Running a public or private vehicle hire can be treacherous—your drivers are picking up and transporting strangers all over the city at a rapid-fire pace. Accidents can occur at any time, threatening the safety of your employees and the viability of your business.
Ensure your business and its vehicles keep moving forward with a public and private vehicle hire insurance policy. Like personal vehicles, all hire vehicles are required by law to have insurance. Stay compliant and safeguard your business’ future by purchasing a comprehensive public and private vehicle hire policy.
Types of Cover Public and private vehicle hire insurance covers legions of cars available for either kind of hire. Public hire vehicles such as taxis and hackney carriages are permitted to ply for hire. Private hire vehicles are not permitted to ply for hire and can only be booked, usually via telephone, through the operator’s office or agency.
No matter what type of hire your business provides, insurers usually offer the same four covers, listed below, that are available to other commercial motor customers.
Act only cover is so named because it provides the minimum level of cover to satisfy the Road Traffic Act, insuring third party liability arising from the use of the vehicle ‘on a road or other public place’. Act only is rare and does not count on private premises.
Third party only cover extends protection beyond act only cover, shielding the insured against third party liability and not restricting cover to a road or other public place. This cover is usually regarded by the industry as the minimum level of protection.
Third party fire and theft builds upon third party only cover to include loss or damage by fire or theft.
Comprehensive cover offers the widest breadth of cover. It insures vehicles against most types of damage, such as collisions, fires, thefts and vandalism. It is easily the most popular type of cover.
Writing Your Policy When writing your public and private vehicle hire policy, insurers will typically use their standard commercial vehicle policy form with the following adjustments:
A third party property damage limit which commonly ranges between £1 million and £5 million, although larger indemnity limits can be arranged
Restrictions allowing only named, approved drivers
A set maximum value applying to all vehicles with the possibility to increase this for specified vehicles
Cover for spare parts and accessories only while attached to or with the vehicle
Public and Private Vehicle Hire Insurance
Even though insurers may use the same or similar forms to write policies, excess amounts will not be uniform— they can vary greatly depending on your organisation’s type of vehicle hire and level of risk. Insurers rate business’ risk exposure based on the named drivers, the amount of trade plates or a points system based on standard motor insurance factors, such as:
Drivers’ records, ages and experience
Type of business and vehicle(s)
Additional Covers to Consider Due to the complex, bespoke nature of public and private vehicle hire insurance, insurers offer an array of optional covers you can tack on to your main policy, including:
Public liability covers claims made against you by members of the public who suffer injury or damage as a result of your business. Some business clients may require this level of cover before hiring you.
Employers’ liability is required by UK law if you employ even one person.
Building, property and contents cover is recommended if you operate your business from a centralised location. It can cover your building and any property inside.
Accident and breakdown service
Car hire charges
Loss of earnings
Damage by misfuelling
Theft of fare money
Exclusions Despite providing an expansive selection of cover extensions, insurers impose several exclusions, some of which are listed below:
Theft of an unattended, unlocked vehicle
Unauthorised or unsafe vehicle use
Driving under the influence of drink or drugs
Damage caused by ‘road rage’
Bespoke Is Best Because your business’ risks are unique, ill-fitting insurance cover will not suffice—you need a bespoke policy that addresses each and every one of your business’ individual risks. Without a made-to-measure policy, you risk exposing your business to preventable, and possibly ruinous, risks. The insurance professionals at Inspire Insurance Services have the resources and expertise to craft a perfectly fitting policy that keeps your business’ vehicles on the road far into the future.