Private Hire, Minicab and Chauffeur Insurance Premiums Set To Rise Dramatically

Many of the big insurance companies in the UK that have for some time insured chauffeur driven cars are pulling out of that sector of the market for good due to heavy losses incurred over the last few years with claims going into tens of thousands of pounds per claim. Another company QBE will only accept renewal on existing chauffeur insurance policies but is turning down any proposals for new business. There are some new entrants coming into the market for chauffeur insurance but most of them are quoting ridiculous prices sometimes reaching up to three times as much of what the former companies were charging. Not only are they increasing the premiums on the chauffeur and minicab insurance but the added extras which made these packages so attractive are starting to disappear or have an extra charge attached to them. The PCO licensed loan / replacement car that used to be offered to London chauffeurs is now a chargeable extra. Many companies are refusing to give out open policies for any driver/chauffeur over the age of 25 or 30 and want named drivers only even with the high chauffeur insurance premiums increase.

The new pricing for private hire insurance will affect the industry badly and it is expected to drive the legal, law abiding licensees to cutting corners like keeping the car on a private insurance policy with the hope that they can get away with. Owner drivers who are working on their own with a chauffeur driven Mercedes Benz S class will never have to worry about this “little technicality” because the PCO inspectors are never thorough enough with their onsite or offsite inspections which should include talking to the clients/passengers at Heathrow and asking very simple questions as to what phone number they have rung to book the car and/or what the London chauffeur company they have booked this with is called.

It is understandable that the PCO licensees will look to cut this expense since the anti touting operations run in central London only target the minicab tout who is doing 20 jobs per night from the West End and not the chauffeur tout who is driving a brand new uninsured chauffeur driven Mercedes Benz S class which the authorities find very intimidating and hesitate to stop especially when it is registered in Germany or France. An operation run by the London Metropolitan police has been set up for this kind of offence due to these cars entering the UK and not paying speeding fines, parking tickets or the London congestion charge but until all the agencies start working together on this issue we will be in a harsh competition battle with people that shouldn’t even be driving on the UK roads.