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Do You Have Enough Insurance Cover

Driving School Insurance

The Basics
Car insurance is a compulsory form of insurance cover for drivers in the UK that are taking their vehicles out on the road and has been since 1930. There are different levels of car insurance available for driving instructors. When you are looking for driving school insurance you need to make sure that you compare different policies and providers in order to make sure that you get the right policy for your needs. You will find that the cost of insurance cover can vary widely from one provider to another, and will also vary based on the level of cover that you take out. By comparing different providers you will be able to get the best deal for your needs. There are a number of things that you need to check when you are looking for insurance cover for your driving school vehicle. Firstly it is still not widely known that as soon as you put dual controls in your car a standard private car policy will be invalid you must arrange for a specialist driving instructor policy to cover you even if you are not using the duals.

Choose a good quality specialist insurance broker and not through one of the direct insurance writers or on line aggregators as these will not provide the right cover even if you have put the correct occupation and business use in the quote engine. Check you have been given comprehensive cover; it should also include any driver for test and tuition windscreen cover & cover your basic legal liabilities in the event of damage or injury caused by you or your passenger to a third party.

Additional Covers
This is where it starts to get important to check the finer details of your policy as many insurers offer all or some of the following covers but the scope of cover can vary widely so you may not be getting what you thought you had paid for. Dual control replacement car you should ensure that your policy provides you with a dual control replacement vehicle should you be unfortunate enough to be off the road following a claim.

You should check that the dual control replacement car is supplied for fault and non-fault incidents including fire theft & vandalism it would also be worth asking if you would get a replacement vehicle should you put the wrong fuel in the engine as this has been known.

Check also how long a dual control replacement vehicle will be provided to you for not all policies guarantee you a car some will only be subject to availability others will provide it to you for a set period of days. No claims bonus, the no claims discount (NCD) is one of the most important features of your car insurance policy.

The amount of NCD offered varies widely between insurers. One year's claim-free motoring could give you a discount of as much as 60% or as little as 15%. Your NCD will be cut if you make a claim, but the size of the cut varies between insurers.

Once you have your no claims bonus you should consider protecting it. Protected no claims bonus is normally available once you have 4 or more years NCB however there are some insurers who will offer to protect your NCB with as little as 1 year ask your provider if they offer this.

Protected no claims bonus is especially useful to have if you want to stop your insurance premiums going sky high following a fault claim (don’t forget claims made when a pupil has a fault accident are counted against you as the policyholder).

You have three options

1. Unprotected which will reduce your insurance premiums but will risk your no claims bonus.

2. protected no claims bonus this will normally cost a small amount on top of your insurance premium but will allow you to have a set number of fault claims within a fixed period before reducing your no claims bonus it is important you check how many claims your policy allows as this can vary from 1 to 3 claims being allowed. It is also important to remember that if your policy only covers say 2 claims within 5 years that should you need to make 2 claims you will no longer have protected no claims bonus and may be forced to pay increased premiums due to your no claims bonus being lost.

3. Guaranteed no claims bonus this is the top level of cover and protects your valuable no claims bonus regardless of the amount of claims you make. Irrespective of the number or types of claims you make you will be offered a guaranteed no claims bonus for the lifetime of the policy and at renewal. You should check to see if you have this cover.

Liability covers, liability insurance is a very important part of your cover and consists of 3 parts which are often confused and rolled into one when they definitely are not, check what covers you have under your motor policy. Public Liability is a statutory liability cover provided under all motor policies cover is normally for a minimum of £20 million and covers you for third party property damage and injuries brought about by an incident involving your vehicle. Extended liability cover provides liability whilst performing the DSA show me tell me part of the driving test this extends the cover to incidents outside of the vehicle you will not find this cover under a normal private car policy.

Driving instructor liability this protects you against injury claims made by pupils undergoing driving instruction who consider that there is negligence on the part of an instructor following an accident. You should check to ensure that all of your liability covers are included as a number of policies will only include the basic RTA Public liability cover ask your insurance provider if they include liability whilst under instruction as well as extended liability cover these should both be shown as separate covers on your policy.

Other covers that you will find useful to have included in your policy are cover to teach trainees, post-test and advanced tuition cover for banned and convicted drivers who are resitting their driving tests as well as cover for mock tests performed by another instructor for your pupils. Fleet Driver Development With a tight market many instructors are branching out into other forms of driving tuition this includes the fleet driver training market which is growing due to the requirements on companies brought in by the Health & Safety legislation. Fleet driver development insurance covers you whilst giving tuition in a client’s vehicles this is known as a demonstration drive cover is comprehensive and covers you as a driving instructor using the vehicle for business this is important as many company fleet polices normally only cover business use for the occupation of the company being insured not for your use as a driving instructor leaving you driving uninsured should you be stopped or be involved in an accident. A small additional premium is normally required for this cover.

Other areas also include cover for trailer training another growing market since the DVLA no longer issues automatic inclusion of this on new driving licenses.

Legal Expenses, there are two different types of legal expenses insurance that you may be offered before the event and after the event. The majority will be before the event but you should check that you are not being covered by an after the event policy which will expect you to pay an additional premium should you need to make a claim. Your legal expenses cover should include the cost of Solicitors’ fees, expert witnesses, court fees and any legal costs awarded to the other side you may also be covered for legal costs to defend against receiving a conviction. After the event insurance is taken out after the incident has happened, insuring you against losing the case. The amount of cover can vary with amounts ranging from £50,000 to £100,000 not uncommon. Breakdown Cover, If you require breakdown cover you should check that your policy covers you many of the large breakdown providers will not cover driving school vehicles as they are classed as being used for hire and reward and are unlikely to provide you with full cover should you not advise them of the use of your vehicle. Check with your broker as they should be able to offer a breakdown policy that covers you and your use of the vehicle as a driving instructor.

Saving Money
There are few things you can do that may help to reduce your insurance premiums without reducing cover. If you have a garage use it making sure your vehicle can be garaged at your home address can save you money as insurers will offer a discount for keeping your vehicle off the road especially in high rated areas. Taking additional training can also provide significant discounts and can also contribute towards your continual professional development many courses are available the main ones are IAM, Diamond Advanced, ROSPA and Cardington’s. The fitting of additional security can also provide additional discounts if you have fitted an immobilizer make sure you tell your insurance provider about it as this can help reduce the risk to your insurer and provide a good discount off your premiums. Ask if you can increase your excess most insurers ask for a standard £150 excess to be paid increasing this by just £50 could reduce your premium.

Things That Could Cost You

1. Misleading your insurance company. Weather you intend to mislead your insurance company or not you could potentially invalidate your cover leaving you to pick up the bill. Not disclosing all previous accidents and claims including those made on your private vehicles as well as those made whilst a pupil is driving must be disclosed failure to do this could lead to you paying a large additional premium before a claim is paid or may result in the claim not being paid at all. All modifications should be disclosed these include larger exhausts and alloy wheels as well as expensive aftermarket stereo systems.

2. Over insuring your car, it is surprising how many people do not know how much their car is worth it is worth finding this out before receiving a quote for your car as you may be paying more than you need to by giving the incorrect value or by providing the value of a new car when its 1 year old.

3. Fronting. If your son or daughter has passed their driving test you have no doubt had a shock at the cost to insure a car in their own name. Insurance for young drivers can be incredibly expensive so it is not surprising parents insure cars for their sons and daughters in their own name on the basis that the car is registered in their name with occasional use for a son or daughter. This is an age old trick and is classed as fraud and can lead to very serious consequences for all involved. The insurance policy may be cancelled, the mature driver may face a harsh fine or even a prison sentence and the young person could be banned from driving.

Before Taking Out Your Policy
Prior to accepting cover you should ask to see a copy of the quotation this will help you in seeing exactly what you are and are not covered for as well as the insurance providers own terms and conditions. All insurance companies, brokers and agents are obliged to send you a copy of your quotation under FSA regulations so ask to see it before you buy. Like driving instructor’s insurance companies charge for their services, ensure you check the small print to see how much you will be charged to change your vehicle or an address should you move. These charges can be very significant all insurance companies should be able to supply you a copy of their charges prior to going ahead with a policy. Have you checked what charges are applied should you want to cancel your policy some insurers charge as much as £70 for this! Makes you think doesn’t it. That great deal you thought you had is no longer looking so good. Checking this may save you tens if not hundreds of pounds a year. Part 3 & Check Test Cover If you require insurance to take your part 3 test or ADI check test in your own private vehicle you will need to take a specialist one day policy out this will provide cover for you and any instructor for the duration of the exam.

Adding any driver to your current private car policy is not sufficient as this will not provide business use by the examiner. You should check that your policy includes a replacement vehicle and have an excess of normally £150.00.

More Stories By Symon Weedon

Symon Weedon Cert CII is the Marketing Manager of Waveney Group Schemes Ltd a specialist insurance broker proving insurance for driving instructors and driving schools. He has worked in the insurance broking market for over 14 years holding a range of marketing positions and has studied his insurance exams with the Chartered Insurance Institute obtaining the designatory letters Cert CII. Waveney Group Schemes Ltd is Authorised And Regulated by the Financial Services Authority http://www.driving-school-insurance.com

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