Changing taxi times call for electric underwriting

Etaxi Bloghead

Taxis are the ultimate ‘livelihood vehicle’. Their owners are reliant upon them to generate income. Whereas some vehicles are designed to take people to their place of work each day, taxis are a workplace of themselves, making motor insurance fundamental to maintaining their owners’ peace of mind.

We’ve had public and private hire cabs on our books for many years; now, as the taxi industry prepares to enter a new era of improved environmental efficiency, we’re proud to unveil our first ever electric vehicle insurance product, built to accommodate LEVC’s revolutionary electric TX.

The move to a greener London

Electric taxis are launching in cities nationwide, and last year TFL introduced rules that allowed only zero-emission capable vehicles to become additions to London's taxi fleet – a seismic change for anyone looking to upgrade their vehicle or enter the public hire taxi business.

Further, since 8th April, TFL has created an Ultra Low Emission Zone in central London, meaning that owners of older cabs may find themselves falling short of the new, tighter exhaust emission standards and forced to pay a charge every time they enter the zone.

The rise of the TX

These are necessary changes that the taxi industry must adopt for the city’s collective benefit, and taxi manufacturers LEVC have risen to the challenge admirably with the development of the TX, which hit the market in 2017 and, within a year, were the only taxi capable of meeting the TFL rules.

The TX is powered by revolutionary eCity technology that delivers zero-emissions. It requires fewer trips to the fuel pump and fewer trips to the garage thanks to 25,000 mile service intervals. For public hire taxi owners, the TX looks like an essential purchase. Not only are there a range of grants and incentives available to help owners cover the cost of replacing their old vehicles, but zero emission-capable vehicles don’t have to pay the Congestion Charge, benefit from reduced vehicle tax, and may even be applicable for free parking in some boroughs.

“Understandably, some taxi owners may have grumbles about these stringent new environmental regulations, they can at least console themselves with the knowledge that the TX is a fantastic electric vehicle with the potential to greatly reduce their weekly fuel bill,” says James Hayward, product manager for passenger carrying vehicles at ERS.

As a specialist motor insurer, we pride ourselves on the strength of our expertise and our dedication in supporting our brokers. We simply won’t insure a new vehicle unless we first understand it.

“With a new vehicle, it’s often challenging to understand the likely costs involved in a claim, or the underlying quality of the repairs market,” explains Hayward. “So when one of our brokers approached us with the opportunity to underwrite a new TX, we knew we’d have to do our homework. We spent three months getting to know every last detail about the TX, which is why we’re now able to offer a product for electric black cabs that is unrivalled in the market.”

The ERS product covers everything that a London cabbie needs, such as unlimited third party liability in line with the road traffic act, up to £20m third-party property damage (required by some licensing authorities) and the option of adding public liability (also required by some licensing authorities). By building our product around TFL licensing requirements – which are some of the most stringent in the world – we can now support TX owners not just in London but across the whole of the UK.

We’ve also partnered with Ascot, one of only a few approved distributors and repair companies for electric taxis, to ensure that in the event of damage to the vehicle, we can guarantee a first-rate repair job.

“At a time when black cab drivers are under more pressure than ever, due to the volume of new private hire providers flooding the market, we understand the importance of being thorough, diligent and precise when underwriting these livelihood vehicles,” says Hayward. “In the event that the worst happens, we pride ourselves on a smooth and seamless claims journey – something that can only be guaranteed when there’s an expert who understands the vehicle handling the claim.”

The future of urban taxis is electric, and the TX is without doubt the most exciting black cab we’ve ever come across, which is why we’ve taken the time and effort to look under the hood and develop an insurance product that’s truly fitting for this transformational taxi.

So, if you have cab driver customers that are considering an upgrade to the electric TX, get in touch today and we can tell you everything you need to know. 0345 600 3893 commercialquotes@ers.com

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