Why taxi insurance? Great question. Taxis are big business in South Africa, and if you’re thinking about owning or operating a taxi in the country, then you’re going to need to seriously consider insurance options, and that includes specific taxi insurance. But we’re here with all you need to know about cab insurance, so get to reading!
Taxis in South Africa
Before we get to the issue of taxi insurance, let’s take a minute to remember just how important taxis are in South Africa. Since the industry was deregulated in the late 1980s, taxis have been a huge part of the South African economy. There are some 200,000 licensed minibus taxis on roads, and many, many more unlicensed vehicles. Taxis transport around 14 million people per day, and are by far the most popular method of transport in most urban areas.
Of course, those big numbers have a dark side as well. Given how many taxis are on roads, inevitably, there are accidents. Of the average 36 people that die in road accidents in South Africa each day, about 3 of those are in taxi related incidents. The Automobile Association of South Africa found that there are around 70,000 minibus taxi accidents each year, which is double the rate of accidents for passenger cars!
Clearly, taxi insurance is going to need to be a big consideration if you want to own or drive a taxi!
What Is Taxi Insurance?
Every vehicle on the road in South African must have insurance to be legally driven, and taxis are no different. A taxi also MUST have passenger liability insurance (to cover costs of passengers being injured in an accident). However, you don’t have to have specific taxi insurance, you can have regular vehicle insurance instead.
But there is a good reason that you might want to opt for taxi insurance over any other kind of vehicle insurance. Taxi insurance is specifically designed to meet the needs of taxi owners and drivers. That means that you can expect to get coverage for things that aren’t covered under more traditional vehicle insurance. We’ll get to what kinds of coverage you can expect in a moment, but first, let’s look at why regular vehicle insurance might not be right for taxis.
Why Not Traditional Car Insurance?
There are a few reasons that you might not want to opt for traditional car insurance if you’re operating a taxi:
- In general, a normal car insurance won’t cover passenger liability (which you’re required to have), so you’ll need to get an additional passenger liability policy on top of your regular car insurance;
- Regular car insurance can end up being very expensive, since many insurance companies charge higher premiums for drivers who cover many kilometres each year;
- Additionally, many regular car insurance companies won’t cover you if you use your car for business, meaning you’ll need to get a specific business car insurance plan anyway (at which point, you’ll probably be better off going with a taxi insurance policy).
Okay, So Who Sells Taxi Insurance?
If you’re looking at taxi insurance options, then you’re probably looking at companies that specifically sell taxi insurance rather than normal car insurance companies. However, some regular car insurance companies (such as Kestrel insurance brokers, for example) do have taxi insurance products.
What Can I Expect from Taxi Insurance?
Of course, specific policies vary between companies, but there are certain things that you can expect to see in a taxi insurance policy:
- Passenger liability insurance will be included;
- You should have the option to choose comprehensive, third party only, or third party fire and theft insurance (confused? Check our car insurance terms and definitions page!);
- Specific insurance policies for metered taxis;
- Discounts for adding more vehicles to your policy (handy if you’re building a fleet of taxis!);
- Personal accident coverage for both driver and passengers;
- Many taxi insurance policies also offer compensation to the driver if a taxi cannot be driven for a certain amount of time due to an accident (to cover lost earnings);
- Finally, many specific taxi insurance plans also cover loss of or damage done to luggage.
Your policy will depend on the company that you choose, but these are the main features seen in most taxi insurance plans.
With so many accidents involving taxis on South African roads, it’s obviously a good idea to have insurance to protect your investment and your livelihood, quite apart from the fact that you legally must have insurance to drive. Specific taxi insurance policies do tend to be a good bet if you’re a taxi owner/operator, quite simply because they provide coverage that’s better tailored to what you need. Insurance is a must, but taxi insurance is definitely worth considering!
Main subject: taxi insurance
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