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Being a chauffeur in the era of the credit crunch can be costly -- that's why you have to make sure you find the best deal you can on your chauffeur insurance. However, if you're new to the hire and reward world, you may want some advice to get you started.
What precisely is a Chauffeur?
Typically a chauffeur is employed to drive clients on a pre-booked basis in a luxury vehicle. Some clients may request that their chauffeur is dressed presentably too. Essentially, chauffeurs share some similarities with private hire taxi drivers. However, as will be explained there are reasons why the should specifically seek chauffeur insurance:
One of the main reasons specific chauffeur insurance is needed for executive drivers is because they usually use expensive luxury vehicles -- anything from Bentleys and Rolls Royces to Mercedes andÂ BMWs. Of course there will also be chauffeurs driving sports vehicles such as Ferraris and Lamborghinis -- these vehicles are very expensive to repair should they be involved in a accident and for this reason chauffeur's typically need specific insurance rather than just standard private hire insurance cover.
There are also chauffeurs that drive unique and specialist vehicles such as limousines and Hummers. These vehicles require specific insurance due to their unusual nature.You can use our chauffeur form for any kind of chauffeur vehicle.
Anything else to keep in mind
Typically chauffeurs will not have two-way radios in their vehicle -- they will interact personally with their clients and take pre-booked appointments via phone calls or discussions with clients. It is also unusual for chauffeurs to take cash at the end of the journey -- they are more likely to charge the journey to their client's account as most customers will be repeat business rather than one-off users.
Another difference between standard private hire taxis and chauffeur driven vehicles is the vehicle plating system. Private hire vehicles will be noticeably plated by the local authority whereas chauffeur vehicles are often exempt from displaying their plates for aesthetic reasons. However, this is dependent on plating authority rules.
What to look out for in your chauffeur insurance?
There's a long list of policy features and vehicle details that you may want to discuss with your broker before agreeing on your cover. However, here's a few things to look out for when deciding on a chauffeur insurance quote.
Protected no claims bonus/discount
It is well worth considering protecting your chauffeur NCB if you have not done this already. The motor insurance world -- and in particular the hire and reward sector -- is built around discounts that reward those with a number of years claim free driving. If you do have an accident and make a claim, you will lose this benefit. However, if your NCB is protected you shouldn't lose your cheaper chauffeur insurance quotes next time renewal time comes around.
Some brokers will offer you a replacement vehicle in your policy. Again, this is well worth considering. It may cost you slightly more, but think how damaging being without a suitable vehicle would be to your business! They may not be able to replace your Maybach or Phantom, but many brokers are able to procure S Classes and other luxury vehicles that are suitable for luxury hire and reward use. It may also be worth looking at breakdown cover that could take into account your clients should you experience a vehicle failure during business hours.
Finally, when you're working with the public, chauffeur public liability (PL) cover may be worth your while too. PL cover will protect you should any mistakes made whilst you work causing bodily or material damage to your customers that leads to a claim. Today sue-culture is rife, so it's best not to operate without cover like this.