The following is a guest post
A good friend of mine recently retired early from teaching in order to set up his own taxi business. He was always great with kids but somehow I think he prefers the random interactions you get being a taxi driver in the city. He did say, however, that although his business is proving to be a great little money maker, getting the best insurance for his taxis was somewhat of a minefield. I thought I would post a few of his pointers here for anyone else considering a similar change of career.
It seems that the temptation for many who are taking the risk of starting up a new business like this, is to cut corners in order to save in the short term. I’m told this is one of the biggest mistakes you can make when starting out in this industry. I guess it’s one thing to cut corners on personal car insurance in order to save, but the risks involved in doing this with a taxi company are much greater when you take into account the possible liabilities that could take place. For example, if you are going to employ other drivers (and no doubt you are), then your insurance policy needs to be able to cover any unforeseen expenses which could arise due to injuries to any of your employees.
Perhaps more crucial is the need to cover passenger liability. I’ve been told that this is a must for any taxi service owner and it’s easy to understand why. Basically, if you don’t take out a policy which covers passenger liability, in the event of an accident or robbery, you as the owner will be held accountable, even if your driver is responsible. Therefore, to avoid this occurrence, it is absolutely essential that passenger liability is covered by your taxi service’s insurance policy.
You also need to be aware of some of the other intricacies which relate to taxi insurance. Be sure when you sign for your policy that you are completely covered for incidents such as vandalism or damage to the vehicle. These do tend to occur more frequently where taxis are concerned so be sure that your insurance policy makes allowances for these potential eventualities. Similarly if one of your taxis is deemed to have been parked in an unsafe location when vandalism took place, it might void your policy. Therefore, this also needs to be taken into account before you finalise your insurance agreement.
Finally, do your homework when it comes to selecting the right insurance company. If you are a fairly large company, insurance firms should be keen to get your business, so be aware that you have some degree of bargaining power with them. My friend suggested that prospective taxi owners should not rule out looking locally for their insurance, but believes that the most competative deals generally come through consulting online insurance companies such as http://www.insuretaxi.com/, who specialise in taxi insurance specifically.