Taxi Dual Bl

By James Hayward, Product Manager for Passenger Carrying Vehicles at ERS

If 2020 was a turbulent year for the taxi industry, 2021 has sadly not yet brought any respite, with the latest nationwide lockdown depressing passenger numbers once more.

Earning a living wage from full-time cab work when people are being asked to stay at home and avoid all but essential travel is extremely difficult, whether you’re travelling around your local community in search of passengers or you’re sat waiting outside a central city railway station.

And yet, with the Covid vaccination programme accelerating in the direction of some highly ambitious Government targets, there’s a growing sense that the UK’s vast fleet of cab drivers could very much be needed in the weeks and months ahead.

We’re already seeing evidence that local councils are considering enlisting taxi drivers to transport people to and from their vaccination appointments, while black cab drivers themselves are calling upon the Government to empower them to take on this task.

Supporting Taxi drivers during the Pandemic

Of course, it’s too early to say whether the vaccination programme will create meaningful paid work to plug the shortfall in conventional passenger fares, and that’s why we’re continuing to do everything we can to help taxi drivers protect their livelihoods.

Since the start of the pandemic we’ve returned significant amount of premium to drivers whose taxis have been laid-up entirely as well as offering extension of use cover as standard across all taxi policies, allowing drivers to branch into goods delivery without causing them an unexpected insurance headache.

What’s more, for the first time we’re now able to offer dual occupation cover, available to any driver who is looking to supplement the shortfall in taxi work with a second job, or indeed, for whom driving a cab no longer constitutes their primary source of income.

Motor insurers are normally reluctant to offer dual occupation cover. The risk is that drivers take on more work than they can physically or mentally handle, taking on full-time roles during the day before occupying the roads for long periods at night.

It’s a situation we’ve always looked to discourage for safety reasons, but as the Covid crisis continues, we recognise that this is not the prevailing trend right now. Many taxi drivers need to find alternative work until their passengers return, and so it’s right that we remove as many roadblocks as possible from their path.

Protecting drivers as they return to work

In addition to making brokers aware of our dual occupation cover, we’re also encouraging our broker partners to check in with their laid-up taxi driving customers before they consider a return to work. We’ve all seen the high profile reports about taxis being stored in fields and car parks due to lack of demand, and while this may not be true of the majority of laid-up cabs, any vehicle that’s been out of action for a long period needs to be fully assessed to check that it’s still in a badge-worthy. condition.

Finally, a shout out to every driver to stay safe. Many taxi drivers will have Covid-secured their cabs some months ago, but the same won’t necessarily be true of those planning to enter or return to the trade in the months ahead. So brokers, please make sure your clients pick up their PPE, install those protective screens and rest assured that, whether they’re transporting passengers or home deliveries, the newly vaccinated or the highly vulnerable, we’ve got their backs when it comes to their Taxi insurance.

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If you’re looking for Taxi motor insurance advice in these unprecedented times, please contact our specialist team at

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