Shop around

How to Find the Cheapest Possible Taxi Insurance
It’s a time of year that many cabbies approach with a sinking heart: the time to renew your cab insurance. There’s no getting around the fact that car insurance is expensive, and even if you get a great deal it’s still a bulky outlay. Due to unsavoury characters making insurance claims inaccurately (thanks, in part, to the growing number of ‘no win-no fee’ solicitors) the cost of insurance is increasing year on year. Whilst there is much talk of car insurance premiums beginning to fall towards the end of 2014, it’s still a significant annual cost and one that is worth further research.

Why Will The Cost of Car Insurance Fall?
The Government have announced recently that they are planning to put all driving licence records online in a searchable database by the end of 2014. This means that both individuals and insurers will be able to search for the most accurate information that is held about any person who is applying for car insurance. Insurers will know your driving history with precise accuracy, rather than make the assumption that a certain percentage of applicants will either lie or offer misleading information on their insurance application forms. Having access to this very clear and precise information will enable insurers to give insurance quotes that are much more accurate: they won’t have to factor risk into their pricing or rely on an applicant’s honesty. This is a change from the current taxi insurance system which, as explain, means that most insurers request full details of all of your previous claims for a minimum length of time, e.g. the last 5 years. They will then base your insurance policy quotation on the information you supply and rely on you to supply the right information. The Association of British Insurers has predicted that the average motorist should see a drop of at least £15 in their premiums as a result of these changes. Of course, £15 won’t make much of a dent in the hefty charges for taxi insurance but it is, at least, a step in the right direction rather than another insurance rate increase!

What to Look For in an Insurance Policy
To anyone new to insuring a cab, there are the same levels of insurance options for black cabs as there are for ordinary cars: you can choose from either full comprehensive insurance, third party insurance, or third party fire and theft. Whichever kind of policy you choose it’s important to understand exactly what is and what isn’t covered, so you know the risks involved in having anything less than fully comprehensive insurance (althousgh of course the flip side of this is that your initial outlay will be much smaller if you opt for a cheaper third party fire and theft policy).  As your cab is your place of work it is also strongly recommended that you have public liability insurance: this will protect you should something happen to one of the passengers in your cab. If a passenger takes legal action against you for healthcare or compensation costs as a result of an accident in your cab then public liability insurance will protect you and mean these compensation costs don’t have to come from your own pocket. Some car insurance providers will include this public liability insurance in your policy and some won’t, requiring you to purchase a separate policy. It’s important to be clear where you stand on this, as opting for a cheaper insurance policy that doesn’t include public liability cover could ultimately end up being a false economy.

Shop Around!
It’s an obvious point, but don’t just go with the first insurance quote you get. It’s important to remember that, according to the RAC, one in three motorists are paying more than they need to for their car insurance. Finding the cheapest possible deal will mean putting in a little elbow work, but it does pay to shop around. The most popular insurance policies are 12 month policies, but you can also buy taxi insurance for periods as short as one month at a time. Bearing that in mind, you could find that if you were prepared to extend the length of your contract, you would be in a strong position to negotiate a better deal. Alternatively if you’re waiting for a better offer to appear on the market (because you’re just a few months away from having those magic five years no-claims, for example) it could be that opting for a shorter contract is the right decision for you. The only way to find out is the do the research. Dedicate a day to shopping around for your cab insurance and find the very best deal for you!

Is Your Cab as Safe as it Could Be?                                        
You could write a whole separate article on the subject of securing your cab, and ensuring it is protected from theft and other criminal damage. But it is important to ensure your cab is kept as secure as possible for insurance reasons too.  A car that has an alarm system, tracking device or immobiliser fitted (provided it is a security system that has been approved by your insurer)  can generally achieve an insurance discount of around 5%, when compared to the same car without those safety features as standard. Most cabs will come with these safety features fitted from the manufacturer: make sure you check if yours does too, and declare these to your insurer so that you can take advantage of the discounts available.

Talking about car insurance is never exciting, and insuring your car can be a downright miserable thing to have to do. However if you can take the time to shop around and investigate all of the options available, you can at least find the best deal for you and keep a little more of your hard-earned cash in your pocket!

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