​Your community needs you!

Taxi Covid Blog

By James Hayward at ERS

As the UK enters partial lockdown, people everywhere are encountering unexpected difficulties with even the most basic of day-to-day activities. Life is made infinitely more complex when schools are closed for the foreseeable future, when shop shelves are stripped bare every morning, or when isolated elderly relatives can no longer be paid a regular visit.

The reality is that millions of people – whether they’re key NHS workers, people with underlying health conditions, or frazzled parents trying to simultaneously work from home while looking after children – need a bit of extra help and support, and it’s been incredibly gratifying to see the upsurge in community support over the past few days.

From hashtags such as #SelfIsolationHelp and #CovidCommunityResponse to the plethora of Facebook groups created by people keen to volunteer their time, the news is awash with stories of generosity, self-sacrifice and good old-fashioned community spirit.

The same is absolutely true in our world. As a motor insurer, we support hundreds of brokers whose customers are currently making a manifest difference to the lives of those around them at this difficult time. So we thought we’d take this opportunity to give a shout-out to some of the community-minded drivers that are giving their all to help others get through the COVID crisis.

Taxi drivers going above and beyond

Volunteer taxi drivers in the rural North West have put themselves forward to go shopping for NHS staff that are struggling to find the time to pick up urgent supplies, charging only for the goods purchased and delivering them direct to their doorstep. In Shropshire, taxi drivers have also risen to the occasion, working with shops, restaurants and take-aways to deliver food and supplies to those who are self-isolating or quarantined, in doing so helping more local businesses to stay afloat.

It’s a similar story all over the nation, and these generous acts are occurring at a time when many taxi drivers are themselves battling to sustain their livelihoods, following the significant drop-off in demand for airport routes, bar and restaurant pickups or town centre trips.

Times may be tough, but taxi drivers’ sense of community spirit is shining through, and we’re proud to have many thousands of public and private hire cabs on our books, ensuring these ‘livelihood vehicles’ are able to stay on the road and – crucially – are covered in the event of an accident.

Redeploying the nation’s minibuses

Across the UK there are many thousands of minibuses that – until recently – were relied upon every day to underpin a variety of local transportation needs. These are the vehicles that transport sports teams to competitions, that courier care workers from venue to venue, or allow charities to arrange events for the vulnerable or disadvantaged. They’re owned by schools, not-for-profit organisations and local businesses that care passionately about serving the needs of the communities in which they operate.

While sports clubs may have been forced to close and care homes may no longer be able to take their residents out, across the entire spectrum of community minibuses we’re seeing organisations redeploying their vehicles to provide vital local services. For example, football clubs of all sizes are dropping off food parcels for elderly people; schools are ferrying the children of key workers to and from school every day, with plans to extend this through the Easter holidays.

The minibus world is hugely diverse and these vehicles are often owned by organisations with limited budgets. They need their motor insurance to be affordable and they need the security of a Lloyds-backed insurer to guarantee a pay out in the event that disaster strikes.

Making our policies easy to access

Now is not a time for overt sales pitches, but equally, it’s important that all brokers serving these organisations are able to fully support them at a time when their vehicles are being so heavily relied upon.

At a time of national crisis, we should take great comfort in the generosity of spirit being shown by community organisations across the entire country, and we’re very proud to call many of these organisations our customers.

If you’re looking for Commercial motor insurance advice in these unprecedented times, please contact our specialist team at commercialquotes@ers.com

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