2022 ERS Taxi Reemerging BL

Following 12 months of stagnation in 2021, the taxi market shows signs of a most welcome resurgence.

The latest Government figures – which run to March 2022 – confirm more than 260,700 licensed public and private hire taxis on UK roads, an increase of 3.8% on 2021 and evidence that the trials and tribulations of the pandemic are now in the rearview mirror.

While the data suggests that London is leading the resurgence, the demand we’re seeing for taxi cover is nationwide and greatly exceeds our projections. It’s an exciting moment, which is why we’ve been hard at work optimising our taxi offering to make it easier than ever to trade with us.

But what exactly is driving the resurgence, and where how can brokers capitalise on the growth opportunity?

Market twists and turns

Taxi numbers reached record levels in the years up to the pandemic before nosediving in 2020. Some drivers left the profession or diversified into courier work; others retained their licenses to remain eligible for Government Covid relief but ceased active trading.

Further changes occurred in 2021, with some vehicles returning to the market, but driver numbers continued to fall, leading to overall stagnation.

Fast forward to today: society is reopened, office-working is back, tourism is rejuvenated, and the backlog of applications within taxi licensing authorities is easing, creating a much-needed flow of new drivers (although not enough to address the current shortfall in supply versus demand).

Interestingly, the new data shows fewer drivers per vehicle, implying that more taxi drivers are now self-employed rather than engaged by private hire firms. They’re also driving more conventional working hours, opting for daylight work rather than evening and night shifts, and finding more than enough demand to justify it – particularly those alternating between passenger and courier work.

Finally, the pandemic hasn’t derailed the UK’s long-term green transport initiatives, and this too is reflected in the figures, which show the proportion of LEVC electric taxis in London rising from 3% to 10% in just 12 months, with the traditional TX4 model down from 23% to 17% in the same period.

A unified product

We are seeing high levels of taxi customer churn as carriers who chased the market during Covid are now finding themselves with no choice but to impose unpalatable rate rises.

Coupled with the steady rise in overall vehicle numbers, it’s a great time for us to renew our focus on growing accounts with key brokers.

We have a long-term commitment to the taxi trade, and we have designed our taxi product as a beacon of consistency in an otherwise inconsistent insurance market.

Not only that, but in March 2022, we launched several product updates to help brokers secure the best possible cover for their taxi customers:

1) A+ rated product for all taxi insurance needs

We’ve combined our four product classes – standard, non-standard, exec and chauffeur, and wedding hire – into a single taxi product, accessible to brokers via eTrade.

Drawing upon 25 years of trading expertise, augmented by a wide range of datasets to inform our pricing, this unified offering presents a one-stop shop for all taxi risks. It’s the most efficient way to trade with us. Brokers input the details of each risk, and our rating model automatically assesses it according to use case.

Through ERS eTrade, we can deliver instant pricing for simple taxi quote requests and a fast-tracked two-hour turnaround for more complex enquiries.

2) Extended access to our taxi product

All brokers can now view our up-to-date taxi rates and submit quote requests via ERS eTrade and traditional insurance software houses.

All pricing is backed by specialist vehicle/usage data and our expert underwriting team, and you don’t have to be an existing ERS partner, or a specialist taxi broker, to put in a request.

3) Extended taxi diversification cover

We continue to support taxi drivers beyond the pandemic, looking to diversify thier taxi usage into areas such as couriering and giving every driver the maximum opportunity to earn - without having to worry about the insurance ramifications of taking on extra work.

4) Taxi cover you can rely on

Over two decades, we’ve built out an industry-leading taxi product to cover everything a driver could need – from adherence to stringent local licensing requirements to £20m third-party property damage and the option of adding public liability.

It’s vital that insurers such as ourselves continue to support hardworking drivers and the taxi trade at large. By unifying our taxi product, making it more straightforward, more flexible, and more accessible to all brokers, our goal is to ensure every driver can get a fair deal on their insurance from a trusted, A-rated provider.

The fastest way to access our latest Lloyd’s A+ rated taxi offering is via ERS eTrade. Sign-up today

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