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How public liability insurance protects drivers

Wrapping an injured hand in a bandage

Taxi drivers know how important it is to have the right insurance to protect their business.

By law, all cab and private hire drivers must have third-party taxi insurance as the minimum cover. This is the lowest level of insurance and means that if they at fault for a crash, the other parties involved will be covered, as well as any passengers in the cab. But the driver will have to foot the bill for their own repairs and expenses.

In addition to this, they are losing money while their taxi is off the road.

The top level of cover is fully comprehensive taxi insurance. As well as covering third parties, this will also cover repairs to the driver’s vehicle in the event of a crash. This means their cab can be fully repaired and back on the road quickly so they can carry on doing what they do best.

Despite having fully comprehensive taxi insurance, drivers can still find themselves open to claims arising from other activities associated with their taxi business. These often occur when and where drivers least expect, but can be extremely costly and even threaten a driver’s livelihood.

Public liability insurance covers drivers in the event of liability claims relating to their activities as a taxi driver, which don’t arise from driving their vehicle. This type of insurance compliments taxi insurance as it does not include claims related to damage caused by their vehicle or injuries to passengers resulting from a crash, which are covered by standard taxi insurance.

Public liability insurance would, for example, protect a driver who was dropping off someone from an airport run and took the suitcases out of the taxi and placed them on the pavement. If anyone were to trip over the bags and hurt themselves, they would have a claim against the taxi driver who would be liable for damages unless they had public liability insurance.

For taxi drivers with school transport contracts, local authorities insist that they have public liability insurance, with many requiring £5 million or £10 million worth of cover. This is because if they were to drop off a student from school and they were hit by another vehicle as they got out of the taxi, the driver could be liable for damages if found negligent.

Despite the high amounts being covered, public liability insurance isn’t usually expensive and is sometimes automatically included as standard in some comprehensive taxi insurance policies. It is also available as an optional extra in others and, where it is not available from the taxi insurer, it can be taken out as a separate policy.

Having invested a lot of time, effort and money into their taxi business, it is worth drivers considering taking out public liability insurance to protect everything they have worked so hard for.

Paying out substantial public liability claims could lead to the loss of a taxi driver’s livelihood if they are forced to sell their vehicle to pay for damages. They could even face bankruptcy if they cannot cover all the costs involved in a claim.

Insurance brokers such as Patons Insurance can help drivers choose the public liability and taxi insurance policies that suit the needs of their business.

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.