DNA Insurance

Archive: Feb 2013

  1. Why Motor Trade Insurance is Important

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    Protecting your vehicles from theft this autumn

    If you work in the motor trade, vehicles are at the heart of your business. And if one of your vehicles gets stolen, it could cause significant financial loss. A survey by Norwich Union shows autumn to be peak season for car theft but with a little forward thinking – and a good motor trade insurance policy – it’s easy to protect your motors from thieves.

    Autumn: peak season for car theft

    According to the survey by Norwich Union, motor theft occurs most often in September, October and November. Several reasons are given for this: firstly, autumn is the beginning of shorter daylight hours and thieves prefer to work in the dark. Secondly, most of us have more evenings in in the autumn, meaning we’re less likely to be using our cars in the evenings.

    Norwich Union found that mainly older cars were stolen, with the majority of stolen cars being seven years old or more. They also discovered that cars were stolen for a variety of reasons, including stripping them for parts, stealing the contents and as an alternative to public transport. But for whatever reason the cars were stolen, they were much more likely to be stolen in autumn than any other time of year.

    Protecting your vehicle from theft

    While autumn may be a prime time for car thieves, there’s plenty you can do to protect your vehicles from theft. This includes:

    • Locking all doors and closing all windows
    • Never leaving keys in the ignition
    • Never leaving a vehicle running unattended
    • Ensuring your vehicles are fitted with car alarms and using them
    • Never leaving registration details in the car – this will help thieves sell it
    • Never leave expensive tools or equipment on show
    • Fitting a steering wheel lock when your car is parked
    • Fitting ignition kill switches to halt your vehicle’s fuel supply
    • Fitting tyre locks
    • Using a vehicle tracking system

    Remember, these are just some of the things you can do to protect your vehicles from theft. If you run a sales forecourt, always make sure the gates are securely locked before you leave and that all vehicles are securely locked. CCTV cameras and security alarms are also recommended.

    And if you’re a mobile valeter, take extra care to protect your vehicle while you’re out on a job. Never leave the engine running while it is unattended and never leave your tools and equipment in an unlocked vehicle, vulnerable to thieves.

    The importance of steering wheel locks

    In 2012 it came to light that there had been an increase in electronic car theft, particularly of those with a button start. This was because of a new EU directive that encouraged all manufacturers to release security information to independent garages so that they could work on any car. This made it even easier for car thieves to steal electric cars – in particular those without a steering lock or electronic steering lock.

    A good steering lock can cost you between £35 and £50, which may seem like a lot but isn’t in the long run. A good thief can break a cheap steering wheel lock in a matter of minutes so don’t be tempted to scrimp on this worthwhile investment that will ultimately help protect your vehicles.

    Many car thieves simply cut the steering wheel to remove the car lock; that’s why it’s vital to invest in a lock that covers the whole wheel and cannot be cut off, especially if you have a button-start car.

    Third party, fire and theft motor trade insurance

    Sometimes you can do all you can and your vehicle will still get stolen. But don’t worry – these things happen and as long as you’ve got a good motor trade insurance policy to protect you, you can replace the stolen vehicles with minimal financial damage to your company.

    By law, all motor traders must at least be covered by a third party only motor trade insurance policy. This allows the motor trader to drive any vehicle in his/her possession for motor trade purposes and protects them against any damage they do to another vehicle.

    However, by upgrading to motor trade insurance with DNA that covers third party, fire and theft, you can ensure your vehicles are protected in a number of situations.

    DNA Insurance also offers policies tailored to different types of motor traders, such as bodyshop insurance, which will include special features that specifically apply to your business.

  2. Public Liability Insurance for Taxi Drivers

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    Public liability insurance – what is it and do I need it?

    Setting up a taxi business is not just as simple as buying a fleet of vehicles and going on your way – it requires careful planning to ensure that your business can run as smoothly as possible.

    So on top of acquiring an operator’s licence, vehicles, an office and a base station, you’ll also need to take out a comprehensive insurance policy to protect your business. Find the right policy and you’ll rest assured knowing your business is safeguarded against all eventualities – because you never know what might happen.

    What is public liability insurance?

    Taxi businesses revolve around dealing with members of the public so public liability insurance is absolutely essential. It’s a key part of any taxi insurance policy, which will ensure you won’t lose out financially if anything happens.

    It’s important because it covers your business in case a member of the public suffers loss or injury as a result of your taxi firm and makes a compensation claim. And with members of the public riding in your taxis all day, it would be reckless to operate without adequate insurance. Even if you employ safe, reliable drivers, you never know what might happen when they’re out on the road exposed to the driving of other drivers.

    Do I need it?

    If you’re running a taxi business, however big or small, the answer is yes, you do need public liability insurance. Extras like this may hike up the price of your premiums but don’t be tempted to scrimp on insurance to save pennies. Taxi insurance is more expensive than conventional car insurance policies for a reason – taxi drivers drive more miles than the average motorist which increases the statistical risk of having an accident. So if you’re carrying passengers for commercial gain, you must take out public liability insurance.

    How to get public liability insurance

    If you’re new to operating your own taxi business – or you’d like an extra bit of advice – your best bet is to speak to an insurance broker. Insurance brokers offer policies from a range of insurance providers, so they can individually assess your situation and find the right policy for you.

    They’ll look at each aspect of your business and decide what level of cover is right for you – but whatever happens, all insurance brokers will tell you that public liability insurance is an essential part of your policy.

    You may also want to consider the extras that you can add to your policy. For example, if you employ drivers, you’ll be obligated by law to take out employer’s liability insurance. This protects your employees in case they are injured at work and can actually be taken out with public liability insurance as part of your taxi insurance policy.

     

  3. Law Commission to reform private taxi hire industry

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    After lengthy discussions regarding the regulation of taxis and private hire vehicles, the Law Commission has reported that it would be setting limitations on local taxi numbers as well as introducing licences for wedding cars.

    With the original plan no longer granting licensing agents the right to restrict the amount of taxis allowed to operate within a certain region, the Commission has decided that continuing with the restrictions would work out better.

    Advantages vs disadvantages

    It seems that the pros outweigh the cons, with the Commission recognising that by placing limitations this in fact helps with tackling the issue of over-ranking as well as congestion – whilst at the same time upholding quality standards for the taxi industry.

    The Law Commission also hopes to apply similar guidelines to funeral and wedding cars, by suggesting they maintain their exempt status from licensing instead of depending on the Secretary of State to allow the exclusion.

    It also hopes to retain the two-tier format that helps identify mini-cabs from taxis, as well as the behaviour of the iconic hackney trade – with taxis permitted to pick up passengers specifically from a rank or on the street. Mini-cabs will resume being limited to providing a pre-booked operation.

    Making it “fit for purpose”

    Currently, many find the legal framework for taxis to be “complex and inconsistent” – and it is hoped that the review will identify any areas requiring improvement to “ensure it is fit for purpose”.

    Taking into consideration the needs of operators, drivers as well as licensing authorities, the Commission found that the two-tier system was a helpful strategy – with mini-cabs proving a vital resource.

    Leading the campaign, Frances Patterson QC, is confident that the views of passengers surveyed will help improve the system: “And they convinced us that the trade and its passengers will benefit if licensing authorities continue to have the power to limit taxi numbers.”

    Improving the framework

    With the Commission set to make these changes in the near future, it’s essential for those within the taxi and mini-cab industry to take into account how these changes may affect them. Wedding and funeral cars will need to find out how the new licensing system will work and its impact on their private hire insurance, and what else they can expect from the new proposals.

    Individuals and organisations within (or looking to get into) the taxi and mini-cab trade must always ensure they are up-to-date with the latest news, but for more a detailed overview of private taxi hire insurance policies, speak to a private hire expert to get the best out of your insurance – and business.

     

  4. Who can Drive the Vehicles on a Motor Trade Insurance Policy

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    When taking out a motor trade insurance policy, it is for the sole use of those operating within the motor trade industry. So if your occupation entails motor trade duties such as vehicle service and repair, collection and delivery, valeting or car sales, a motor trade policy strictly applies to you – thus meaning that any vehicle which is your property as well as any vehicle under your control can only be driven by you.

    Given it is your responsibility to manage several vehicles under your authority, it is absolutely vital to organise the relevant cover: that of an effective motor trade policy. However, many people hear the term ‘motor policy’ but don’t fully understand the differentiation between private motor insurance and motor trade insurance. Where private motor insurance applies to both the vehicle and the driver, motor trade coverage is tailored for just the driver – meaning you don’t have to arrange individual policies for each vehicle driven for motor trade purposes.

    A worthwhile investment, this type of coverage has been designed with the driver in mind. So you can choose to be the only driver, or whether you wish to add ‘named drivers’ – including friends, relatives and fellow workers. But it’s important to note that the more drivers you add to your policy, the more likely your premium is to increase.

    In addition, you should also take into account the types of vehicles you will be driving. The majority of any mechanically functioning vehicle can be insured, but any motors that are deemed expensive or unusual will require specialist coverage – which may lead to your premiums rising. Restrictive coverage may also be a factor in these circumstances.

    Have you thought about the different extensions available?

    For example:

    • Demonstration purposes – This feature enables the motor trader to let a potential buyer test drive one of their showroom vehicles prior to buying the motor. A hugely essential part of the purchasing process, as many customers would not even think about buying the vehicle without first having a test drive.
    • Public Liability – No one likes the idea of getting caught up in a costly legal wrangle, which is why it’s also a good idea to look into public liability. This particular cover protects those in the motor trade from any possible claims made against them as a result of their negligent actions. For further information on this type of coverage, please speak to one of our advisors.

    You should also consider to what extent you require coverage; such as third party only, third party fire and theft or comprehensive. Remember, these aren’t just your vehicles – it’s also your customers’.

    What do I get with DNA Insurance?

    Twenty years in the motor trade business has allowed our experts to garner inside information, establish successful relationships with a network of reputable insurance providers in order to provide you with the very best policies.

    For exceptional customer service along with affordable personalised quotes, speak to DNA Insurance for a comprehensive motor trade insurance package today.

  5. What Private Hire Taxi Insurance Prevents

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    Bans, Fines and Points

    If you are a taxi driver without private hire insurance, then you could be putting yourself at risk of a driving ban, penalty points and fines. Driving without insurance is dangerous for both you as a driver and your passengers too – your taxi is your business and it should therefore be treated as such, as otherwise you could end up unable to get out on the road and earn.

    What is Private Hire Taxi Insurance?

    If you have a private hire taxi, then you run your business based on the principle that a passenger has to pre-book you or ‘privately’ arrange for you to pick them up. You can’t be flagged down on the street, so you require a different type of insurance to a public hire taxi.

    Picking up fares without a booking could land you in serious trouble, likewise if you don’t have a private hire license and you use your own car as a private hire vehicle, or allow it to be used by other drivers, you could end land in hot water.

    So it is important to do things properly, such as arranging appropriate insurance so that if you are pulled over then you are protecting yourself and your passengers.

    What does it cover?

    Taking out a private hire taxi insurance policy, you will be covered in the event that anything should happen to your cab. This means that you don’t need to worry about taking care of any claims as your insurer will handle this all for you, with your legal expenses covered and meaning you can get back on the road again sooner.

    Your taxi is your livelihood so you don’t want to be wasting valuable time sorting things when you could be out there earning, plus without an insurance policy you will be more out of pocket paying for damages, fixes and maybe even compensation. You will also probably be given the option of ‘adding on’ fleet insurance for more than one cab, breakdown cover and much more.

    How to get cover…

    These days there are a variety of ways to get cover:

    1) You can find a suitable insurer’s shop and call in to have a chat with a broker right there and then.

    2) You can give them a call to discuss over the phone what you’re looking for, your budget and your options.

    3) You can request a quote for private hire taxi insurance online. Simply enter all of your details online and you will receive either a call back from a broker or get a quote immediately online.

     

  6. Setting up a Taxi Business and the Legal Requirements

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    When you’re setting up a taxi business, you need to think about buying vehicles and hiring drivers. But there are also certain legal requirements that you’ll need to adhere to – not to mention the insurance requirements. Here’s a breakdown of all you need to know about setting up your own taxi firm.

    Choosing an office location

    Don’t underestimate the importance of a good location for your taxi headquarters as it can make or break your taxi business. If you’re looking to target walk-in customers, your best bet is to set up your office in a public place where you’ll have lots of passing custom. A good place for this could be an out of town supermarket that is difficult to get to on public transport.

    Alternatively you could open a headquarters where you answer the phone and delegate jobs to your drivers. This means you won’t have any passing trade dropping in but you’ll have more freedom regarding the location of your office. A good tip if you’re going to be using two way radios to communicate with your drivers is to choose an office that is high up. Your office location will determine the range you get from your base station and while a poor location surrounded by buildings could give you as little a range as 3-4 miles, a good location on top of a hill could give you a 25 mile range.

    Taxi driver operating licences

    Before you can start running your taxi business, it’s absolutely essential to apply for an ‘operator’s licence’. This is a document that proves that you are an official taxi driver and can be obtained from the local council. There are two types of licences that you can apply for.

    A ‘private hire’ licence only allows you to carry out pre-booked jobs – ideal for those who operate from a location that doesn’t encourage passing trade. Alternatively you could get a ‘Hackney’ licence, which also allows you to pick up customers off the street.

    Some local authorities impose rules on what type of vehicles are allowed to be licenced, their age and their colour; so before you buy your vehicles you should look into the rules in your area. In most areas your drivers will also need to be licenced by the local licensing authority.

    Insurance

    If you’re running a taxi company, taxi insurance is an absolute must and it’s also a legal requirement. The bare minimum insurance policy you’ll need is road risks and public liability insurance, but it’s a good idea to take out a more comprehensive policy to make sure all areas of your business are protected. If you employ drivers, you’ll need to take out employer’s liability insurance in order to protect them in case they are injured at work.

    If you operate from your own premises, it’s also a good idea to take out premises insurance in case fire, theft or damage disrupts your business. Just remember that if you’re operating from home, you’re only allowed to use it as a base station; if your drivers will be coming back to your house in between jobs, your business will need its own premises as this requires planning permission.

  7. DNA Insurance Reviews New Optima Classic Car Policy

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    Director of DNA Insurance Alf Costa has recently reviewed the latest Optima Classic Car Policy underwritten by Groupama – a policy that offers comprehensive protection for classic cars manufactured before 1988.

    The Optima classic car policy provides comprehensive cover against fire, theft and accidental damage with an excess that varies from £50-500 depending on the vehicle value. And if repairs need to be made, repairer options and cash settlements are on offer. This allows the vehicle owner to repair the car in the best way for them.

    The policy can also be extended to cover personal belongings branded to the car’s manufacturer or model. Classic cars can also be covered for commercial uses, including wedding hire, film sets and photo shoots.

    Alf Costa, Director of DNA Insurance commented, “This Groupama classic car full-cycle EDI policy appears to be fairly flexible. It allows the policyholder to change from road use to storage cover during the policy period, which is important as many are only driven in the summer.”

    For classic cars that are only in use during the summer months, car owners can change their policy from road use to storage cover within the policy period. This feature is offered in line with the new law obliges all off-road vehicles to be covered by a valid insurance policy unless they are covered by a Statutory Off Road Notification (or SORN).

    Mr. Costa also commented on the other benefits of the policy to DNA customers: “As the owner of a classic, it’s reassuring to know that agreed valuations can be added as a zero-cost option. And the use of a simple form completed by the broker or car club and emailed with photographs will certainly be welcomed by busy clients. In addition, their willingness to pay the policyholder directly for repairs to their own car after being involved in a claim and the provision of a dedicated claims line manned by experts who understand classic car users will ease the claim journey for policyholders.”

    This policy also allows customers to set their own mileage limits; classic cars are often driven less than everyday-use cars so tailoring mileages limit to individual needs will allow them to get the best deal for them. With the Optima Classic Car Policy, you can select your required mileage up to 5,000 miles at increments of 500 miles.

    To find out more about DNA Insurance, discuss your needs with a specialist advisor or get a quote, visit https://www.dna-insurance.com/.

     

  8. Danny Imray Charity Event

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    View the photos from the Charity event hosted by Danny Imray at the Maylands Golf Club for THe Bridge Kids Disabled School.

  9. EE 4G Coming To Birmingham & London Taxis For 3 Month Trial

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    Tech-taxis: is this the future?

    With free Virgin WiFi dominating the London Underground during the London Olympics, it appears that internet usage is set to be spreading across the public transport sector – after EE announced the arrival of its 4G to the UK’s taxis.

    Ever since smartphone users were treated to the super-fast network in early 2013, the increasing demand for on-the-go data has helped EE establish itself as a firm player in the internet arena. Not only is it super-fast, it’s also a super-clever move by the company, as both taxi drivers and its customers can enjoy better accessibility to the internet – creating a win-win situation all around.

    From smartphones to smart taxis

    This month will see 40 London taxis and 10 Birmingham taxis become 4G-equipped as part of a three month trial, each kitted out with a MiFi wireless router acting as a 4G hotspot. The timing of this will be a positive for both EE and taxis in the run up to the busy summer period, where if all goes to plan, 4G could be rolled out nationwide in time for the peak holiday season. Participating taxis will be made over in the trademark EE colour of aquamarine, and in order to take advantage of the service passengers simply have to send a text where they’ll receive a code that will allow them to start surfing online.

    It’s already received a positive response, with many customers excited about being able to access free internet on the move in two of the UK’s most bustling cities. Another incentive is the fact that this service is not just limited to 4G customers but to anyone with a 4G-enabled smartphone; unlike the initial launch at the start of the year.

    Here today, gone…never?

    Whilst the WiFi introduced on the London Tube during the Olympics was well-received, when its free run expired at the end of January 2013 to become a paid system, there was some worry that the number of users would decline. However, the appetite for mobile internet appears to be growing around the world, and should this scheme take off, then it’s inevitable that more taxis = more taxi insurance.

    Yet while it’s unknown just how much it will cost to furnish each of these smart taxis, it’s best to look out for cheap taxi insurance just in case. Hopefully this trial will result in a permanent campaign – and people all over the UK will get the chance to enjoy superfast broadband courtesy of the country’s fleet of taxis.

  10. Motor Trade Insurance vs Motor Fleet Insurance

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    Many businesses often fall foul of the law due to obtaining improper insurance, which is why DNA Insurance is on hand to advise you of the correct coverage. Take a look at the different benefits between motor trade insurance versus motor fleet insurance, and see how DNA Insurance can tailor a policy especially suited to your needs.

    There’s several types of cover available, but with a huge variety of insurance policies to choose from, can be confusing and time-consuming. Thankfully DNA Insurance offers a wide range of policies along with additional features to ensure your business – and your customers – are in safe hands.

    Motor trade insurance

    Professionals in the motor trade sector, whether full or part time, must ensure they are covered with motor trade insurance – otherwise known as road risk insurance. With several vehicles under your control and custody, motor trade insurance allows you to drive any vehicle as long as it is for the sole purpose of the motor trade.

    Cover your motor trade business with the help of our leading experts, where we can provide protection in the form of third party only, third party fire and theft as well as comprehensive coverage. Additionally, have you thought about investing in motor trade liability insurance? Should one of your employees incur an injury in the workplace, the motor trader will automatically be indemnified in the instance of any accidents.

    This is essential should a claim be made against your business, as legal wrangles can be lengthy and expensive. Providing cover for third party property damage, this also takes care of any legal defence costs.

    Motor fleet insurance

    As the fleet insurance industry becomes more competitive and insurers continue to push their premiums up, DNA Insurance gives a loyal approach to its customers by offering affordable policies without compromising on excellent service. We recognise the huge risks associated with insuring large fleets of vehicles, which is why we offer our exclusive fleet insurance as a single product to cover a number of vehicles – allowing you to protect your assets with one quick click.

    If your fleet consists of four or more vehicles we can help – plus we also offer a mixed service, letting you arrange cover for all types of vehicle under one simply policy.

    How do I find out more?

    When you become a customer of DNA Insurance, we understand that coverage is a long-term commitment – which is why we also offer a variety of dedicated options, including: a dedicated 24 hour claims helpline, instant cover, flexible payments terms, legal expenses as well as differing levels of indemnity coverage. We’re also proud to provide you with optional extras such as a combined policy, excess buyback and a protected no claims bonus.

    Get a quote now by calling us on 0844 573 2400, or head over to our Fleet Insurance advice page to find out more.