Tag Archive: taxi insurance

  1. A Beginner’s Guide to Minibus Insurance

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    Some vehicles require specialist insurance due to the nature of their use or the number of passengers they can carry. This often applies to minibuses which are generally used to ferry people about, whether that be for free or for a fee. Generally speaking the more passengers your minibus can carry, the larger your insurance premium is likely to be.

    In this article we’re going to take a quick look at minibus insurance and when you’re likely to need it.

    What is a Minibus?

    A minibus is defined as a vehicle with nine to sixteen seats, including the driver’s seat. Anything under that will be classed by your insurance provider as an MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) or car and anything over that will be classed as a coach.

    Types of Insurance Associated with Minibuses

    If you own a minibus you need to be very clear on how you plan to use it as this will affect the type of insurance you take out and ultimately your premium. There are different types of insurance you can hold when driving a minibus:

    • Minibus Insurance
      If you’re using your minibus to ferry people from one place to another in a non-commercial situation then you’re going to need minibus insurance. This could be for a charity, church or a school or sports club.
    • Taxi Insurance
      If your minibus is being uses as to transport people for a fee then you’ll need to take out specialist taxi insurance.
    • Van Insurance (Commercial)
      If you are using your minibus for commercial purposes other than as a taxi, then it’s more likely you’ll need to take out van insurance. Van insurance doesn’t include the option of ‘social, domestic, pleasure and commuting’ class of use, so even if you use it just once to get to work you’ll need to have commercial van insurance.

    The important thing to remember about minibus insurance is to make it absolutely clear to your insurance provider what you are using the vehicle for. You should also keep your insurance provider informed of any changes in the way you use the vehicle. Failure to do this could result in your insurance becoming invalid.

    For more information on minibus insurance call and speak to one of our experts today on 03445 732 400 or visit our minibus insurance page for more details.

  2. Taxi Drivers turning away fares over Safety Fears

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    Safety has always been a huge issue for taxi drivers, as essentially they let dozens of strangers enter their vehicles during each shift, and it only takes one to put them in danger. Unfortunately, we often see stories in the news about taxi drivers who have been assaulted by passengers because they are under the influence of alcohol or are trying to get away without paying their fare.

    This is why many local councils have regular meetings with taxi drivers in their constituencies – particularly public hire ones – where they discuss how to improve their safety. Some towns have already introduced taxi marshals at busy taxi ranks in order to improve the safety of both taxi drivers and those waiting for taxis; however some are thinking about going even further. For example, a number of taxi drivers and local politicians are campaigning for CCTV to be installed in all taxis, which will hopefully deter passengers from engaging in illegal activity, or will catch them if they do.

    However, some taxi drivers believe that the only way to stay completely safe is to flat out refuse fares which they think will put them in danger. Recently there has been a spate of robberies and attacks on taxis drivers in the East Lincolnshire area during the early hours of the morning, which has left many taxi drivers feeling concerned about picking up such fares. Roy Grantham from Links Taxis is just one of the taxi drivers in the area who has been affected, and he believes that the situation is becoming more dangerous.

    He said: “I started in 2001 and I believe it’s getting worse. We are hearing on a daily basis of people not getting paid and being threatened. I have had plenty of people refusing to pay, arguments
    with people that have been abrupt towards me, but this is the worst I have felt since 2008. My views on the job at the minute aren’t very good. We are very vulnerable. I think I’m going to have to stick with it at the minute but as soon as I get the chance to get another job I will be gone. It’s just not safe.

    “I’m going to be carrying on going out in the morning but I’m going to be very much more aware and self-conscious about picking people up on street corners and phone boxes. A lot of the taxi drivers I have been talking to said they are going to do the same. If they don’t like the look of somebody or are suspicious acting or who are not from a proper address they might all refuse the fare. There’s innocent people out there and you shouldn’t tar everyone with the same brush but we have got to do what is safe for us.”

    Paul Revell, manager of Links Taxis, understands why his staff including Paul are concerned, and added: “We have always had a problem with people not paying fares, but we have had a lot more support from the police than in the past in that they do tend to make an effort and follow up incidents in order to retrieve drivers’ fares. I can see a time where we are not going to pick anybody up in the twilight hours if they are not seen to come from an address.”

    When it comes to staying safe, Revell says that taxi drivers “have got to make a decision before they have got somebody in the car. It’s very difficult if you stop and they approach the car. The best thing is to weigh it up as you’re driving – you are not necessarily their car as far as they are concerned.” Naturally, if your vehicle is damaged or your money is stolen while on a job the local police and your taxi insurance provider will be there to help, however they are not always able to solve physical or emotional injuries to the drivers themselves.

    If you are ever concerned about a certain fare then it may be a good idea to adopt a policy such as Roy Grantham, and not pick up anyone unless it is from an actual address. Don’t forget that if you are affected by theft or assault by a passenger to call the police straight away, as it is likely the culprits will try the same thing again with other taxi drivers.

    Photo by Albert Bridge / CC BY-SA 2.0

     

  3. 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.