Experts in Taxi Insurance

Taxi Insurance Glossary


We know the terms used in the insurance industry can seem like jargon sometimes! Whether you're on the phone to us, reading articles on this website or trying to understand your taxi insurance policy documents, we want our customers to understand the phrases they might come across. 

We hope you find this list helpful. 

Association of British Insurers (ABI)

The ABI is a trade association made up of over 250 insurance companies. They're the voice of the insurance sector, representing its interests and promoting understanding of its products and services to consumers. The ABI don't sell insurance or regulate the industry.

Black Cab

The phrase doesn't just refer to the iconic black London taxis we're so familiar with (also seen in other parts of the UK, too). Black cabs are synonymous with taxis that are available for public hire, i.e. they can be hailed on the street without prior booking (see Public Hire). Black cabs / public hire vehicles are also known as hackney carriages.

Certificate of Insurance

Proof that your vehicle is insured. Your certificate of insurance may be attached in an email or physically sent to you in the post. It will show:

  • your policy number
  • the period of insurance
  • who is insured
  • details of the vehicle insured
  • the level of cover (comprehensive, third party fire and theft or third party)

Comprehensive Insurance

The highest level of cover you can buy. Comprehensive insurance (also known as “fully comp”) covers damage to the policyholder’s vehicle, whether they’re involved in an at-fault accident, a victim of vandalism, fire, theft or simply another person’s poor driving. Your legal liability to third parties is also included.

DBS Check

DBS stands for Disclosure and Barring Service (formerly called the Criminal Records Bureau or CRB). If you're applying for a job in certain roles, your employer will ask to carry out a DBS check to discover any criminal records that might make you unsuitable for working with the public.

There are three levels of standard or enhanced DBS checks that an organisation can carry out, plus a basic check that self-employed taxi drivers can request, showing unspent convictions or cautions.


A code added to your driving licence after being convicted of a motoring offence. Some examples are:

  • Speeding offences – SP30, SP50
  • Drink driving – DR10
  • Mobile phone while driving – CU80

Endorsements remain on your record for between four and eleven years from the date of conviction, depending on the seriousness of the offence. You must disclose any unspent endorsements to an insurer if they ask you about them.

While on your licence an endorsement can affect the cost of your taxi insurance. At Fare Cover we specialise in helping convicted taxi drivers find affordable cover.


An excess is the first amount of any claim that you are required to pay. For example, if a policy carries a £400 excess and the cost of repairs following an accident is £1,000, the policyholder will pay the first £400 and the insurer will pay the balance of £600. If a third party is found to be at fault in an accident, you can claim back your excess from their insurance company. 

Fleet insurance

Multiple vehicles being insured on the same policy such as company cars, couriers and taxis. Fare Cover are able to provide quotes for Taxi fleet insurance.

Group Rating System

A rating from 1 to 50 that every car is given by the Group Rating Panel, with vehicles in Group 1 generally being cheaper to insure and vehicles in Group 50 being very expensive to insure. The following factors can affect a vehicles's rating:

  • engine size
  • safety rating
  • repair cost / readily available parts
  • security features

Hackney Carriages

See Public Hire and Black Cabs.


A vehicle that was manufactured outside of the UK and imported in. There are two types of import:

  • Parallel import – a vehicle imported from within the EU and meeting European standards
  • Grey import – a vehicle imported from outside the EU that doesn’t meet European standards. The USA and Japan are two popular examples of grey imports.

Grey imports will usually cost more to insure, partly because of the difficulty of sourcing parts.

Material Fact

Information that could influence the insurer’s decision to provide you with insurance and the cost of the premium. Such information could be in regard to your driving history, previous claims, unspent convictions, modifications to the vehicle or other drivers on the policy. 


A change to your vehicle that isn’t factory standard. This includes:

  • performance-enhancing mods such as engine modifications
  • cosmetic enhancements such as window tints and spoilers
  • alterations for disabled drivers

Modifications are material facts that must be disclosed to your insurer. 

No Claims Bonus (NCB)

A No Claims Bonus (NCB), also known as a No Claims Discount, is a discount on premiums for drivers who haven’t made a claim on their insurance during their policy period. The no claims bonus amount can increase each year up to your insurer's maximum limit. 

There's no industry standard for applying a no claims bonus - it's completely discretionary for each insurance company. A typical no claims discount after the first year is 30%, though this can vary between insurers. Some insurers continue giving higher discounts on a sliding scale for up to nine years. This can result in a big saving, as much as 80% in some cases.

See also Protected No Claims Bonus.


The amount of money you must pay for your taxi insurance policy.

Private Hire 

A private hire taxi is one that is licenced to drive pre-booked minicabs and minibuses for hire and reward, or operates from a designated taxi rank. Private hire drivers can't be hailed in the street. All minicabs must have the appropriate private hire insurance

Protected No Claims Bonus

After an at-fault accident where you have made a claim, your no claims bonus will usually be reduced or lost, depending on how many years NCB you have. This can make your renewal premium significantly more expensive, but you can safeguard your no claims bonus by paying an optional charge on top of your insurance premium. 

The driver has to balance the cost of paying for a protected no claims bonus against the potential cost of a higher renewal premium if they make a claim during that period of insurance.

Public Carriage Office (PCO) licence

A licence required to be a minicab driver or chauffeur in London. The scheme is run by Transport for London (TfL). We've written more about PCO insurance here.

Public Hire

A public hire taxi (also known as a hackney carriage) is one which is licenced to be hailed on the street without prior booking, in addition to taking pre-booked fares and fares from a designated taxi rank. Read more information or get a quote for public hire insurance

Telematics insurance

Commonly known as “black box”. A device is fitted to your taxi which provides the insurance company with information such as your vehicle’s mileage, driving style and the time of day you drive. 

This data allows insurers to reward careful drivers with a reduced premium.

The Knowledge

A test that all black cab drivers in London must complete in order to get a licence. The test proves their understanding of routes through the city.

Third Party Fire and Theft Insurance

Covers the same risks as third party insurance but also includes cover for fire damage or theft of your vehicle, plus damage caused by the theft or attempted theft of your vehicle. Read more about third party fire and theft insurance here

Third Party Insurance

The lowest level of cover, third party insurance only covers the policyholder’s legal liability to other people and their property.

Voluntary Excess

An additional, optional amount that a driver chooses to pay on-top of the mandatory excess stated by the insurer. A higher voluntary excess may reduce the cost of your insurance premium, as it lowers an insurer's outlay in the event of a claim.