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AGE BARRIER: Worrying insurance crisis for over-70 black taxi drivers emerges



A black cab fleet expert has raised concerns about the increasing difficulty for drivers over 70 to secure insurance.


Many seasoned drivers are now being denied policy renewals purely based on age, regardless of their driving records.

This troubling trend comes amid a broader spike in insurance premiums, which have risen by up to a third. Even drivers with many years of no claims are not spared from these hikes.


In the backdrop of these challenges, fleet insurance premiums have jumped by as much as £3,000 annually, pushing rental prices higher.


A London taxi fleet owner highlighted these financial pressures, bringing to light the often overlooked struggles faced by older drivers. The refusal to insure veteran cabbies is fast becoming a critical issue in the industry.


A black cab fleet expert said in TAXI newspaper: “It's not much better for mushers (taxi driver owners), as insurance premiums are rising by anything up to a third, again irrespective of individual claims, often even for people with no claims in many years.


“There is also a major problem with insurers refusing to cover older drivers, with some being refused a renewal past the age of 70!”

The increase in taxi insurance policy prices can be attributed to several key factors:


1. Rising Claims Costs: The cost of settling claims has increased, driven by higher vehicle repair costs, medical expenses, and legal fees. This results in insurers passing these costs onto policyholders.


2. Fraudulent Claims: There has been an uptick in fraudulent claims, particularly in the form of "crash for cash" scams. This increases the overall risk for insurers, prompting them to raise premiums.


3. Regulatory Changes: New regulations and legal requirements can impact insurance costs. For example, changes in personal injury claim laws or stricter licensing requirements can affect premiums.


4. Market Conditions: The insurance market's competitive dynamics can influence pricing. Fewer insurers in the market or increased risk perceptions can lead to higher premiums.


5. Increased Traffic and Accidents: Higher traffic volumes and accident rates in urban areas like London contribute to a higher risk environment for taxi drivers, leading to increased premiums.


6. Driver Demographics: Insurers may perceive older drivers as higher risk, despite their experience. This demographic shift, coupled with an ageing driver population, can impact overall insurance costs.


These factors combined create a challenging environment for taxi insurance, resulting in the significant premium increases currently observed.

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