Looking for the short answer? Yes! If you drive a taxi for a living, standard car insurance policies do not cover your needs. They will not protect your customers, your car – or you – in the event of an accident or incident. You need specialist coverage like taxi insurance to ensure that your livelihood is safeguarded.
Public or Private Taxi?
The specific type of taxi insurance cover you need depends on the type of taxi you drive. It may be private (i.e. booked in advance) or public (i.e. those that can be hailed by people on the street and do not require pre-booking). You must have public taxi insurance if you pick up customers without booking – even if you typically only do private hire.
What Level of Protection Do You Need?
Just like regular motor insurance, taxi cover has three levels:
Comprehensive: This is the most… well, comprehensive cover you can purchase. It covers accidental damage to a third-party property, and typically also personal injury, windscreen damage, personal possessions and more. So, for example, if you cause an accident, this will pay for the damage to the other vehicle as well as your car and any third property damaged (e.g. a wall, a fence, etc.).
Third Party, Fire and Theft: This insurance protects you against damage you cause other drivers, as well as damage caused by fire or theft. What it does not cover is the damages to your car in an accident.
Third Party Only: The most basic cover, this only pays for damage to vehicles you damage in an accident, as well as passengers in your car who may have been hurt. As a taxi driver, you should carry a much higher level of protection.
Comprehensive is best in terms of protecting your income, choose from key add-ons:
Unlimited Mileage: Depending on how much you drive, this can be worth it so you do not exceed your cover.
Public Liability: This should be included in your taxi insurance policy; it covers you if a passenger has an injury or damage to property while in your vehicle. It also covers claims that may result from those incidents.
Personal Use Cover: If you use your taxi as a personal vehicle on off days, invest in this protection.
Taxi Insurance Criteria
Depending on your insurance company, you may have to meet some or all of the following criteria:
- Held a taxi badge for at least 1 year.
- Held a driving license for at least 3 years.
- Lived in the UK for at least five years.
- Work as a full-time taxi driver.
- Are 25 years of age or older (though some policies specify 21).
- Passed Driving Vehicle Standards Agency taxi driving test (if applicable).
If you drive a taxi for a living, ask your insurance company about specific cover. It is required by law, and it is a smart business move. Protect your passengers, your vehicle and yourself.