A beginners’ guide to chauffeur insurance

There are sometimes various terms used to describe the cover associated with vehicles that are used for passenger-carrying under hire and reward terms:

  • taxi insurance;
  • chauffeurs’ insurance;
  • private hire insurance; etc.

While they might all sound similar, there are differences between them. Here we will examine specifically “chauffeurs’ insurance” and how it typically differs from some other descriptions.

Chauffeurs’ insurance cover

Generally, there may be some things that distinguish a chauffeur’s business operations from those more commonly associated with taxis and private hire companies such as minicabs.

A chauffeur’s business might typically:

  • involve the use of an expensive and prestigious marque vehicle;
  • the vehicle will not typically carry a two-way radio and apart perhaps from a telephone for occasional use, it will not be in direct contact with or under the control of a dispatcher or controller;
  • the financial transactions will normally take place between the company and the client by accounts rather than cash or card payments in the vehicle itself;
  • chauffeurs might have had more extensive vetting of their backgrounds and driving history than might be the case with some other forms of private hire operations.

Not all of these factors will necessarily be the case in every situation.  For example, it may be that you are a company providing chauffeur-driven services aimed at more everyday markets and therefore not necessarily using prestigious and expensive vehicles.

Even so, these characteristics will usually be taken into account by providers of insurance for chauffeurs and will be used to provide some differentiation between different types of vehicle hire services.  This is important because it will, in part, define things such as the cover that is suited to you and the associated premium.

Understanding the typical components of cover

When speaking of specific insurance for chauffeurs, it may break down into a number of different cover areas:

  • financial protection for injuries to the chauffeur and passengers, should there be an accident;
  • third party liability, covering situations where somebody not directly connected with driving or using the vehicle may have been injured as a result of an incident involving it. This cover is usually a legal requirement;
  • the various forms of cover for the vehicle itself, which might include things such as fire, theft, vandalism and the theft of contents held within it;
  • policies might also offer a range of voluntary options including things such as an emergency replacement vehicle etc.

As with any form of vehicle insurance, terms, conditions and exclusions will apply.  It is important to read a policy thoroughly before purchasing it, to ensure that you are satisfied with those areas in the context of your unique business operation.

Qualifying drivers

Individual chauffeurs’ insurance policies may vary considerably in terms of their approach to permissible drivers under cover. It may be possible to select “any driver” cover, though it may be more cost-attractive to opt for “named driver” type policies.

In the case of any-driver policies, these may still specify certain minimum acceptance criteria for the chauffeurs concerned.  These might typically be related to things such as age, experience and the status of the driver’s licence – including not offering standard cover to people with certain categories of motoring conviction.

Fleet insurance

Although many chauffeur hire businesses are small, perhaps based around a single owner-driver, others may be larger and include a number of vehicles and employed chauffeurs.

In such cases, it may be advisable to discuss private hire chauffeur fleet policies with an experienced provider of insurance for chauffeurs.

As a specialist chauffeur insurance broker, Aston Scott can help you with issues and questions arising from the above.  Please contact us today on 03300 085045.

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