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Uber announces new panel of approved insurers, will only accept policies from these providers as of 1 December 2021
Starting as 2021 comes to a close, Uber will only accept drivers insured by one of eight approved insurance providers. The list of approved providers is as follows:
- Acorn/Haven (Motorcade)
- Mulsanne (Fare Cover)
Here’s a snippet of an email that drivers received confirming the new list:
It’s a move designed to allow Uber to take advantage of their Instadoc system, removing the manual sections of validating an Uber driver’s insurance documents and automating the process. Uber writes in the email ”in order to streamline our insurance verification process and to help make the documentation approval process easier for you, we’re switching to Instadoc by the end of the year”
Instadoc allows Uber to take insurance documents straight from the drivers insurer of choice, removing manual work on both sides—drivers will no longer have to download/upload their documents to the Uber app, and Uber won’t need to check the documents are valid as Instadoc will have already verified their legitimacy.
While some drivers online have already voiced concerns about a small number of insurers cornering the Uber driver insurance market (and the long-term impact it might have on how Uber insurance is priced), the measures should go some way to reassure customers that all drivers are properly covered. It was only a few years ago that an investigation by The Guardian exposed how easy it was to upload fake insurance documents and take passengers onboard through the Uber app.
What do I need to do now?
If you’re already with one of the insurers listed above then great—you won’t need to change anything, and just need to make sure that (when the time comes) you remember to renew your policy with them or one of the other approved providers.
If your insurance is through another provider, you’ll need to make sure you’re with one of the Uber-approved insurers before 1 December 2021. This may require you to terminate your policy early, so just be aware of the potential costs of doing so. Depending on how far into your policy you are, you may not be eligible for a full (or in some cases even partial) refund.
It’s unclear as of yet whether or not Uber will support their drivers financially if they do incur a cost to cancel their policy
Many drivers on popular UK Uber driver forums such as r/uberdrivers and UberPeople have voiced concerns that such a small number of providers will only see already expensive Uber insurance continue to rise, with one user sarcastically commenting "I am sure they have their workers best interests at heart"
However some also jumped to the defense of the moves, pointing out that the changes would bring a stop to unlicensed drivers harming the reputations of those who were properly covered. One driver wrote "there used to be dodgy people with their (fake) insurance and this will bring it to an end."
From the markets perspective, in an interview with the Insurance Post the CEO of taxi broker Quotax Daniel Fosker stated:
"Over the last week we have received calls from a number of clients, anxious that they may be forced to use another insurance provider... As we get closer to the proposed deadline we are expecting many more clients to contact us with the same concerns and being impacted financially by this. With so many of the drivers utilising the Uber platform this decision is going to have huge ramifications for the UK private hire insurance market, independent brokers and the ability for it all to truly operate as a ‘free market’."
Drivers also voiced concerns about the financial strength/security of Uber's approved insurers list, pointing out that none of them were financially rated. Restricting the number of approved insurers could have severe effects if any of them were to go bankrupt, too, such as Danish firm Alpha.
If you’re not with an approved insurance provider by 1 December 2021, it’s possible Uber will restrict your account until you’re able to prove cover from one of the insurers listed above. It’s not entirely clear from their statement how Uber will enforce this, but you’re unlikely to be able to sign-in or accept passengers if you haven’t uploaded approved documentation.
If you want to continue driving for Uber, make sure to use sources such as Feefo and Trustpilot to see how other drivers find the service provided by these insurers. While online reviews aren’t always completely indicative of the quality of a provider, they can give you valuable insight into important factors such as ease of claims and customer service.
If you’re considering a pay-as-you-go/top-up insurance, like the one offered by Zego, then be sure to check our guide to which insurers accept top-up cover. Many do not accept PAYG cover as valid, and so you risk invalidating your social, domestic & pleasure vehicle insurance by taking a policy out.
How to save money on new taxi insurance
It’s well known that insurers prefer older (traditionally less likely to be involved in an accident) drivers. While you can’t control your age to help save money, there are a few factors you can control to help reduce the cost of often expensive taxi cover.
Clean driving record No prior driving related claims/convictions Long history of no claims Telemetrics (blackbox, dashcam, etc.) Comparing quotes from multiple providers Operating in “safer” areas (away from city centres, airports, etc.) More years behind the wheel