(Temporary insurance for a car or minibus upto 7 passengers): Insure Daily
It is the law in the UK (Road Traffic Act of 1988) that every motor vehicle must be insured to a minimum standard (third-party) which includes injury to others and damage to their property arising from the use of your vehicle on the road. Although third-party insurance does not cover you for damage to your own vehicle or property, you can of course take out optional additional cover.
If you use your Minibus as a taxi, you will also need to be insured for the “carriage of persons for hire or reward” and will usually have use for “private hire” specifically stated on the insurance documents. If your minibus is not being used for ‘private hire’, you should look for special insurance policies which will provide adequate cover in cases for example, where you are a volunteer driving a minibus (without payment) for transporting pupils to schools etc.
You should always be mindful that using the minibus in a way which does not comply with the insurance policy, or failing to keep it properly maintained may invalidate the cover.
As a responsible minibus Operator, you should obtain written confirmation that your insurance or indemnity policy applies to all the people using the minibus and covers all the activities and journeys being conducted.
Schools should ensure that they are complying with the relevant insurance policy and requirements of their Local Education Authority (LEA). If you are an Individual driving a school minibus you should assure yourself that you are listed on the insurance policy - an assumption that you thought you would be covered is not good enough. You should also make sure you hold the appropriate licence entitlement to drive this category of vehicle.
“Third party” gives you the minimum level of insurance cover and in the main covers little more than the basic legal requirement.
Adding ‘fire and theft’ to your third-party insurance will mean that you will be covered if your vehicle is involved in a fire or damaged caused during a theft or an attempted theft. This means that generally, the insurance company will pay you the value of your vehicle at the time of the incident, if your vehicle is not recovered following a theft or is not repairable following a fire.
“Comprehensive” insurance is the highest level of any vehicle insurance although it goes without saying that this level of cover attracts the highest premiums. ‘Fully comp’ policies cover damage to your own vehicle in an accident, even if the accident is your fault, and malicious damage.
The most common “add on” is legal protection insurance.
If you are seeking to insure several minibuses you should look for insurance cover for a ‘fleet’ which is often a more cost-effective way of obtaining insurance cover.
If you are likely to be driving your minibus abroad you should check with your insurance provider whether they include a ‘green card’ with the minibus insurance policy. Many do and the benefits mean that you can travel within EU member countries for a maximum of 90 days at a time, enjoying the same level of cover as in the UK.
Like any insurance policy, minibus insurance premiums can vary greatly and saving can be made if you take time to shop around. Seek several on-line or telephone quotations and take time to ensure that you are comparing like with like quotes. You may be making a significant saving on your premium but are you receiving significantly less cover on your policy?
Like it or not, women are statistically safer drivers than men. As a result, some companies offer lower premiums to females. Most companies also give the option of paying by monthly installments although this may attract an additional extra charge.
Broken windscreens are not usually covered. Leaving keys in your minibus may also invalidate your claim.
Where the minibus is driven by several drivers, it is good practice to ensure that a copy of the insurance certificate is kept in the minibus and for all drivers to be made aware of its exact location
Check that the insurance policy covers all the uses to which the minibus is put and the total number of passengers allowed. The policy will also state the total weight permitted under the policy (including passengers and luggage).
You may also need to check whether your policy covers journeys for which passengers pay a contribution.
Drivers who passed a category B test (normal car test) before 1 January 1997 were granted automatically category D1 (passenger carrying vehicle - not for hire or reward) entitlement.
Since 1 January 1997 drivers no longer receive automatic category D1 entitlment when they pass a category B car test.
A driver who holds a passenger carrying vehicle category D licence (hire or reward) can drive any bus with upto 16 passenger seats.
Before looking at the entitlements to operate a minibus for a school and to simplfy what a driver is entitled to drive. Lets look at it in this way:
A B category licence holder can drive a minibus empty with upto 16 passenger seats as long as the vehicle's gross vehicle weight does not exceed 3500kgs. An example of a minibus which is suitable for a B car licence as per the conditions of use above, is the Peugeot Boxer 3500 16 seat, the Ford Transit 11 seat (350) and Ford Transit 12 seat (350) minibuses.
A D1 category licence holder can drive a minibus empty with upto 16 passenger seats under or over 3500kgs as long as the vehicle's gross vehicle weight does not exceed 12,000kgs (combined weight with trailer if D1+E category).