Like all road vehicles, Uber’s and private hire vehicles need valid insurance to be considered legal. However, it’s important that private hire vehicles have the correct type of insurance.
So why do Uber and private hire drivers need their own type of insurance, how is it different, and can it be used alongside standard vehicle insurance? Quote Radar has you covered for all the answers.
What is a private hire vehicle insurance?
All road vehicles need some type of insurance to cover either themselves or other drivers, or both. It’s an old industry saying that insurance isn’t for you; it’s for other drivers. This is true for both private vehicles and public vehicles, such as taxis, Ubers, and private hire vehicles.
The biggest difference with private hire taxi insurance is that it comes with an increased level of risk over normal driving. While a normal vehicle will carry the driver and their (voluntary) passengers, a private taxi carries fare-paying customers.
If you have a crash in your private car and your passengers are injured, they can claim either off your policy or the other driver’s, depending on who is at fault. In a private hire taxi, however, they can claim directly from you if you don’t have the right type of cover in place. This can be incredibly expensive, as injury claims can end up costing thousands of pounds.
What’s more, driving a private hire taxi or Uber means you’ll cover more miles each year. Even if you’re a good driver this automatically carries more risk for your insurers. It’s statistical fact that the more time you spend on the road, the more likely you are to have an accident.
Private hire insurance generally also comes with greater protection for loss of earnings. Whereas in a typical situation, an off-the-road driver can find transport to work some other way, you as a taxi driver lose work if you don’t have a vehicle. This is a big and important difference with private hire and Uber insurance.
How is Uber insurance different from normal vehicle insurance?
In many ways, Uber and private hire insurance is very similar to normal vehicle insurance. But it also differs in some important ways.
Like normal vehicle insurance, private hire and Uber insurance offer standard levels of cover:
- Third-Party Fire and Theft
- Fully comprehensive
While you can take out any level of cover, the most sensible and most popular is fully comprehensive. This allows you to claim for your vehicle for fault accidents.
But the biggest difference is that Uber drivers also need public liability insurance alongside their vehicle insurance. This covers you if your passengers are injured or their property is damaged and is required regardless of which level of cover you take out.
Another major difference is that Uber insurance covers you for making fare-paying journeys. Normal vehicle insurance covers you – at most – for driving to and from one or more places of work, but not for conducting work using your vehicle.
For example, jobs such as food delivery aren’t covered by normal road insurance because you’re at a much higher risk of accident than someone who drives to and from work each day.
The biggest difference between Uber insurance and private hire taxi insurance is that, more often than not, private hire taxis are separate to the driver’s personal vehicle. With Uber, however, many drivers use their personal car for working purposes.
Like normal vehicle insurance, Uber taxi insurance varies depending on many factors. These include the type of car you’re insuring, the area you live in but is even affected by things such as the colour of your car. Therefore it’s worth comparing quotes online with a company like Quote Radar to ensure you’re getting the best deal.
Can you use Uber insurance alongside normal insurance?
While many private hire taxi drivers have their own personal car that they use when not working, most Uber drivers simply use their own car for work and personal journeys. But does this mean you need two types of insurance?
In short, yes. Insurance for your Uber job only covers you when you’re working for Uber and carrying fare-paying customers. When making personal journeys, you need to have your own private cover in place.
The main reason for this is that Uber and private hire taxi insurance has different indemnification and claims investigation processes. Also, it’ll usually state in their contracts that you’re only covered when carrying fare-paying customers. This is essentially the opposite of what it says in normal car insurance policies.
In normal situations, you can’t have two live insurance policies on a vehicle, as this can often void both if you’re in a crash. This isn’t the case when you have Uber insurance because, while you have two active policies on the same car, you’ll never be covered under both at the same time.
Although there’s no obligation, it’s generally worth taking out the same extras on your Uber insurance as you have on your normal insurance. This includes the same level of cover, and extras such as gap insurance and hire cover.
Also, if you are unfortunately involved in a crash, regardless of which insurer covers you at the time, you’ll need to tell your other insurance provider. You don’t necessarily need to do this at the time, but at the very least it’ll need to happen at renewal.
It might be tempting to keep this kind of thing a secret, but insurers need to know about collisions so they can accurately rate your policy. If they find out at a later date that you had an accident then they can void your policy and won’t cover any claims.
Uber insurance and private hire taxi insurance might seem like an annoying extra, but in the long run, it’s definitely worth it. That said, it doesn’t have to put you too out of pocket. By using Quote Radar you’ll be able to find the most competitive prices for Uber insurance and private hire taxi insurance.
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