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Private Hire Insurance
If you are reading this article chances are you are thinking about getting private hire insurance or maybe you are not sure if you need that or taxi insurance. The two are of course very similar, but the law has different definitions of what constitutes a public hire vehicle (taxi) and what a private hire vehicle is. Insurance for private hire vehicles is different than the insurance used for taxi's.
A private hire vehicle differs from a normal taxi or other forms of public transportation such as a bus. The main difference between a public hire vehicle and a private hire vehicle, is decided by whether or not it is possible to hire the vehicle in public. A private hire vehicle, unlike a public hire vehicle, must be called and ordered before the trip. It is also not allowed to hail a private hire vehicle on the street.
Private hire vehicles come in many forms, such as limousines, tour guides, airport pickups and corporate transfers.
Private hire vehicles are also under other restrictions. They are not allowed to advertise or display in public that they are available for hire unlike taxi's. As a private hire operator you are also legally required to have a special license to be available at the office of the private hire operator. This license is needed when you apply for private hire insurance.
As a private hire driver you are required to have a special drivers license that is different from a standard driving license. This license is obtained by passing a series of tests along with a background check on your work permit and criminal record as well as a medical certificate. All these checks are carried out to protect the passengers of the private hire vehicle.
All private hire vehicles are required to have the correct private hire insurance, failure to have so will result in legal prosecution.
So what insurance will you likely need?
All vehicles, private or commercial, that drive on the roads are required to have insurance for damages they may do to other people or their property. Third Party Only Insurance is the most basic of all insurance policies and only covers the damage and injury to a third party in case of an accident. There is no cover for your damages or injury, and you are not protected against theft or vandalism.
Third Party Fire and Theft Insurance is the next step up in private hire insurance. This gives you the same required coverage as third party only, but also protects you in case of fire and theft of your vehicle. In some insurance policies, vandalism and other kinds of malice is also included.
Comprehensive Insurance is the most common type of insurance for private hire operators. Comprehensive insurance basically has your back covered for most risks that you could face as a private hire operator including all of the covered risks in Third Party Fire and Theft. As long as the accidents takes place during business hours, then you are most likely insured.
Private hire drivers may not feel that the standard insurance packages are enough protection. This could particularly be the case if you are self employed and only have on vehicle. In that case you are heavily dependent on being able to drive your vehicle and if the unfortunate happens and you cant do so, then that may threaten your entire business.
Below we will take a look at some common extras that can be signed in private hire insurance:
- Breakdown and Assistance is one particularly beneficial insurance policy to have if you only have one vehicle. In case of breakdown, which are bound to happen, even for the best driver, you will be secure knowing that help is on the way. Sometimes this insurance also includes a replacement vehicle while your own is in the repair shop.
- Loss of Income is an insurance that compensates you for your business loss when you are unable to driver your vehicle. Very convenient for smaller companies and self employed drivers.
- Legal Expenses pays for any expenses you may have as a result of legal disputes. This saves you both money and time as you will not need to appear in court yourself more than absolutely necessary.
- Glass and Windshield coverage make sure your vehicle is always looking its best by compensating the cost of replacing windows and windshields. This could be a handy extra insurance if you drive in an area with frequent bad weather.