Having taxi insurance that will take care of repairs and quickly get a cab back on the road gives many taxi drivers huge peace of mind. But if you are involved in a collision, there are steps you have to take to make sure your insurance claim goes smoothly and you won’t be left with any expensive surprises.
Finding somewhere safe to stop
If you are unfortunate enough to have a collision with another vehicle or a pedestrian, the first thing you should do is find somewhere safe to stop and exchange details. If it is a serious crash and people are hurt, the emergency services should be called immediately and no attempt should be made to move vehicles or casualties.
If there is little or no damage, you should still try to exchange details at the scene so that problems do not arise later in the event of a claim such as allegations of failing to stop at the scene of an accident.
Exchanging details with third parties
The driver of each vehicle involved should provide their name, address and insurance details to the drivers of any other vehicles or any pedestrians involved. If they have struck a parked car and the owner cannot be located, they should leave their details in a note on the windscreen and notify their insurer or insurance broker.
If anyone is injured, it is a legal requirement that insurance details must be exchanged. It is vital that the emergency services are called so that anyone hurt can receive necessary treatment. It also means that action can be taken in terms of liability or in the event the crash was caused by negligence or dangerous driving.
As well as exchanging details with all third parties involved, it is important to get details of any witnesses to the crash. Should there a dispute over liability, this is where independent witnesses and dash-cam footage can prove vital. You should always let your insurer and the police know about witnesses or any dash-cam footage you have.
Setting the scene for your insurer
As well as getting the necessary details, when it is safe to do so, you should take photographs or videos of the scene showing location, as well as any damage to vehicles. This will help your insurer process the claim, especially when liability is being disputed.
Many insurers require drivers to notify them of collisions within a certain time period, such as 24 hours. Drivers should make sure they are aware of all the requirements of their taxi insurance policy so that it does not invalidate a claim or leave them facing penalties such as increased excess.
The Association of British Insurers warns that if you are unable to exchange details, “you must report the accident to the police within 24 hours. Failure to do so could result in a fine, penalty points, or even disqualification”.
Making an insurance claim
Having exchanged details with all third parties and contacted the emergency services if necessary, the driver’s next call should be to their insurance to give details of the crash while it is still fresh in their minds. They need to provide the time, date, location, details and positions of other vehicles involved including the make, model, colour and registration, as well as the details of other drivers and any witnesses. They should also record details of driving conditions such as the weather, visibility, levels of traffic and road conditions.
The insurance company or broker should be made aware of any injuries, as well as if the police have been notified or fire or ambulance service have been called.
The insurer will then work with others involved to determine who was at fault and arrange for vehicles to be repaired and any losses compensated for.
In the case of minor collisions, drivers should still inform their insurers even if they are not making a claim. Failure to do so could result in higher premiums in future or could invalidate a policy in the event of a claim.
The most important thing for taxi drivers to remember is to give as full an account as possible to their insurer as well as being completely honest, especially when it comes to liability. No one likes admitting they are in the wrong, but it is better to be upfront about it than to have a claim go against them after an investigation.
All information is correct at time of publication. Information provided within this article may have changed over time. No responsibility for its accuracy or correctness is assumed by John Patons Insurance Services or any of its employees.