Taxi insurance for Uber drivers

With the ride-hailing app Uber now a mainstay in many UK cities, working as an Uber driver can be a tempting opportunity – there’s the opportunity to earn extra income, work as your own boss and choose your own flexible hours. Although it’s reasonably straightforward to start driving for Uber, one thing you’ll need is the right taxi insurance.

With the ride-hailing app Uber now a mainstay in many UK cities, working as an Uber driver can be a tempting opportunity – there’s the opportunity to earn extra income, work as your own boss and choose your own flexible hours. Although it’s reasonably straightforward to start driving for Uber, one thing you’ll need is the right taxi insurance.

Daniel Hutson
From the Motor team
5
minute read
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Posted 13 MAY 2021

Do I need specialist taxi insurance to work as an Uber driver?

Uber does not officially recognise itself as a private taxi service. It is careful to point out that it is instead a ride-hailing network that connects passengers with local drivers. But, in the eyes of the law, Uber drivers are certainly taxi drivers. Private-hire car insurance is a legal requirement in the UK for those who drive a car that is being used on a commercial ‘hire for reward’ basis.

Uber have been fighting a legal ruling in the UK supreme court that challenges the employment status of their drivers, but, as it stands in Uber’s eyes, drivers are independent contractors and are responsible for their own insurance. So, if you want to drive for Uber, or for up-and-coming competitors like Bolt, Kapten and Ola, you’ll need private-hire car insurance to protect you, your car and your passengers.

In addition to this, you’ll also need a valid UK driver’s licence and a private-hire licence from the council for the area that you’ll be working in.

Will I be covered by my normal car insurance?

Your car insurance company regards Uber drivers as private-hire taxi drivers – which means you’ll need taxi insurance to drive for Uber. Your normal car insurance will be invalidated if you’re driving a paying customer and you have an accident. 

Do I need public or private hire car insurance?

To drive for Uber, you’ll need private-hire insurance. Private-hire insurance is designed to cover taxis that must be pre-booked and can’t be hailed in the street, like ‘Ubers’.

Public-hire taxis are those you can hail on the street or pre-book – like the traditional London black cabs.

What does taxi insurance cover?

It depends on the type of cover you choose:

  • Third-party insurance is the minimum level of cover needed to legally drive on UK roads. It covers you for injury or damage you cause to other people, but it doesn’t cover personal injury or repairs to your taxi.
  • Third party, fire and theft insurance compensates you if your taxi is stolen or damaged by fire, and it covers injury or damage you cause to other people, but it won’t cover any repairs to your taxi.
  • Fully comprehensive insurance is the most complete cover. It includes all the same protection as Third party, Fire and Theft, plus extra protection for you and your taxi. Depending on the policy, it may also include compensation for medical treatment and accidental damage.

It’s a good idea to compare different policies to see what cover they include and to be aware of any exceptions. Even fully comprehensive taxi insurance policies will not cover you for:

  • Accidents caused by unsafe driving, or driving under the influence of alcohol
  • Theft, if the keys were left inside the car.
  • Working as an Uber driver outside the area covered by your insurance policy

Do I need any other insurance to work as an Uber driver?

It’s a good idea to have public liability insurance to cover you in case a passenger is injured or if their property is damaged while in your car. It’s often included as part of taxi insurance, or can be added on as an extra. 

Will taxi insurance also cover me for personal use?

Some private-hire insurance policies may only cover you while there is a fare-paying passenger in the car, so you would need to arrange separate cover for your personal use. It’s important to check the details of your policy carefully to make sure you’re covered.

Does Uber provide insurance?

It varies country to country, depending on the different rules and regulations in place. In the US, for example, where Uber was founded, the company offer some insurance cover for their drivers when they are transporting passengers. But here in the UK, Uber do not offer any insurance cover – drivers are expected to arrange their own.

Will Uber check my insurance? What else do I need to be an Uber driver?

Uber will ask you to upload your policy documents to prove that you have the proper private-hire insurance in place before you can start driving for them.

How much does taxi insurance cost for Uber drivers?

The cost of taxi insurance depends on a number of factors, for example:

  • the area where you plan to drive for Uber
    your age
  • how long you’ve held your driving licence and any previous points or convictions
  • how many years of no-claims discount you hold as a taxi driver
  • the type of car you drive and its condition

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