It is a legal requirement that all licensed Hackney Cab and Private Hire drivers have sufficient liability insurance to cover any prospective claim. Taxi drivers, as pointed out by DNA Taxi Insurance, should ensure that when they compare policies, not to just choose the cheapest option, but to look for the policy that gives them the correct amount of cover.
When taxi drivers take out insurance, they need to be aware that policies can be specifically tailored to the individual needs of the taxi driver; these individual needs, by definition, will vary from driver to driver. There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to Taxi Liability Insurance.
It may seem prudent, in these times of economic hardship which are having a significantly negative effect on income for cab drivers, to just take out the minimum amount of insurance in order to fulfil the legal requirement. After all, it is extremely unlikely that you will need to claim. Taxi drivers are among the most experienced on the road.
When, however, you look at some of the incidents that have led to claims, it becomes clear that you need to have sufficient cover; cheap Taxi insurance is only a good idea if in fact it gives you the right level of cover.
Using an actual case that happened, it is clear to demonstrate why the taxi driver needs to have appropriate cover. A taxi driver picked up a customer but lost control when the cab hit a patch of water on the road. The taxi spun and flipped over, coming to rest in an upright position facing the opposite direction. The passenger managed to pull himself out but suffered multiple injuries and was very much shaken up.
The taxi driver’s insurance company accepted liability and paid a total of £6,050, including the cost of subsequent physiotherapy treatment. The report of this incident does not mention whether the taxi driver was injured; one can reasonably assume that the cabbie would have suffered from some loss of earnings, not to mention repairs to or replacement of the car.
In 2008, black cab manufacturer, Manganese Bronze, faced liability claims from at least 800 owner-drivers whose cabs were withdrawn from service following twelve unexplained engine fires. The Licensed Taxi Drivers’ Association represented the drivers in this claim, but loss of earnings would have been found from the cab drivers’ own liability insurance policies.
There are a number of solicitors who specialise in claiming for taxi passengers involved in an accident; many offer no win, no fee services. Here is an example of how a claims specialist advised a minicab passenger to proceed.
This incident involves a minicab driver turning into a one way street in the wrong direction and colliding head on with a car coming in the opposite direction. The passenger suffers whiplash injuries, needs hospital treatment and has to be off work for a week. The legal specialist advises the passenger that they have a valid claim against the minicab driver.
This example reveals the extent of potential claims, which may include medical treatment, loss of earnings and help in the home, following whiplash injuries. The adviser also highlights additional costs, such as pain killers and transport to and from the hospital and doctor’s surgery for any necessary ongoing treatment.
These three real-life examples show how important it is for the taxi driver to have sufficient insurance cover. Cheap taxi insurance is welcome in these financially hard pressed times, but unless the cover is comprehensive, taking into consideration all possible claims, it may turn out to be a false economy. If the taxi driver does not have sufficient levels of cover, the potential conclusion could be severe financial loss or even bankruptcy.