Calls for dedicated Private Hire Insurance database

The Chauffer reports – It’s been estimated there could be up to 279,000 uninsured taxi and Private Hire Vehicles operating on the UK’s roads – so now, an insurance company is calling for the introduction of an online portal allowing authorities to check policies.

The Taxi Insurance Checker (TIC) is the brainchild of industry brokers Plan Insurance which wants to see the database introduced to the industry. It would provide authorities access to live information regarding the validity of PH driver’s policies and whether it provides cover for carrying passengers for the purposes of Hire & Reward.

After TfL’s recent Private Hire regulations consultation, discussions have begun with key industry insiders to tackle issues of insurance fraud committed by private hire drivers. It comes after a spate of protests by the black cab trade calling for stricter enforcement of existing regulations. Cabbies have staged a series of demonstrations over last year targeting both Uber and TfL against what they feel is an uneven playing field.

Ryan Georgiades, Managing Director, Plan Insurance Brokers; “If implemented, we believe the plans being discussed will significantly reduce the number of taxi and private hire drivers able to perpetrate insurance fraud, whilst at the same time also improving safety and offering peace of mind to passengers and authorities alike.”

An insurance audit report leaked to the BBC in 2010 revealed 93% of 1,200 taxis inspected (outside of London) were not sufficiently insured. Since this research was conducted little has been done to improve regulators’ abilities to enforce and monitor driver’s insurance cover requirements. If the 93% figure is applied to current taxi numbers in the UK today, it would equate to 279,000 uninsured taxi and PHV drivers on the UK roads and over 88,000 in London alone.

Plan Insurance has been busy lobbying organisations with a vested interest in the implementation of TIC or a similar system. You can find out more about the proposals on the Plan Insurance Blog.