Taxi insurance brokers

Having the help of a broker will not only save you time and money, but it will ensure that you have the sufficient level of cover tailored to your own specific needs.

taxi insurance

If you drive passengers around for a living, the law states that you’ll need taxi insurance cover. A standard car insurance policy is not enough. This applies to public hire vehicles that can be flagged down, like black cabs and minicabs, as well as pre-booked private hire vehicles, including minibuses.

Having the right policy is not only essential to ensure you’re complying with the law, but you’ll also want reassurance that you’re covered for fire, theft and damage to your own and other people’s vehicles.

When choosing the right taxi insurance policy, you need to consider a number of different things. ‘How much does the policy cost?’, ‘What am I covered for? and ‘Do I have any special requirements?’ are all questions you should be asking yourself when shopping around for a quote.

The good news is, you don’t have to search alone. A price comparison website can do some of the work for you, but taxi insurance brokers can also help you get the right cover for the right price and ensure you aren’t paying for anything you don’t need.

Are taxi insurance brokers worth using?

Choosing a suitable taxi insurance policy can be complicated because it’s not just about getting the best deal; you need to make sure you’re legally covered to protect you and your passengers in any eventuality.

Having the help of a broker will not only save you time and money, but it will ensure that you have the sufficient level of cover tailored to your own specific needs.

Read on to find out more about how taxi insurance brokers work and what the benefits of using one are.

How do taxi insurance brokers work?

We’ll start by explaining exactly what insurance brokers are.

Insurance brokers have been around for many years, existing long before price comparison websites.

In contrast to an agent who works for an insurance company and can only offer you the policy they sell, a broker researches the market on your behalf and compares policies from several insurance companies to find you the best deal.

You can’t actually buy the policy from the broker and they can’t close the deal because it has to be confirmed by the agent or company.

How do taxi insurance brokers get quotes?

When dealing with a taxi insurance broker, they’ll ask you a series of questions in order to find out what your requirements are. Some of these questions could include:

  • How long have you had your driving license for?
  • How long have you been a taxi driver for?
  • What type of taxi do you drive?
  • What’s your location?
  • What hours do you work?
  • Where do you keep your taxi at night?
  • Have you made any modifications to your taxi (for example, adding wheelchair access)?
  • Have you got any security devices installed in your cab (such as an immobiliser or CCTV system)?
  • Do you have any motoring convictions?
  • How many years no-claims discount do you have?

Once they’ve established all the necessary information, they can start doing their research based on your individual circumstances and come back to you with a list of options.

Because they have specialist expertise, brokers can guarantee that you’re getting the right level of cover for the best price possible, giving you peace of mind that you’re protected, should the worst happen.

Taxi insurance is generally more complex than regular car insurance, so it’s worth handing over the stress and letting a broker do the legwork for you. And because they don’t work for one particular insurer, you can rest assured that they’re putting your interests ahead of the insurance company’s.

Taxi insurance brokers can also help if you need to make a claim. They can advise on how the process works and even deal with your insurer on your behalf.

How do taxi insurance brokers make money?

Insurance brokers make most of their money through commission. For every policy they sell, they’ll usually make between 7.5% and 15% of the annual premium, with the average being about 10%. However brokers can set their own fees, so it can change depending on the company you use.

Won’t that mean I’m paying more for my taxi insurance policy?

You’d be forgiven for thinking an extra link in the chain could mean more cost to you. But that’s not necessarily true. You don’t have to pay a broker a fee for shopping around for you because they get commission from the insurance provider for selling their policies. A-Plan has been working with our panel of specialist insurers for years, and are able to negotiate to ensure your policy meets your expectations.

Benefits of using taxi insurance brokers

Price comparison websites are often the first port of call when you’re looking to buy an insurance policy. But while they can be helpful for having a quick scan of the market to see what’s out there, they’re not the best place to find specialist cover like taxi insurance and the quotes they’ll show you will be fairly generic.

As mentioned above, brokers are experts at getting you a suitable taxi insurance policy for a price you can afford.

There are a number of other reasons why taxi drivers should consider using a broker:

Saves time

It’s no fun shopping around for insurance quotes yourself, especially when you have to keep entering the same information time and time again. A broker can do all of the hard work for you. They’ll speak to a wide range of insurance companies on your behalf, and come back to you with only the best quotes.

More choice

If you buy taxi insurance cover through an agent, your options will be limited to the policy they offer. While it is possible to tailor a policy to suit your needs – by adding optional extras, for example – and you can sometimes negotiate a better deal if you’re a returning customer, it’s unlikely the agent will have your best interests at heart, when finding the right deal for you. After all, it’s their job to make money for the company they work for.

More choice means more competition and more competition means a better price for you. Comparison websites aren’t always able to show you every policy that’s available, whereas taxi insurance brokers can talk you through all the types of cover that are on offer. They’re also well-equipped to tailor the search to suit your unique requirements.

Specialist cover

With taxi insurance, there are certain things that will affect the cost of your premium, which is why it’s usually more expensive than a standard car insurance policy. The factors an insurance company will take into account when giving you a quote include:

  • The chance of having an accident – Taxi drivers generally have a higher mileage, plus the driving they tend do is at busy times, when there’s more traffic. Insurers will also see driving at night as more risky, because there’s less visibility.
  • The size of the vehicle – Taxis can be bigger than cars, meaning they fall into a higher insurance group.
  • The risk level for theft – If you’re a taxi driver, you’re more likely to carry cash, which makes you more of a target for thieves.
  • The likelihood of a personal injury claim – Because taxi drivers are in constant contact with the general public, there’s a higher chance of them having claims made against them.

Brokers are aware of all of this and they’ll take your risk level into account when finding you the best taxi insurance quote. This is important, because if you give your insurance provider the wrong information, you might not be covered if you do have to make a claim.

Expert advice

Because a taxi insurance broker works for you instead of a single company, you’ll always be their main priority. The British Insurance Brokers Association (BIBA) makes sure of this, with rules stating that they’re obliged to put the taxi driver, rather than the insurance company, first in any transaction.

They can explain things like public liability insurance and tell you whether you’re already covered by any of your existing policies, as well as being more flexible on price than comparison websites because of their contacts within the industry.

A taxi insurance broker will recognise your specialist requirements and negotiate with the insurance companies, while making sure all of your necessary documents are correct.

When they come back to you with your taxi insurance quotes, they can explain the differences between your various options, some of which can be so subtle you might not notice them yourself.

They’re experts in their field, so they’ll also know of all the loopholes that can get you a better deal on your taxi insurance.

Ongoing help

We’ve already mentioned this, but a broker can liaise with your insurer’s claims department on your behalf. As well as taking the stress and worry out of the situation for you, they have a better chance of making sure your claim goes through and they understand all the technicalities, which will save you time trying to work it all out.

They’re also usually available to help with any mid-term changes and questions you might have regarding your taxi insurance policy further down the line.

How to get a good deal on your taxi insurance

Although your taxi insurance broker will do their best to find a deal policy to suit you, there are a few things you can do to make sure you’re not paying more for your premium than you should:

Choose your vehicle wisely

When buying your taxi, it’s worth going for a smaller vehicle as they can cost less to insure. They’re also generally cheaper to run because they use less fuel.

Don’t make too many modifications

Unless you’re making your taxi wheelchair accessible, it’s advisable not to make modifications to your vehicle. Insurers consider a vehicle to be modified if it’s been altered from factory standard.

Increase your vehicle’s security

You should, however, consider installing security devices, like immobilisers, CCTV systems and dashboard cameras. This should mean you get a better premium.

Do your research

The number one way to get a good deal on anything is to shop around! If you have the time and energy to do the hard graft yourself, you should never just accept the first offer without looking anywhere else.

Be honest

When searching for taxi insurance quotes, it’s important to be upfront about any claims you’ve made in the past and the number of penalty points you have. If this information is inaccurate, you could invalidate your policy and you’ll have been paying for insurance you can’t claim on.

Check the optional extras

Make sure your taxi insurance quotes don’t include any optional extras that don’t apply to you. You shouldn’t be paying for what you don’t need.

Although, you’ll want to ensure your taxi insurance policy includes a free replacement vehicle and breakdown cover so you can stay in business if things go wrong.

Build up your no-claims bonus

New taxi drivers might have to pay a higher premium initially, but by driving carefully you can build up your no-claims bonus and get a better price further down the line.

You’ll usually earn one year of no-claims discount for every year that goes by without you making a claim on your insurance.

Park securely

Keep your taxi parked in a secure location, like a garage or a driveway, when you’re not using it.

Pay for your premium annually

Usually, if you pay for your taxi insurance in monthly instalments, it will end up costing you more. However if you prefer to pay monthly, make sure you don’t miss any payments as you’ll incur charges and your credit rating could be affected.

We have been providing taxi insurance for years, so our team is well-equipped to answer any questions you may have. You can contact them via telephone, or simply pop into branch for a conversation. Find your local branch here.