A search online for “hire and reward insurance” will show that there are a number of different aggregators, insurers and brokers who provide quotes for vehicle insurance for drivers being paid for making trips with their vehicle. Hire and reward insurance for food delivery, taxi drivers, driving instructors, and more is a must-have for anyone using their vehicle in return for payment. Depending on the tier of cover, it can help protect the driver, the vehicle and other road users from the additional risks that professional drivers can face.
Finding hire and reward insurance doesn’t need to cause headaches; however, there are conflicting reports online as to what exactly hire and reward is (and the coverage levels required for certain work that does require hire and reward), so it’s good to have an understanding of what is and isn’t covered.
Hire and reward is also sometimes referred to online as commercial insurance or mistakenly as business use insurance. While commercial insurance generally refers to a policy that would include cover for both social, domestic & pleasure (SD&P) driving and may cover hire and reward driving, business use insurance does not typically include protection for hire and reward activities.
Instead, business use insurance is targeted more at someone who uses their vehicle to travel between work locations, like an estate agent or regional manager – someone who regularly has to head to different locations for work using their car. These people are perceived as less risky than those requiring hire and reward, as they typically drive during working hours (avoiding late nights on the road) and usually don’t have a ‘deadline’ of when they need to arrive, avoiding the temptation to rush (and potentially break traffic laws in the process).
Those needing a specialist insurance policy can search for insurance specific to their specific work. There are plenty of insurers in the ‘taxi insurance’ or ‘courier insurance’ or ‘fast food insurance’ categories who may not refer to their coverage as ‘hire and reward’ but will cover activities that would fall under hire and reward.
Specialist insurers can be especially useful in high-risk markets like hire and reward. They understand the market extremely well and can offer advice and guidance during the sign-up process. They often maintain long relationships with the taxi drivers who use their cover, so they generally have excellent claims handling and customer service.
As always, it’s useful to check websites like Feefo or Trustpilot to see what other drivers think about an insurer before signing up. While online reviews can be misleading at times, especially if they focus on the buying process rather than claims, they can at least offer some indication of the issues you might face and the benefits you might be able to take advantage of.
Can you get car insurance with part-time hire and reward?
Part-time hire and reward insurance require an underlying social, domestic & pleasure insurance policy. Part-time hire and reward cover will match the existing level of a driver’s SD&P cover, so it is required before taking out hire and reward.
However, many SD&P insurers do not allow their customers to hold part-time hire and reward insurance. Doing so without informing them properly runs the risk of invalidating coverage if a driver is ever involved in an accident. It is safest always to check ahead of time to ensure the SD&P provider accepts using the insured vehicle for hire and reward purposes, even if that driving is covered under a different policy.
If an insurer does allow part-time hire and reward, get it in writing from them, as there can often be mixed messages from insurers about what is and isn’t allowed. This can be the result of a disconnect between sales teams, customer service and management.
Is it illegal not to have hire and reward insurance?
It is illegal to be on the road without the proper insurance; drivers engaged in hire and reward-type work must have hire and reward insurance to drive legally. UK law states motorists must hold an appropriate level of vehicle insurance, and drivers on the road without hire and reward run the risk of their insurer invalidating cover if they do ever need to make a claim or provide proof of insurance.
Many of the UK’s largest employers that you might need hire and reward for (e.g. Uber, Deliveroo, etc.) will require proof of insurance before allowing a driver to sign-up to the app. Taxi drivers (whether through an app or a local business) will need to present proof of proper coverage before being issued with a taxi license, so it’s worth having it sorted ahead of time.
Social, domestic & pleasure (SD&P) insurance does not cover the activities considered to be ‘hire and reward’, and so being caught driving professionally without hire and reward exposes you to the same risks as if you were driving completely uninsured, such as disqualification from driving, fines and penalty points.