Minicab insurance – An overview
If you’re working as a minicab driver, having the right insurance is vital. Driving is a great way to make a living, but dealing with passengers day in and day out means being exposed to different types of risk than the average car driver. Minicab insurance can protect your livelihood if your cab is damaged, either accidentally or by careless passengers.
With a minicab, passengers are booked in advance, not hailing your cab on the streets of London. This gives cabbies a degree of protection, but in the eyes of insurers, there are many other factors to take into consideration when trying to find a cheap insurance policy.
Greater mileage, longer driving hours, and dealing with the public – all come into play when considering the right minicab insurance policy.
Is minicab insurance cheaper than car insurance?
As most minicabs cover much greater distances annually than standard recreational car use, insurance is often more expensive. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that because you have private car insurance and will be covered if working as a minicab driver.
There is a range of additional types of cover you’ll need. Shopping around for a range of quotes is the best way to get the lowest price for your minicab policy.
What type of minicab cover do I need?
As with standard car insurance, there are three main levels of minicab insurance coverage:
- Third-party, fire and theft
- Fully comprehensive
As the name suggests, fully comprehensive offers the highest level of coverage. The cheapest insurance is third-party only, which means that your minicab is only covered for damage to third parties.
Because your cab is your livelihood, most minicab drivers will opt for fully comprehensive, to make sure they are able to quickly get back on the road again in the event of an accident or damage.
How much does minicab insurance cost?
The cost of your policy will depend on a range of factors. The lower the risk of a claim, the cheaper your insurance policy will be. Things that will impact the cost of your quote include the type of vehicle, its age, condition, and mileage.
Where you work will also have an impact. Driving a minicab in a major city like Birmingham or Manchester might incur higher premiums than working in a rural area for example.
What type of minicab cover do I need?
Most insurance providers will be able to advise on exactly the right cover for your minicab, as every driver’s circumstances and needs will be unique.
Public liability cover
Carrying passengers can leave cabbies open to claims. Having public liability insurance cover in place means you are protected if a third party makes a claim against you, for example, if they are hurt or injured whilst in your cab.
If your cab is damaged in an accident, time out for repairs can make a big dent in your income. Some policies will offer access to a courtesy car as part of the policy, so you can get back on the road and earn again without any downtime.
Minicab earnings protection
This type of cover can ensure that if you are unable to drive for any reason, your income is protected.
Minicab breakdown cover
Most policies will not include breakdown cover as standard. But for minicab drivers, any breakdown can be costly! Adding breakdown cover to your premium can give you peace of mind that you won’t be left stranded with your passengers should the worst happen.
Employers liability insurance
If you run a minicab firm, it’s important to ensure your drivers are covered. Employer’s liability cover is required for all minicab firm owners.
How can I get cheaper insurance for my minicab?
With a little common sense, there are steps you can take to reduce the cost of your premium.
- Secure your vehicle when not in use. Parking your cab off the road, in a secure garage ideally, will reduce the risk of accidental damage or theft, which could mean cheaper premiums.
- Pay annually. Monthly premium payments can help spread the cost of your policy, but it may work out cheaper to pay the full amount for your coverage upfront.
- Consider your vehicle. Premiums for high-powered or very valuable cars are always going to be higher. You’ll get cheaper insurance for your private hire cab if you choose a lower-value make and model.
- Shop around. It’s always worth comparing minicab insurance quotes from a range of different providers to see if you can get a lower price. Make sure you are only paying for the cover you need.
Are there any limitations on minicab insurance?
As long as you have a valid driving license, in theory, anyone can make a living as a minicab driver. There are age limitations, however. The minimum age most local taxi licensing authorities require for minicab drivers is 21. Insurers can often set a second age limit too. In some cases, if you’re under 25 you may find it harder to get minicab insurance. Luckily, there is no upper age limit.
Other exclusions will usually apply to your minicab insurance policy. You will not be covered if you drive under the influence of alcohol or drugs, for example.
Minicab drivers should also check with their insurer whether the policy also covers the vehicle when not being used as a cab. You’ll need to make sure you’re covered if you use the vehicle for private journeys, e.g. at weekends or at home.
The region you drive in may also be restricted by your policy. Major cities like Liverpool and Bristol will attract higher premiums, so check with your insurer if there are any limitations on the area you are covered to drive in.
Finally, most minicab policies will only include cover for one driver as standard. If you intend on more than one driver using the vehicle, you may need to get additional coverage from your insurer.
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