage or injury you can cause. This coverage will not provide financial assistance in case you suffer injuries, or your taxi vehicle is damaged.
- Third party, fire and theft: covers the cost of damage and injury you may cause in the course of driving your tax, plus it also covers damage from fire or if your car’s stolen.
Comprehensive black cab insurance: this is the best coverage, as it includes all of the above and more: this coverage protects you against all of the above, plus covers loss of earnings, illness & injury, etc.
Where to Buy Black Cab & Hackney Carriage Insurance?
You can often find this type of insurance from regular insurers; however, experts advise going with specialist insurers who deal with taxi insurance, especially black cab & hackney carriage insurance. That’s because they have knowledge of the business and can usually offer the best premiums to help you keep costs down.
Tips to Keep Black Cab Insurance Premiums Down
Keep in mind that the cheapest insurance policy may not provide the best coverage. You have to consider the impacts that could cause you to be out of work, unable to earn, etc. While third-party coverage is the legal requirement, opting for comprehensive coverage is the better choice. This can be expensive, but we’ve put together a few tips that may help to keep insurance premiums down:
1). Local licensing regulations: be sure to check location licensing regulations where you plan to operate. Each locale has its own specific rules and regulations when it comes to licensed taxis. So, the first thing to learn what’s required where you plan to operate. Not checking the regulations could mean that you buy the wrong insurance. Having the wrong insurance could keep you from working and your business is over before it even begins.
2). Annual insurance premium: if possible, choose to pay your black cab insurance annually, rather than monthly. Monthly premiums are always more expensive, and may mean you pay higher fees. Annual premiums tend to be cheaper with lower fees, meaning you’ll save money in the long-term.
3). Comprehensive coverage: this type of cover is more expensive; however, it will save money in the long run. You’ll have the legal requirement for insurance covered, plus you, your vehicle and your business (including income) will also be protected. Accidents happen; with the comprehensive coverage, you won’t have to worry about losing your business.
4). Build up no claims discount: if you’re a safe driver, with a low number of tickets and accidents, you may be able to ask for a no claims discount from your insurer. This will help to lower the cost of your insurance by making premiums a little lower.
5). Security discounts: increasing your taxi’s security can help to lower premiums. Don’t hesitate to ask your insurance agent if they offer this discount, and if so, then what security measures do they require to take advantage of this discount.
6). Comparison shopping: when you shop for other high-ticket items, you always comparison shop to save money. Use the same method to help save money on your black cab insurance. Look for insurers who specialize in this type of insurance and then speak with them about discounts, etc. To find insurers, use an insurance comparison site to find the right insurers and look for premiums that fit your budget.
When you’ve found policies that might work for your business, don’t hesitate to ask questions if you don’t understand something. And be sure to thoroughly read through any policy before signing up. You want to know and understand exactly what’s covered, etc.
What Elements Does Black Cab & Hackney Carriage Cover?
You know the requires black cab and hackney carriage drivers to have taxi insurance, but what does this cover? What are the elements you need to look for?
This type of insurance is expressly to cover taxis that can pick up passengers who hail them from the street or a pick-up station. This is called public hire taxi insurance. When shopping for the right taxi insurance policy, look for these elements:
- Public liability: protects you against customers who are injured or their property is damaged in your cab if you’re at fault. In effect, this cover protects you against legal claims from passengers.
- Employer’s liability: is required if you employ any staff for your business. This protection offers coverage in case the employee is involved in an accident or causes damage while in the taxicab.
- Legal expenses coverage: protects you against legal expenses—it steps in to pay legal expenses in case you’re sued by passengers, or for damage you may have caused in an accident, etc. while on the job.
- Breakdown & roadside assistance: this covers you in case your vehicle breaks down on the road and may also help to arrange transport of passengers you may have in the vehicle. Not all policies include this coverage, though some insurers may include this as an add-on.
- Home start recovery: in case you have your taxi at home, and it won’t start, this coverage will get you and your vehicle running again, so you can get on with your work. Not all policies include this coverage, though some insurance companies may include this as an add-on.
How Do You Know Which Type of Policy to Choose?
The legal minimum level of insurance you must have is third-party coverage. Third-party is often the cheapest level of insurance and only covers damage and injury that’s your fault while on the job. Passengers and their belongings are covered; however, if you become injured, your car is damaged, and/or you’re unable to work for a time, your business could suffer. Not being able to work, the cost of paying for your vehicle’s damage and income loss are serious enough they could cost you your business.
While it’s the most expensive coverage, many taxi drivers choose comprehensive black cab & hackney carriage insurance. Comprehensive coverage protects against everything in our list of insurance elements. In case you’re at fault, you and your business earnings are also protected in case you’re injured and/or experience loss of earnings, etc. You can keep your business going, even if there’s a setback.
National Taxi Association – Since 1960, this body has been helping to consult on all forms of taxi legislation in England and Wales.
National Private Hire Association – The NPHA is an organisation that provides useful support and help for cabbies everywhere.
Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association – A membership group for taxi drivers, the LTDA is also a support group for those that work in the trade.
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