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Car insurance rises £100 in 2016 despite technology advancements  

Car insurance rises £100 in 2016 despite technology advancements  

While passionate about low priced taxi insurance, we at High Gear understand that the industry is in a time of change, with recent reports revealing that as a whole, the industry saw a £100 rise on the average car insurance policy last year. However, in the technology-driven, advanced times that we are in, surely car insurance should be on its way down? Where whiplash fraud, theft and untruthful policy details traditionally hiked up rates, it appears without these threats, prices are still high. Escalating sharply over the past few months, rates have risen 12%, up to an average of £572 from £525 in August. Kevin Pratt, consumer affairs expert at MoneySuperMarket, agrees, feeling such advancements to car security over the past ten years means consumers should see a decrease in price. Mr Pratt suggested that while “logic dictates the cost of car insurance should be getting lower” “The Government has committed to introducing reforms to tackle whiplash fraud, but we’ve heard this story before and need to see concrete action that brings down premium inflation as a matter of urgency. “It’s important for every motorist approaching renewal to run a quote to find the best price for their next year’s policy. Simply rolling the policy over with the same insurer – what’s known as ‘auto-renewal’ – means you’re almost certainly paying more than you need to.” How we calculate rates Here at High Gear, we work in a manner that supports drivers, looking at the bigger picture when calculating rates. This nature, paired with an extensive panel, means we can provide a wealth of proposals to get you covered,...
Taxi drivers to be trained to protect young people

Taxi drivers to be trained to protect young people

With the role of the taxi driver being of great responsibility, passengers need to feel safe when grabbing a cab. Of late, the increase in taxi-driver related sexual crimes had encouraged the industry to sit up, with the drivers of Liverpool now being trained to be the ‘eyes and ears’ of the city. Councillor Christine Banks, chair of the Licensing Committee, said: “Child sexual exploitation is an extremely important issue and one which we want to make every effort to prevent. “Taxi drivers are among those workers who have a key role in protecting young people- as the report to the committee said they can be the “eyes and ears” in spotting such activity. With drivers being very much amongst the action of the city, Liverpool cabbies are not being asked to spy or extras information through unlawful means but just be aware of conversations and actions made by passengers, working closely with authorities to ensure taxi businesses work as a local support network. “They can, for example notice young people being taken to different locations around the city and, while we are not asking them to eavesdrop on passengers, they could hear conversations which may indicate that a child is being exploited’ he continued. With nearly 5,000 Liverpool taxi and hackney carriage drivers expected to receive training this coming years other areas will no doubt adopt this regime. Taking the training very seriously, drivers will have to produce a certificate to prove they has completed the training, with failure to produce the document preventing the issue of an individual’s licence. Let us know what you that about this...
Insurers react to further increases in Insurance Premium Tax 

Insurers react to further increases in Insurance Premium Tax 

As covered in a previous article on High Gear News we have recently seen an increase in Insurance Premium Tax, with Autumn expected to reveal another hike. Increasing rates for both the drivers and the industry, this change has not gone down too well with the industry, with many insurers passing comment on the 12% increase on 50m general insurance policies each year. Amanda Blanc, group CEO of one of t AXA, is just one insurer disheartened by the taxi hike. “This is a classic case of the government giving with one hand, in the form of whiplash reforms, and taking with another,” she said. “The affordability of insurance is being fundamentally threatened. The country is already underinsured and ever rising insurance taxation could have the unintended consequence of making this situation even worse.” While increases are often inevitable the constant hikes are one of the reasons insurers are fighting back against these government changes. Supporting in some areas such as whiplash claims, the general consensus is that the government are giving with one hand and taking with the other, only  pretending to be supportive. AA president Edmund King, predicted that the extra tax would only contribute to the 1m uninsured drivers currently on UK roads. “In 18 months, tax on insurance will have doubled – no other tax has increased by that much,” he said. As the fastest growing stealth tax ca, homes and private medical insurers will be affected. Let us know what you think by leaving your comments...
Crack down on whiplash claims could see premiums fall as much as £40

Crack down on whiplash claims could see premiums fall as much as £40

England and Wales are soon implementing plans to crack down on whiplash compensation; a change that is expected to reduce millions of car insurance policies by around £40. With bogus claims becoming the norm over the past few years authorities have had no choice but to clamp down on ill practice, costing insurance companies around £1bn per year. With claims having risen by 50% over the past decade insurers have had to write on the risk of false claims when calculating premiums, encouraging higher rates across the board. “For too long some have exploited a rampant compensation culture and seen whiplash claims an easy payday, driving up costs for millions of law-abiding motorists,” said Justice Secretary Liz Truss. “These reforms will crack down on minor, exaggerated and fraudulent claims.” While plans from ministers to scrap whiplash compensation all together  there is another option some are eager to review. This is reducing the to a maximum of £425. By contrast the current average payout is £1,850, a sum that is crippling the industry. Car insurance quotes If you are interested in receiving a free quotation for car insurance then feel free to call us at High Gear today. Our team will be happy to assist with your...
Guilford taxi drivers criticise Uber for using the railway taxi rank

Guilford taxi drivers criticise Uber for using the railway taxi rank

While Uber is seen to be a bit of a dirty word amongst the traditional cabbies of the UK they do seem to get themselves in trouble, with each day bringing a new Uber-related drama to the table. This week the cabbies of Guilford are having their say, believing Uber drivers are using the taxi rank at railway station; something that traditional cabbies are not too impressed by. At present Uber drivers are not  licenced to pick up passengers in the borough, upsetting taxi drivers who are finding it difficult to contend with the business as it is. Claiming that their ability to provide for their families is being affecting the authorities have had no choice but to get involved. Mark Rostron, Guildford Hackney Association secretary, believes that Uber drivers have been picking up pre-booked passengers in the town. He said: “Some of them [taxi drivers] are very upset about it because they are seeing Uber drivers ranking up at the pick up bay at the train station. It is taking money straight out of drivers pockets and obviously they are upset about that. “The drivers are family people, they have got families, often with young children. They have got people they are supporting through university. Taxi drivers do not earn a lot of money at the best of times and we have got this to deal with. “This also comes at a time when Guildford Borough Council (GBC) is threatening to reduce our fares by 16%, so it is a terrible squeeze on taxi drivers.” If you are a Uber driver, taxi driver from Guildford or simply have...
Authorities worry as Rossendale is named taxi capital of the UK  

Authorities worry as Rossendale is named taxi capital of the UK  

While we would have expected the bustling streets of London to enjoy the title of taxi capital of the UK a recent research project has crowned Rossendale as the winners of that category. Figures reveal that the Valley has more taxis per head than London, a fact that has come as a worry to many.   With the drivers of the Valley notorious for operating outside the borough, the Department of Transport revealed that there were 1,610 taxis and minicabs in Rossendale in March 2015, meaning one licenced vehicle for 42.9 people.  London are currently working with a rate of one vehicle per 100 people.  By July of t2016 r the number for Rossendale rose  again to 2,523 –working out as one can for every 27 residents.  Jake Berry, MP for Rossendale and Darwen said he was “shocked” by the figures progressed, feeling them to be a he concern.  “It seems that Rossendale’s taxi licensing is a magnet to all and sundry to seek a licence without working in the Valley.”  The statistical release by the DofT states:   “Rossendale Borough Council had the greatest increase in both total licensed vehicles and driver licences in England. This is likely due to the fact that although taxis can only be driven by drivers licensed by Rossendale Council, once a vehicle becomes a licensed taxi, the law allows it to accept pre-bookings in any district in England and Wales.”  Encouraging criticism from authorities in Sheffield, Bradford, Rochdale and Derby we at High Gear expect some revisions to be made. However, David Lawrie, chair of the Rossendale Taxi Association, had defended the number of taxis, feeling that we...
Leading Derby councillor fights for changes in taxi licensing to protect children 

Leading Derby councillor fights for changes in taxi licensing to protect children 

With the figure of the taxi driver being one of responsibly licensing should be tight, ensuring the roads of the UK are filled with professional drivers that practice within the pentameters of the law.   However, in recent times we have seen some ill practice, with licencing needing to be tighter in the opinion of Derby councillors. Having located failings in the City Council’s taxi licensing system things need to be changed quickly. According to the auditors oversights have led to  criminals who committed “hate crime, harassment, intimidation and made improper comments to young women” gaining badges.   Councillor Baggy Shanker, in charge of city licensing, said:   “In May 2015 we began an overhaul of taxi licensing. It was clear that the widespread failings that were brought to light in Rotherham (where drivers were convicted of abusing vulnerable girls) must never be repeated elsewhere.  “We know people (in areas outside Derby) are exploiting or using taxis to ferry people across towns and cities and, in cases, abusing young vulnerable children. We want to make sure we prevent that as much as we can.  Directly blaming the system Shanker explains that these issues can be found on our doorsteps.   “There were individuals in Derby who were granted licences and should not have been given them.”  Putting the people on charge of this revolution, Shanker wants passengers to have their say, rebuilding the licensing process to cement safety on our streets.   Let us know what you think about this subject by leaving your comments...
New law says all Northern Irish taxis must have a meter

New law says all Northern Irish taxis must have a meter

While we are used to seeing taxis fitted with a meter in the cabin it seems that this is not the case throughout the country, with Northern Ireland drivers working with charge sheets up until now. While many drivers have been working with the traditional black meter law now states that all drivers must work with a meter that sets rates and records then, a change that promises to streamline procedures and maintain honesty across the industry. However, an advice centre manager said he was concerned over a potential price increase for regular customers: “Some fares in this town haven’t gone up in over 15 years, which is totally wrong,” said taxi owner Martin McCool A standard journey within the city would cost the customer an average of £3. “Sure you give the kids £3 to go into the shop for sweets,” said Mr McCool, “People think that you’re sitting here raking in all this money, you’re not. “Taxi drivers in Derry are generally doing 80 to 90 hours per week, they’re actually doing two weeks work in a week just to make a living which is absolutely disgraceful. “These meters will cut down on those the hours and hopefully we’ll make a living out of it, so everybody’s happy,” he added. While conjuring up conflicting opinions this change is unmovable, with meters with printers for all Class A and B taxis compulsory from the end of May this year. Let us know what you think, is the a good move for the taxi drivers of Londonderry? Leave your comments...
Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) to rise to 10%

Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) to rise to 10%

While the AA recently advised against an increase in Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) the Chancellor has now confirmed the hike, taking the rate from 9.5% to 10% on Saturday. Being applied to most general insurance policies bought in the UK the increase will have the biggest bearing on those buying home insurance, motorists, private medical insurance customers and pet owners. While a small margin of 0.5% this will still boast an impact for many policy-holders, especially those shopping for car insurance in the near future. However, officials have warned that young motorists looking for insurance will take the biggest blow, with the announcement in the Budget being the second increase of the year. In October 2015 IPT stood at just 6.5%,  encouraging a community of people voice their opinions on the subject, progressing many conflicting viewpoints. ABI director general Huw Evans said: “Insuring your home or business, your health and your possessions is the wise thing to do, taking responsibility for protecting yourself from some of the unexpected events in life. Insuring your car is a legal requirement. “These two IPT increases are a raid on the responsible, taking advantage of those who already do the most to avoid becoming a burden on the state. “The Government should be in no doubt that such steep increases in insurance premium tax may eat into the finances of both households and businesses.” Let us know what you think, should this increase be welcomed? Leave your comments...
CU80: Drivers on the phone will now receive 6 points and a £200 on the spot fine

CU80: Drivers on the phone will now receive 6 points and a £200 on the spot fine

Fast becoming one of the most issued driving penalties driving whilst on the telephone can have a detrimental impact on the recipient, with the sophistication of mobile technology making using your phone more tempting than ever. CU80 insurance is an area we at High Gear deal with on a daily basis, finding solutions to keep insurance rates competitive for everyone. Feeling the offence to be just as serious as drink driving or operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs the minister for transport, Chris Grayling, says the following: “We all have a part to play in ensuring our family and friends do not use their phones while driving,” said Grayling, promising to announce “a tougher new penalty regime shortly”. At present those caught on their phone whilst operating a vehicle receive a £100 fine in addition to 3 penalty points, positioned as more of a warning. However, authorities have believed this to be more of a slap on the wrist, needing to show drivers that such behaviour will not be tolerated. As a result tougher sanctions have been introduced, doubling the fine to £200 as increasing penalty points to 6. This is mainly geared towards new and young drivers; a group that statistically carry out this offence more frequently than any other. Department for Transport (DfT) recently pointed out that a disproportionate number of those caught using their phones fell into this category, aiming to stop the accumulation of point in its tracks. Let us know what you think, is this tougher penalty needed or a little too harsh? Specialist convicted drivers motor insurance includes the following motoring convictions:...
Uber driver assaulted by rival taxi drivers 

Uber driver assaulted by rival taxi drivers 

It is no secret that Uber drivers and traditional drivers are rivals, with the professional competition often getting out of hand. With riots in the streets of London in previous years it did seem that things were starting to cool down, with healthy competition adding value to the taxi and private hire industry. However, this week it has been announced that worldwide dispute was far from over, win one Mexican Uber driver assaulted by rival drivers. Receiving a mystery call the driver was lured to the San Jose Tecoh area of Merida, Mexico, at 2am. With very few people around at that time in the morning the taxi driver was beaten up whilst his car was set on fire, with rival taxi drivers responsible for the calculated the set up. Dragged from his vehicle by the assailants the Uber driver was badly beaten, seeing him incur wounds to the head and body. He said: “I was black and blue all over, I tried to defend myself but they were kicking me all over’. The Mirror reports: ‘It is alleged the attackers belonged to the local Frente Unico de Trabajadores del Volante (FUTV) firm, a taxi movement which protested against the Uber drivers in the city.’ Rescuers said that the two men who attacked Rolando climbed into a green and white taxi parked nearby and drove off.’ With police now investigating the incident we at High Gear hope that such occurrences will become less frequent, showing criminals that violence of this nature will not be tolerated. Let us know what you think on this subject by leaving your comments...
Top 5 car insurance add-on products

Top 5 car insurance add-on products

If you are on the search for car insurance then you will no doubt spend a considerable amount of time comparing and contrasting deals, wanting to gain a clearer idea of what you could get for your money. At High Gear we are all about offering an honest service, not pushing extra products on customers simply for our own gain. Our approach is somewhat different, relaying the details of add-ons  and seeing if they will by any means benefit customers. Putting drivers in control of their policy features we help save money, time and patience throughout the insurance shopping process. However, if you are looking for add-on products then below are our top picks: Breakdown cover The truth is you should always expect the unexpected, with breakdowns, accidents and mechanical issues never pre-empted. This is why at High Gear we are strong believers in the worth of breakdown cover, having helped many of our customers in sticky situations in the past. Courtesy car Opting to write in a courtesy car into your policy is essential, especially if you need your vehicle to commute to work or to carry out your daily duties. Requiring just a one-off payment during the set-up stage this add-on is one of our favoured here at High Gear. No claims bonus protection With all drivers wanting to save money on their insurance protecting your no claims bonus can be a wise move, with a small bump undoing your impeccable driving record. No claims bonuses do have a bearing on the risk you pose in the eyes of an insurer, hence why many driver’s feel the need...
Google to enter the insurance market

Google to enter the insurance market

  Being a tech-focused business we at High Gear understand the importance of jumping on bandwagons, needing to get in there first before big corporate firms take industries over. With Google renowned for such practice the insurance market bit their nails to the bone when hearing of their plans to enter the space. However, luckily for High Gear their plans do not infringe on car insurance, looking to further develop Nest, a part of Google that is preoccupied with smoke detectors and smart thermostats.  Speaking to Reuters, Nick Leeder, Google France CEO, outlined that the company wishes to form partnerships with insurance firms.  ‘With some of the things we have done around Nest, we have been working with insurers in France like AXA and Allianz to develop bundles of products which blend technology and hardware with insurance,” he told the newswire.    “We’re clearer about the role that we can play and what we can add, and we are looking for partners.”  While Leeder made it crystal clear that building a direct insurance company was not on the cards it certainly wasn’t ruled out.    “We are not a company that uses the word ‘never’ much, so it’s difficult to rule things in or out. I think there are things that we are good at and things we are not good at,” he explained.    While boasting the ability to talk the talk we must not forget Google’s previous endeavour into the insurance market, recently throwing the towel in on their unsuccessful price comparison website Google Compare.    “We found it didn’t work as well as we’d like,” Leeder explained.  Let...
London helps black cabbies face new rules  

London helps black cabbies face new rules  

With private hire firms such as Uber facing stricter rules in the capital it seems that London are finally giving something back to the drivers of the city, today releasing a statement that they will introduce new measures to support black cabs and private hire vehicles. “The taxi trade is an icon of our city and should be supported,” Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said. “While the legitimate private hire trade is an asset to London, we must not be complacent in ensuring it is safe for passengers. The need for greater enforcement and compliance, as well as stricter entry requirements, is clear for all to see.” Today it was announced that Transport for London (TfL) will be introducing 20 more bus lanes and boosting the number of taxi ranks in the city, giving the industry a big boost over the coming years. The regulators will also roll out journey details on its popular online journey planner tool, as well as making sure all cabs can take payment through credit and debit cards. Uber After a lengthy argument with Uber over testing for licences Uber won the right for a legal review against written English tests. Within today’s announcements Transport for London proposed advanced driving tests prior to licencing, set to be actioned in the summer of 2017. While not providing details with regards to what this extra test will involve we do not expect it to go down well with Uber, giving them another obstacle to overcome when recruiting drivers. Eco-friendly black cabs In a plea to become more eco-friendly the industry is set to see another shake up....
Government take action to safeguard taxi passengers

Government take action to safeguard taxi passengers

At High Gear we are incredibly passionate about safety in the industry, keeping up-to-date with current changes and concerns. This week passenger safety has again been the focus for many, with council representatives of Northern England eager to create awareness.
Police and Crime Commissioner, Vera Baird QC, has joined forced with South Tyneside Council leader, Iain Malcolm; this week signing a letter to the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling MP. In a mission to safeguard taxi passengers these individuals are focused on the current law. At present, it is possible for both a private hire and a hackney carriage driver to be refused a licence by a local authority then go to another and be accepted, a law that these two wish to change in order to protect passengers.

Zero No Claims Bonus Insurance

Being a taxi driver can be such a rewarding profession, knowing that you are chauffeuring people in need of transport in a safe and professional manner.

Being on the road all day everyday means that inevitably you are more of a claims risk, being involved in more collisions than your average family car.

Although this is not necessarily the taxi driver’s fault the nature of the job is renowned for affecting cab drivers no claims bonuses.

The London Taxi Benevolent Association named UK’s Best Charity

The London Taxi Benevolent Association named UK’s Best Charity

With London transport being such a lucrative business drivers and firms have a responsibility to do their bit for charity, often getting involved in existing organisations as well as setting up their own. This week we are excited to announce that The London Taxi Benevolent Association has been named UK’s Best Charity; an organisation that offers free travel to war veterans.

Built up of a convoy of volunteer taxi drivers the charity has been running since 1948, responsible for running trips such as the annual seaside visit to Worthing.

Uber add advanced bookings to its services

Uber add advanced bookings to its services

Uber, the transport app that is taking over the industry, has now added pre-bookings to its offerings, allowing customers to book their taxi up to 30 days in advance. However, passengers may be subject to a higher “surge price” if their cab is booked for a day where Uber are in high demand. However, customers will be able to cancel their taxi if they believe the price to be too high. This update will be actioned for its business users first, with the pre-booking set to be rolled out in full over the course of the next two weeks. Expected to woo corporate individuals away from competitors such as Addison Lee this is a great new strand to Uber’s bow, with 30,000 potential customers within their reach. Technology desk editor, Leo Kelion, does see an issue, one that may give the traditional black cabby an upper hand. ‘A bigger issue could be that Uber’s drivers won’t necessarily wait if a customer is running late. Other minicab companies will – for an added fee. Uber says if there’s a last minute delay, it will be up to the passenger to try to convince the driver to stay. But the fact surge pricing could still kick in may deter some riders, especially when it comes to scheduling a rush-hour trip’ he says. Uber taxi insurance At High Gear we offer competitive rates to Uber drivers, understanding the new way in which the taxi industry operates. Providing free, no obligations quotes we work with drivers from all over the country, offering cheap Uber insurance in London, Cardiff, Bristol, Liverpool, Birmingham and all other major UK...

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