December 22, 2016

What is Minibus Insurance ?

The UK law states that any vehicle on the road must be insured and that includes all possible forms of transport, cars minibuses and private hire taxis to name a few. Minibus insurance will in general cover damage that could happen to your vehicle and depending on the policy may also provide medical expense cover for parties involved in the accident.

Over time minibuses have gained increased popularity in the private sector, given the current drive quality which is now similar to driving a car plus the the capability to seat from 9 to 16 people in comfort makes the purchase of a minibus in the UK an attractive option over the traditional car.  

A mini bus can be used for a variety of purposes - school, social, family or for public hire. Whatever the purpose it is essential that you have the correct level of protection to protect you and your passengers in the event of an accident. Discounts are sometimes available depending on the purpose, for example if the mini bus is used for charitable or non profit reasons, reduced premiums may then apply. 

For operators of more than one minibus or a mixed fleet of minibuses, fleet policies are available and should work out cheaper than insuring vehicles individually. If the intended purpose is for profit as in public or private hire then the insurance specific to that use must be taken out.

The costs of minibus insurance can be expensive, however some steps can be taken to reduce the premium costs. Start by providing secure overnight parking and limiting the drivers to a predefined list. It is also worth noting that drivers under 25 can attract a higher premium due to the increased risk younger drivers pose. If you only use the minibus occasionally for family outings, it may also be worth considering pay as you go insurance. If that is not an option introducing black boxes may lead to a future reduction that is if the telemetrics show that the minibus is being driven with care and consideration and within speed limits. 

Opting for a higher excess should also bring down the cost of insurance. If you are buying a new minibus take time to compare the base insurance costs as these can vary from one manufacturer to another and takes into account the average costs to repair each vehicle type. A ford minibus for example may be cheaper to ensure than a vehicle that is manufactured abroad or the labour costs are higher body repairs work.

As with all vehicle insurance 3 levels of cover are provided by UK underwriters the first which is mandatory is third party cover. The next step up is third party plus fire and theft protection. The top level is comprehensive, which in addition to the former offers cover for your own vehicles and self.  Extra such as breakdown cover, windscreen, under body, cover for driving in Europe should also be considered at renewal time to beef up your policy.

Eamonn Turley

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