Category Archives: Minibus Insurance

Van Insurance : the Purpose Matters as Much as the Model of the Van

When you decide on van insurance, there are certain factors to be taken into consideration. Among them that figures highly is the model of the van you drive. This is a major determinant of the premium you will have to pay. A more expensive van will obviously attract a larger premium.

When we speak of a van as distinguished from a car, we mean any vehicle larger and taller than, say,

a car, which can accommodate a group of people, around eight or more, along with goods. In the UK, a van refers to a large vehicle used for cargo. These vans are often used by transportation companies than by the general public. These vans thus serve a special professional purpose. If instead of goods, it is used to carry people, it is more likely to be referred to as a minibus.

What matters more to serve among the various criteria for insurance premium by the insurance provider companies, is the function a van serves which determines the different possibility of wear and tear and the road dangers it faces. As a rule, the minivan mentioned above, is built to sustain more shock as much as to survive a collision. The reasons are obvious. Since it carries passengers, it also faces less chances of accidents because of any driver’s tendency to drive more responsibly for the sake of the lives of his/her passengers. It is somewhat obvious then that the insurance costs of the minivan would tend to be lesser. This is one aspect in which a van insurance differs from a car insurance.

If you want a van insurance, the advisable thing to do is to visit the websites of some good insurance provider sites in the UK and to compare the premiums as well as the fine prints within the insurance clauses to avoid confusion later on. It would also be advisable to research about van insurance and of course, to know what kind of premium your van model is likely to attract as per previous records.

Minibus Insurance Advice For Driving to a European Ski Resort

If you’re planning a trip to a popular ski resort in Europe with friends or family, why not travel together in a minibus.

It can be better value for money if everyone chips in to hire a minibus rather than paying individually for air fares or train tickets. Costs like minibus insurance, fuel and ferry fares can be shared and it will add up to a lot less for each person than most other forms of travel. Not only this, it’s also great fun. Driving through Europe with friends and family becomes a real adventure. Unlike travelling by air or rail, you’ll be able to really experience the countries you pass through. And it will become a holiday in itself even before the skiing starts!

This article is a brief guide to things you need to know about minibus insurance if you’re planning to drive to Europe in a minibus.

Don’t get confused between minibuses and people carriers. A minibus is defined as a vehicle that can carry at least seven seated passengers, but not more than sixteen. If the vehicle has more than sixteen seats then you’re driving a bus!

If you’re travelling with friends and family there are obviously no fare paying passengers. Remember to tell your minibus insurance provider this as the journey will be classed as private and non-commercial. This makes a difference when your premium is calculated.

There are a number of essential documents, as well as the minibus insurance certificate, that the driver must carry when driving from the UK to a European destination. If you’re travelling only within the European Union member states and the ASOR European Union signatory states, which includes Turkey, Norway and Switzerland, you’ll need a “waybill” that acts as a “control document”.

A Green Card, while not necessarily essential for the trip, will serve in the EU as recognised proof of your valid minibus insurance. It will also make any claims that may arise much easier to deal with. Remember that every country has its own local driving laws that you should be aware of. Your minibus insurance will depend on all local laws being observed.

For international journeys originating in the UK, the minibus insurance will depend on the driver complying with EU drivers’ hours whether or not the driver is being paid. This means that a properly calibrated tachograph needs to be fitted to the minibus. Insurance claims are not likely to be honoured if the proper drivers’ hours are not closely observed.

It is important to carry all the documentation required for the journey. The “waybill” has already been mentioned. If the minibus is owned by a member of the group and not hired, then an Own Account Certificate (OAC) is required. The vehicle registration document should also be carried along with a European accident form. Remember that the minibus will need to have a prominent GB sticker displayed.

Using a minibus to drive to a European ski resort from the UK is simple, cost-effective and fun for all concerned. However, for minibus insurance purposes, it is essential that you comply with the local laws and carry the correct documentation at all times.

5 Important Factors to Consider When Choosing Taxi Minibus Insurance

More taxi operators today are choosing to drive an MPV or Minibus because of its extra space and carrying capacity. Minibuses can carry more than four passengers and there is no need to turn away those with too much luggage. But there are extra costs involved with driving a larger vehicle, one of these being minibus insurance.

It is important to get the right insurance for your vehicle but at the right price. With some commercial vehicle insurers you may end up paying too much as they apply a standard cover which is not suitable for your specific requirements. This is why it is recommended to seek advice from a specialist insurer such as The Minibus Club. They will tailor the policy to your needs and ensure you are not being over charged.

Below are 5 important features that should be considered before choosing your minibus insurance policy:

1) Public Liability Cover.
To satisfy local government requirements you will need an indemnity limit of at least £5 million.

2) Uninsured Loss Recovery.
When in an accident there is a chance the other driver is uninsured. Uninsured loss recovery will cover the cost of an appointed lawyer and legal costs, usually up to £100,000.

3) Breakdown and Recovery Assistance.
Make sure the facility is provided by one of the larger breakdown assistance companies like the AA and includes Homestart. This is important for those cold winter mornings when your minibus won’t start.

4) Protected No Claims Bonus.
To qualify for this you will usually need evidence of at least 5 years no claims as a taxi driver.

5) 24 hour/ 365 days Freephone Helpline.
This is very important as you never know when you may need some advice from your insurers.

It is normal for your insurers to ask if 2 way communications are used in the provision of your taxi service and if you have regular contracts such as school transport and hospital visits. Justtaxiinsurance.co.uk has more information about what to expect when applying for taxi minibus insurance.

Passenger Transport Insurance is a competitive marketplace. With a little research you will soon find the right policy at the right price. The Minibusclub.co.uk has a useful tool on their website for an immediate minibus insurance quote. This is a great place to start your search.

Top 10 Minibus Driving Tips

The MinibusClub.co.uk provides a useful guide for driving a minibus. In this article I have selected their top 10 tips for driving safely. Some may seem obvious but they are all worth mentioning. As a minibus driver you are ultimately responsible for your passengers’ safety and the safety of other road users.

1. If your minibus is fitted with a microphone do not use it while the vehicle is moving, unless in an emergency.

2. Do not use a mobile phone. It is now illegal to use a hand held mobile phone or similar device when driving in the UK. It is not illegal to use a mobile phone earpiece or a speaker system but this is not advisable. The police can still prosecute a driver if they are not in proper control or driving carelessly whilst using the phone.

3. Do not engage in conversation with your passengers unless it is a short statement to inform them of safety issues, operational matters or the vehicle’s location.

4. Ensure your passenger’s behaviour does not endanger other road users or the safety of your vehicle. Do not allow anything to be thrown out of the windows. Advise passengers to stay seated and do not allow running in the aisle. Try to prevent boisterous behaviour and prevent passengers distracting you whilst driving.

5. Allow sufficient stopping distance from the vehicle in front. The stopping distance in a minibus is far greater than that of a car. Remember to add your reaction time to that stopping distance. Extra care needs to be taken when travelling at speed on a motorway or in wet conditions.

6. Brake firmly only when travelling in a straight line. Braking on corners will cause instability. Reduce the minibus’s speed before cornering. When descending a steep winding hill, brake firmly on the straights and ease off on the bends.

7. If taking children to school in a minibus with a passenger capacity of 8 or more, it is obligatory to display the 2 yellow retro-reflective warning signs bearing the symbol of 2 school children.

8. When driving on a motorway try to stay in the left hand lane. A minibus can use the fast lane of a motorway to overtake only if its gross weight does not exceed 7.5 tonnes.

9. Do not use your minibus horn when reversing unless there is danger to a pedestrian or another moving vehicle.

10. Do not park your minibus so that it may cause an obstruction to others. If parking at night, the vehicle’s side and rear lights must be left on. It must always be parked on the nearside of the road unless in a designated parking space.

Driving your minibus safely will prevent accidents. It will also save you money on your minibus insurance as it will increase your no claims bonus. For more minibus advice, visit the Minibusclub.co.uk.

Van Insurance : Reasonable Premiums for Purpose Well-served

Vans are used for a number of purposes. Apart from the purpose that your van serves from you, the model of your van also plays a big role to ultimately determine how high a premium it would attract. It is obvious that a commercial van would attract higher premiums than a non-commercial one. And then, an expensive model of your van can obviously swing the premiums upward.

At first, let us get the definition of a van clear. It is distinguished from a car, especially in terms of its size and carrying capacity. A van can obviously accommodate more people along with goods. In fact, vans are also used for cargo, as when the term applies to the vehicle we have in the UK. And often these are used by the transportation companies since it does the carriage in bulk, which a normal family of four members may not require for general use.

Van insurance policies have higher premiums on such commercial vans since they generally carry passengers and goods as a paid service. They serve a special purpose of transportation on ad hoc basis as well. When the van is used more for the purpose of carrying passengers, it may be considered to be more of a minibus. Insurance companies generally look at the purpose that your van serves for you, since that also determines the various risks your van is exposed to on the roads, and the wear and tear that it may undergo.

Using the Internet as medium, you can collect information about various van insurance schemes and visit the websites of the insurance companies and contact them to know of the available schemes and the ones that may suit you. You can fill in the online application form, collect quotes and compare them to get an idea how much a policy would cost to you while providing how much of coverage.

A Brief Guide to Driving a Minibus in Europe

As flying is becoming more expensive an increasing number of holiday makers are choosing to drive to Europe. Minibuses are a popular choice of transport but there are a number of legal requirements that affect driving abroad.

When travelling within EU member states and ASOR signatory states (Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and some Eastern European Countries) a control document in the form of a ‘waybill’ or an ‘own account certificate’ must be carried. This applies to all vehicles with more than eight passenger seats.

The Waybill is required by all profit-making organisations and comes in two forms: the EU Journey Form and the ASOR waybill. The EU Journey Form is for travelling in EU member states and can also be used in Norway and Switzerland. The ASOR waybill is for use when travelling outside the European Union and requires a set of translations to accompany it.  Minibusclub.co.uk has a section with useful minibus advice on where to obtain waybills.

The Own Account Certificate (OAC) can be carried instead of a waybill if the minibus belongs to a non-profit making organisation and when travelling within EU member states. The OAC is free of charge and will remain valid for five years.

As well as a waybill or OAC, other documentation that needs to be carried on the vehicle at all times includes a minibus insurance certificate, European accident form, vehicle registration document and GB sticker. A Green Card is advisable when travelling abroad and the insurance company can help with this.

The driver of the minibus will require a Full Passport and a formal ‘Permission to Drive’ letter from the vehicle’s owner, unless they are the registered keeper of the minibus. The UK drivers licence is valid for journeys within the EU and EEA. Travelling outside these member states requires an International Driving Permit (IDP).

A tachograph needs to be used for international journeys starting from the UK. The minibus driver must comply with EU ‘drivers’ hours’ regulations for all international journeys.

This article is intended as a brief guide. It is recommended to check out all rules and regulations before driving to any international country. The International Road Freight Office, embassies and tourist information offices can provide all the necessary advice.

Minibus Insurance Advice- a Buyers Guide

Insurance for a minibus, as with any motor vehicle, is required by the law. The minimum level is Third Party cover but this is a very basic policy. The minibus owner is risking a large bill if something were to happen that required a claim.

Uses for a minibus can include transport for nursing homes, schools, local authorities and charities. Popular commercial uses include taxis, hotel transport and employee transport. Each use has different potential risks that need to be covered by the minibus insurance and often a policy will be tailored to these specific requirements.

The three main types of policy cover are Comprehensive, Third Party Fire and Theft, and Third Party Only.

As mentioned earlier, Third Party is the minimum level of insurance cover as required by law. It will cover liability for death or injury to third parties, liability for damage to other people’s property and legal costs in connection to claims against your policy.

By adding Fire and Theft the minibus is covered if damaged when stolen or being involved in a fire.

Comprehensive is the highest level of minibus insurance and will cover most risks. These may include providing medical expenses after an accident, replacing personal effects lost after a theft or accident, and insuring against damage to the minibus’s windows and windscreen.

There are certain ‘add ons’ that can be applied to each policy, depending on the minibus’s use. Additional public liability may be needed if the vehicle is carrying fee paying passengers or European breakdown cover for minibuses that travel regularly to the continent.

If travelling to Europe the insurance policy will require a green card. Many insurance providers now include this as standard. It will enable the minibus to be driven abroad with the same level of cover, for a maximum period of 90 days.

Whatever policy is chosen it is better to be ‘safe than sorry’, especially if there is the extra responsibility of transporting passengers. If the minibus is used by many different drivers then leave a copy of the policy in the vehicle in case it is required after an accident.

To avoid paying too much for minibus insurance, seek advice from a specialist insurance provider such as the Minibusclub.co.uk. They will tailor a policy to the vehicle’s specific requirements and ensure there are no unexpected surprises when making a claim.

Three Ways to Prevent Accidents When Driving a Minibus

Nobody wants to be involved in a traffic accident, especially when you could be transporting up to 16 other people in a minibus.

This article identifies three ways of minimising the chance of an accident and therefore saving you money on your minibus insurance by reducing the need for making claims.

1. Be aware of other road users.

This may seem obvious but surprisingly this advice is often overlooked. Many road users are not as responsible as we would like them to be. For instance some drivers still feel the need to use their mobile telephone even though it is now against the law. If you are following a driver using a mobile phone give them extra space as there is a higher risk their actions may cause an accident.

If a motorist is driving to close to the back of your minibus don’t react aggressively to their poor judgement. It is easy to get wound up by tailgating but if you can take a deep breath, stay calm and let the vehicle pass, your chances of being involved in an accident are greatly reduced.

2. Driver Training

The Community Transport Association (CTA) is the lead UK body for voluntary and community transport. They oversee two minibus driver training schemes, MiDAS and CommunityDriver, which are recognised by the majority of insurance providers.

MiDAS (Minibus Driver Training Scheme) covers all areas of driving a minibus safely. It is suitable for an individual or for companies that operate a fleet of vehicles. The test helps to increase a driver’s confidence and passenger safety is improved.

The CommunityDriver scheme helps a minibus driver obtain a D1 licence. This is now required for all driving licences issued after 1st January 1997. To obtain a D1 licence a driver must pass a theory test, a hazard perception test and then undertake a full medical. The CommunityDriver scheme provides all that is needed to obtain the licence, including locally based trainers and learning materials. Tests are arranged at convenient locations for the driver.

Driver training will greatly reduce the risk of an accident. And evidence of such training may result in a discount on your minibus insurance.

3. Passenger Awareness

Transporting passengers is the main reason for driving a minibus. But in many instances their behaviour can be the cause of an accident.

Don’t start chatting with any of the passengers. If a passenger comes up to the front of the minibus and tries to engage you in conversation, remind him or her that there is a safety issue.

Try to keep all passengers in their seats at all times. If passengers are moving about, or if there are more at one side of the vehicle than at the other, it can cause instability.

Ask passengers to fasten their seat belts. It is now law for seat belts to be used at all times by the driver and passengers. Children below 135cm in height need to wear a child restraint in addition to a seat belt.

If your minibus is fitted with a microphone do not use it while the vehicle is moving, unless in an emergency. It may seem perfectly normal to point out places of interest to your passengers but it will be a distraction that could cause an accident.

And don’t allow passengers to drink alcohol on a minibus. Alcohol is actually illegal on buses going to and from sporting fixtures.

If you are unfortunate enough to be involved in an accident then the best advice is to stay calm. Losing your temper, however angry you may feel, will not help an already difficult situation. By taking a controlled approach to the situation you will help ensure your passengers’ safety. And be sure to collect as much information at the scene as possible. It may help resolve any legal or minibus insurance issues that may follow.

The Ten Most Bizarre Motor Insurance Claims

Every year insurance providers receive a variety of unusual claims, whether it’s car, motorcycle or minibus insurance. Many involve animals, trees, or inanimate objects.

This article reveals the ten most bizarre and obscure claims, all from genuine sources:

1. One motorist was in such a panic when a wasp flew into his car and up his trouser leg that he hit the accelerator; unfortunately, also hitting the car in front.

2. Cows can be a problem. In one particular instance, a driver claimed that the cow jumped onto his quad bike, presumably by accident rather than with the intention of driving away.

3. In another incident involving a cow the driver described his experience,  “As I came over a hill, I hit a cow in the middle of the road, which then hit the bonnet and shattered the windscreen with its rear end”. Thankfully, the cow survived.

4. When driving close to a herd of cattle try to avoid their tongues. In a particularly bizarre insurance claim a motorist stated that the cows caused damage to his car’s paintwork by licking it.

5. Cows aren’t the only animal causing problems. A driver claimed that a reindeer fell onto the bonnet of his car. Thankfully it wasn’t at Christmas and the reindeer did not have a red nose.

6. When driving in Africa zebras can be difficult, especially if they intentionally collide with your car, as was the case with one claim.

7. Always secure your shopping bags when driving. One driver had the misfortune to find that a potato had fallen out of the bag and had become lodged under his brakes, rending them useless.

8. Bizarrely flying kebabs can be a hazard on the road. Apparently, a driver was rounding a bend when a frozen kebab flew out of his car, hitting a passing car and causing damage.

9. That’s not the only frozen item causing damage. Another motorist claimed, “A frozen squirrel fell out of a tree and crashed through the windscreen onto the passenger seat”.

10. If flashed at by a speed camera try to contain your anger. One motorist, fed up of being snapped by a speed camera, decided to take his revenge by driving into the post that it was attached to. Unfortunately, the post was stronger than expected, causing him to write off his motor.

Each of these incidents illustrates the importance of having adequate car, motorcycle or minibus insurance. After all, you can never predict when a reindeer might fall from the sky or an unhappy cow exacts her revenge.

Minibus Driving Advice- Accidents and Minibus Insurance

Whether it is your own minibus or a hire vehicle it is useful to know what to do in the event of an accident. A claim on your minibus insurance is the usual outcome after an accident. This article outlines the information that needs to be gathered at the scene to prevent any dispute.

As a minibus driver the first consideration after an accident is to make the scene as safe as possible.

1. Switch your minibus hazard lights on. Use a warning triangle if available. Take great care when placing the triangle at least 50 metres away from the vehicle. Warning triangles should never be used on the motorway.

2. Assess your passengers. If any are injured do not move them unless there is an immediate risk from other vehicles or fire. If the minibus must be vacated move the passengers to a safe location as far from the vehicle as possible. Be aware of approaching traffic when exiting the minibus.

3. If needed call the emergency services immediately. Provide them with as much information as possible about the accident scene and any injured passengers. As the minibus driver you will be required to stay at the scene until they arrive.

4. Any injuries should be reported to the Police. Try to keep details of all vehicles and people involved in the accident.

5. If the accident is minor or does not involve other people, check there are no injuries to your passengers and your minibus is roadworthy before continuing with your journey.

When an accident is serious enough that an insurance claim may follow do not admit liability at the scene. As rude as it may seem, do not apologise. This can be interpreted as admitting liability. And do not offer any payment.

The law requires you to give any person who is affected by the accident your details. These should include your name, contact number and the name of you insurance provider. A specialist minibus insurance provider such as The Minibus Club will be able to advise you about this.

It is very important to record all details of an accident. Information should include:

1. Vehicles involved

Record the types of vehicles and their registration number. Obtain the details of the other people involved in the accident including their name, address, contact number, insurance details and policy number.

2. Accident scene

Include details about the weather, visibility and road condition. Estimate the speed of the vehicles prior to the accident. Record the location of the accident, the date and the time. If the police attend the scene then ask for an incident number.

3. Details of Witness

Ask for the name and contact details of any people who witnessed the accident.

The best advice if involved in an accident is to stay calm. Losing your temper, however angry you may feel, will not help an already difficult situation. As a minibus driver your first responsibility is to your passengers and their safety. By taking a controlled approach to the situation will prevent putting others at further risk. The details gathered at the scene of the accident will be valuable information for resolving any legal or minibus insurance issues that may follow.