Driving instructor insurance

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Starting your own business as a driving instructor can be incredibly satisfying. Making sure that the next generation of drivers learn an important life skill safely and take to the road with confidence is something to be proud of. However, getting insured to take inexperienced drivers out on the road requires some preparation and hard work. Rounding up quotes from insurers who cover dual-control cars and approved instructors can be time-consuming.

Specialised driving school insurance can provide precisely the right level of cover, which is essential in getting your business up and running as quickly as possible.

Getting started as a driving instructor

Do you have good people skills? An ability to teach? A clean driving record? Then you could have what it takes to become a driving instructor.

Getting qualified as an Approved Driving Instructor (ADI) is a long process and involves taking a theory, practical and instructor's test. Even while you’re training, you’ll need Potential Driving Instructor (PDI) insurance so that you can instruct pupils as part of your qualification.

How is driving school insurance different?

Whether you’re working for yourself as an Approved Driving Instructor, Potential Driving Instructor or work for an established driving school, you’ll require cover far beyond that provided by standard car insurance.

For starters, you’ll need hire and reward coverage - essential for anyone who makes money by using their car.

The presence of a learner in your car will increase the risk factor, especially now that learners are allowed on motorways. It also makes sense to look for extras such as a dual-control courtesy car in the event that your own vehicle is off the road for any period. If you use another car day-to-day, it’s worth looking at multi-car cover too.

What factors affect my premiums?

Driving school insurance premiums are usually higher than those associated with standard insurance.

Given the scope of the cover required by driving instructors, this is hardly surprising and there may be some discretionary additions. For example, if you want to teach drivers who are under 17 – which has to be done off-road - you’ll need additional cover.

However, it’s not only the inexperience of the learners that can affect your premiums:

  • The type of cars: Engine size and transmission make a difference to the premiums when you’re buying any form of car insurance.
  • Where you live: Your location can also affect the premiums you pay.
  • The type of instructor you are: If you’re a PDI then you’ll serve a six-month probationary period. This increases your premiums because you’re a higher risk factor than a qualified ADI. Once you’ve passed, your premiums should reduce as you gain experience.
  • The hours you work: Whether you work full or part-time, your insurers will create a tailor-made policy that reflects the hours you spend teaching learner drivers.
  • The type of cover you require: The more comprehensive the insurance and the more services you offer as an instructor, the more expensive it may be.

Getting the insurance you need

Before you start comparing different insurance providers, you need to be absolutely clear as to the level of cover you require. You might want to consider the following:

  • Personal accident cover: This covers you and your passengers in the event of an accident.
  • Negligent tuition cover: This cover protects you against any claims your learners might make as the result of an accident.
  • Public liability insurance: This protects you and your business if you’re sued for damages as a result of negligence and is mandatory for any business.
  • Uninsured driver protection: if you’re involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, you can protect your no claims discount.

Once you’re clear as to the type of cover that’s right for your business, you can start looking for quotes. Remember, even if the first quote you get appears to be acceptable, it always pays to compare more than one provider.

The right cover at the right price 

It’s sometimes tempting to go with the cheapest quote when overheads are tight. However, before you choose a policy based solely upon price, take a hard look at the small print and ensure that the policy really does provide the cover you require.

A reputable insurer will create a tailor-made policy that gives you the right balance between your budget and the cover provided.

Think carefully about the excess you can afford. A larger excess can bring down your premiums but you need to be able to cover it if you have to make a claim . If you’re in a position to pay your annual premium in one go then you should save money in comparison with paying monthly. Look for an insurer offering flexible payment options.

Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification if something isn’t clear to you. For example, if a courtesy vehicle is important to you in the event of an accident, check that it’s included in the policy and that the vehicle type will allow you to continue to run your business.

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