With the new school term well underway, there’s a big responsibility attached to transporting groups of passengers by minibus. Finding insurers who understand the specific risks of school transportation can be difficult, but the right minibus insurance can help you fulfil part of your duty of care.
Most schools now own or operate a minibus service to ferry pupils to sporting events, theatre or museum trips, or even to and from school. During term time, the minibus will be used extensively which makes it essential to have the right insurance in place to protect all involved.
Whether you are one of the nominated drivers for a school, or you are a private contractor, you will need an insurance policy that completely covers your vehicles, from keeping them on the road to protecting yourself and your business should an accident occur.
What is Classed as a Minibus?
A minibus will seat between 9 and 16 passengers. It looks like a van but is designed to transport people rather than goods or packages. If you are unsure, check your V5 logbook - a minibus is classed as an M2 category. Due to the increased number of passengers, standard car insurance or van insurance isn’t acceptable for minibuses being used commercially.
Anything more than the 16 seats, and your vehicle is classed as a coach and will need require a different type of insurance.
Do I Need Minibus Insurance?
Whether getting insurance for your business needs, or for using your minibus for charitable, school, nursery, or sport’s clubs, specialist minibus insurance will make sure you are protected for all eventualities. Areas of minibus insurance include:
- Minibus breakdown cover - to ensure you’re not left stranded if the minibus breaks down with a school party on board. Tradex offer this as an additional extra.
- Public liability insurance for minibuses - this is essential to protect you against claims in case of accidently damaging property or injuring a member of the public during your outings. Insurance levels vary anywhere from £1 million to £10 million.
- Glass cover for your minibus – With more windows than the average vehicle, it’s worth investing in glass cover.
- Minibus insurance for drivers - when choosing your provider be mindful that your cover requirements are being met.
- Cover for all passengers – whether ferrying school children to and from school, or day trips to the beach, all passengers should be covered on your policy.
Essentials for Driving a Minibus
If you are employing people to drive your minibuses, or nominating a designated driver in school, it’s worth bearing in mind the following:
- The driver holds a full driving licence
- Ensure a Section 19 permit has been obtained for schools (if one is needed) or a PCV for hire and reward or taxi insurance. See https://www.gov.uk/driving-a-minibus for more information.
- Be at least 21 year’s old
- The driver must have held a full driving licence for more than 2 years
- Legally, the minibus needs a minimum of third-party insurance cover
Keeping the Cost of Minibus Insurance Down
If you want to get the best deal on your minibus insurance or taxi insurance, Tradex recommends that you nominate drivers over the age of 25 and with a good history of no claims.
When deciding on a minibus purchase, ask yourself how many seats you will need. The higher the number, the greater the cost of insurance. Keep in mind that some vehicles are more costly to repair, which will also affect your quote. Check how expensive your vehicle category is to replace or fix before you buy or lease.
As with all vehicles, safe off-road parking and fitted alarms for security will help with your premiums or look at increasing your excess to get a better quote.
At Tradex, we offer specialist insurance for schools and colleges, together with private contractors that have one or a fleet of minibuses. Call us on 0333 3131111 for a quote.