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What is Minibus Insurance?
If you’re planning on owning and driving a minibus any time soon then you will definitely need insurance. Which type of minibus insurance that is though isn’t always easy to work out. That’s because minibuses can be used for a variety of reasons – be they public or private. At the same time, minibuses also come in a variety of seat numbers.
It really does pay – with minibus insurance, in particular – to shop around in order to find the most affordable and suitable cover for you. Once you start comparing you will no doubt find it varies considerably between insurance companies.
Meanwhile, you will certainly need minibus insurance for a motor vehicle that carries more than 9 and less than 16 passengers. Exceed 16 seats and the vehicle would be defined as a coach, less than nine and it could qualify as standard car insurance.
In other words, regardless of whether you are using the MPV (multi-purpose vehicle) or minibus for your own private use, charity or for commercial means (i.e. a school, club, group or care/nursing home) or as a taxi. If it’s the latter, then you’ll also need either public or private hire minibus insurance cover.
Be warned though that insurance for a minibus can prove more costly than a regular car or van insurance. This is because the vehicles themselves tend to be larger and capable of carrying more people. The more passengers, the more risks and potential payouts are involved.
Different types of policy
Commercial van insurance: Choose between a third party, the third party with fire and theft or comprehensive cover. If you are using the minibus to run a business transporting others, then it’s a good idea to have Public Liability Insurance too. Additional features to add could be European Union cover, breakdown cover and insurance for a named driver.
Fleet minibus cover: If you happen to have five or fewer minibuses, then fleet insurance means you can cover them all under one policy. This doesn’t just save time but is also less expensive too.
Public/private hire minibus/MPV insurance cover: If using a mini-bus as a private or public hire vehicle then you’ll not only have to insure against being responsible for a road accident and having to pay for another vehicle and that driver’s injuries but there is also the people you’re transporting in your own vehicle to think about. And sometimes it’s not just their injuries you have to compensate them for, but also their damaged possessions.
Van insurance cover: This is for small minibuses with a limited number of seats (maximum of 9) that are driven for private reasons i.e. without any hire or reward function.
Short-term minibus insurance: This type of cover is for a driver who intends to use his or her minibus to go on holiday for a fortnight, take friends to a special anniversary get-together or pick up children for a birthday party etc. In other words, it’s for use on a one-off occasion. It can usually be taken out for anything from three days to three weeks.
Tips on getting cheap minibus insurance
- Increase the amount of voluntary excess you are willing to pay in the event of an accident. This will have the knock-on effect of reducing your monthly or annual premium.
- Keep your minibus in a safe place overnight and when not in use. The ideal location is a locked garage. Parking it on the side of the road outside your house will result in your having to pay a higher premium.
- Keep your annual mileage as low as possible. The lower the mileage you undertake each year, the reduced the chance you have of being responsible for an accident.
- Always make sure you have top-notch security on your vehicle in addition to an alarm and efficient tracker system.
- Take an advanced driving qualification to show that you’re more careful and responsible on the road than your average driver.
- If using your minibus as part of your business then make sure you include your logo on the side of the van, preferably in large lettering. That’s because a visible name and logo can make a stolen van much more difficult to drive around without being traced.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I drive a minibus?
Do all passengers in the minibus have to wear a seat-belt?
If you’re carrying three or more children who are aged from 3 to 16 then, legally, you will need to ensure that every child is strapped in with either a lap (known as a ‘two-point belt’) or a lap and chest seat belt (called a ‘three-point belt’). Every chain will also have to be forward-facing.
Is it possible to have more than one driver on my minibus insurance policy?
Yes, you can nominate a named driver, such as a business partner or family member. Be aware though that this will cause your insurance premium to increase in cost.
Is it possible to drive a minibus with a standard car insurance policy?
No. That’s because car insurance only covers cars with up to nine seats, including the driver.
Will I have to pay more for minibus insurance than I do to insure my car?
Yes, due to the fact that a minibus is larger and carries more passengers; it could, therefore, result in more personal injury claims.
My minibus has had slight modifications made to it, meaning it is no longer ‘factory standard.’ Will I have to let my insurers know about this?
Yes. Failure to alert an insurance company about modifications could lead to your cover being cancelled.
I’m a tour guide and plan on investing in a minibus so that I can take visitors around my city. What type of minibus insurance would I need to take out?
Public minibus insurance cover would be the best type of insurance for your type of business since you’ll be carrying a number of passengers.