- Increase Voluntary Excess – Insurance policies will generally have a compulsory excess which you would have to pay in the event of you making claim. Most insurance companies will allow you to add a voluntary increase on the excess which will bring the cost of your insurance down however we advise you make sure you are comfortable with the amount as it would be requested in the event of a claim.
- No Claims Bonus (NCB) – The more years you have available the lower your premium will be. We can also accept No Claims Bonus from a private car as long as it is not already being used.
- Introductory Discounts – In the event you do not have any No Claim Bonus we may still be able to offer an introductory discount which would depend on your claims history. As long as you hold an accident free claims history from a similar vehicle we may be able to offer a discount which is the equivalent to having 3 years No Claim Bonus.
- Driver Restrictions – If you only have one or two people that will be driving the vehicle it may work out cheaper if you restrict your policy to the named drivers only. We also advise you check the drivers licenses to confirm they have no points that may further effect the premium. We advise you obtain confirmation of who is covered to drive the vehicle before proceeding.
- Usage – Make sure you inform the broker/insurer of the exact use of the vehicle as failure to do so may lead in the policy not indemnifying you in the result of an accident. We also advise to make sure drivers have the correct license for the vehicle.
- Claims – If you are involved in an accident we recommended you think about the cost of the repairs before making a claim. If the incident has caused minor damage it may be more cost effective to settle the bill yourself to keep your next year’s premium low.
- Compliant – If the vehicle is being used for a school or educational facility we advise you should ensure that you are complying with the policy and that the policy meets the requirements of your Local Education Authority (LEA).
A school minibus driver has been hailed a hero by saving 11 children from a collapsing bridge in Worcestershire.
The grade II listed Eastham Bride has been around since 1793 but last Tuesday it suddenly collapsed into the river.
Derek Trow was driving 11 pupils home from Lindridge St Lawrence Church of England Primary School when he approached the bridge and noticed the road giving way.
The driver quickly put the minibus into reverse and move the vehicle off the bridge before it dramatically gave way.
The bridge is expected to take months to replace and has left the town with severe traffic disruptions.
Road Traffic accidents can take place at any given moment and this brief guide will offer advice and tips on what action you should take.
After the impact has taken place it is best to gather as much information as possible in the event of a claim being made by yourself or to defend any claim being made against you. A tip given by many insurers is to always carry a small notepad and pen in your vehicle so that you can record details down straight away.
Firstly make sure you are physically ok and any passengers that you may have in your vehicle. If anyone has sustained an injury and is unable to exit the vehicle unaided it is advised to contact the emergency services.
- Take images – If you have a smart phone or a camera in your vehicle we advise that you take images of the accident location (with vehicles still in position if possible however if they had to be moved then please take an image of where the impact took place, damage to all vehicles involved, third party vehicle showing the vehicle registration.
- Exchange details with the third party – Try to obtain the following; Name, Address, Contact number, Vehicle registration, Insurance company name, policy number. (If they refuse to provide you with their details make sure you take note of their vehicle registration and note down a small description of the driver. If this is the case we advise you contact the police to report the incident and confirm that they have refused to provide you with the relevant information)(Failure to exchange information at the scene of the accident can result in the police taking further action against you and may land you with a fine and a conviction on your license.)
- Circumstances – It would be helpful if you noted down the following to provide to your insurers when reporting a claim; Time, Location, Brief note of what happened, a small sketch while the accident is still fresh in your memory.
- Witnesses – You may find that people approach you after an accident however if you notice someone has witnessed what has happened it is best to ask them if they are happy to be a noted witness of the accident and to be contacted If needed for a statement. Please take a note of their Name, Address (or email) and a contact number.
- DO NOT provide any comment on liability at the scene of the accident – It is best to obtain all the above information and pass it to your insurance company for them to review.
- Report the accident as soon as possible – It is recommended that you report the claim to your insurance company within 24 hours of an accident taking place regardless of if you are making a claim or who is at fault. Here at Quotax we have a dedicated claims handler who can assist you with this process and offer further advice/services to suit your needs.
Once a claim is reported to an insurer or representative it is not uncommon for you to receive cold colds from alternative companies offering you services or on behalf of the third party side fishing for information or trying to get you to accept liability on a recorded phone call. Due to this it is advised that you only discuss your claim with your insurer or representative only.
If you are unsure who is dealing with your claim always contact your insurer and ask or provide them with the names of companies calling you so they can confirm who is acting on your behalf.
Dealing with an accident outside of insurance Do’s and Don’ts
If either you offer to assist the third party outside of insurance or the third party offers to assist you it is helpful to keep the following in mind;
*If you decide to choose this option and the third party reimburses you for your losses you will not be able to claim again for the same incident via your insurance company or the other parties insurance company*
- DO follow the above steps still just in case you or the third party reverts back to the general insurance route.
- DO obtain a quote for your vehicle from a garage before accepting any sums from the third party as some repairs can cost more than what it looks like.
- DO keep hold of any receipts for any work you have done to your vehicle that the other party has not yet paid for.
- DO NOT just pay sums to the third party without asking them to sign some paper stating that they accept you have paid them out. Make sure this contains you information, the third party information, the sum paid out and both sign the paper along with the date.
- DO NOT feel like you have to accept this option if you are not fully agreeable – you are under no obligation to settle outside of insurance and we advise you contact your insurer so they can get involved as soon as possible.
By Danielle Flood
Quotax Claims Manager
During her year in office as Mayor of Durham City, Jan Blakey started an appeal to raise money for Trinity School and Sports College in order for them to buy a new specially adapted minibus.
Her appeal later received an astonishing boost from an anonymous donor who contributed £10,000 towards the fund.
During a visit to the school, Durham Cllr Blakey, said: “I was absolutely staggered when I received the donation of £10,000 to my fund for a school minibus at Trinity School.”
“It was a truly incredible gesture and the timing could not have been better. I knew that Trinity School were trying to raise enough funds to purchase a new minibus for their pupils.
“When I told the school of their windfall, everyone was absolutely delighted and they are now ready to press on with the purchase of the adapted minibus which will be ready next year and will be a wonderful boost for the pupils.”
The school has now reached the target of £17,000 in record time thanks to the generous donor and also means they now qualify for extra funding from the Lord’s Taverners, which provides schools with adapted transportation for young people with disabilities.
The main purpose of the minibus is to provide schools with the facility to help pupils take part in sporting and recreational activities and to also provide a better transport service to and from the school.
Alison Jefferson, business manager at Trinity School, said: “The gesture from Cllr Blakey came totally out of the blue – a complete surprise.
“I can’t imagine a better Christmas present.”
The safety of the pupils and staff should always be absolute priority. If you are driving the minibus even if you volunteer you are legally responsible for its roadworthiness. If there are any defects found by a police officer you are responsible for points and possibly prosecutions.
It is also essential that you check the School minibus insurance documents for the following:
- The uses detailed on the Insurance document matches up with what the minibus is actually being used for.
- The total number of passengers is correct on the Insurance documents
- You fall within the driving restrictions imposed by the Underwriters.
It is always recommended that any driver is given proper training to drive the vehicle with at least the following:
- Familiarisation with the vehicle
- Vehicle checks to be carried out before each journey
- Procedures to be followed in the event of an emergency
- Looking after the passengers
- Securing disabled passengers wheelchairs, loading and unloading
A lot of educational authorities will provide certified driving qualifications for minibuses.
Section 19 requirements
Minibus and Community Bus Permits, these are issued to organisations to allow a charge for the carriage of passengers. The charge can only cover the running costs of the vehicle they cannot be made to make profit. School parents may also be charged to contribute towards the upkeep of the vehicle. The section 19 permit allows certain organisations, including schools to make a charge without the driver having to have a PCV (Cat D1 or D) entitlement, the school would also not need to comply with the full public service operators licence.
Teacher may be held personally liable if they drive a minibus without a permit if one is required.
With so many of the major breakdown companies no longer covering school minibuses for breakdown cover, Quotax have negotiated an extremely competitive scheme.
Quotax are leaders in the Minibus Insurance market and have seen a huge increase in demand for our standalone school minibus breakdown product.
Most of our Minibus Insurance products have breakdown included but with so many schools having minibus cover through the council we are still able assist with the Breakdown policy. The School and Not for profit Policy has some of the following key benefits:
- Home Start up to 1 hours labour
- Cover for any driver of the vehicle
- Wheel Changes
- 24 Hour 365 days a year
- Onward travel for the policy holder and up to 16 passengers
- Recovery of your vehicle to the nearest garage
- Roadside assistance including up to 1 hour’s labour
Please call our experienced team today on 0208 469 9679 to discuss your requirements.
Do not talk with you passengers unless to warn them that for safety reasons you are unable to talk as you need to concentrate on the road.
Keep your distance – You can’t crash into air, keep the space between your minibus and other vehicles
Don’t allow alcohol to be consumed on the bus, when people have a few drinks they often get noisy , this alone can be a distraction for a driver even if they are not engaging in conversation with you.
Do not take corners at speed – Minibuses can hold up to 17 passenger seats and this extra weight can make the minibus more unstable than other vehicles.
When you park the Bus park it well-lit area, away from other vehicles but in view of people walking past.
Anticipate – take note of other road users and give yourself plenty of time to negotiate your way around tight roads, remember minibuses are larger than your normal private car.
Quotax have searched the market to find a great Minibus breakdown product at an extremely competitive price.
We understand that whilst driving a minibus with a large number of passengers nothing could be worse than being stranded by the side of the road without suitable cover.
Our minibus breakdown product operates 24 hours a day and uses a network of over 1,500 breakdown recovery agents. The policy includes Roadside assistance and if the vehicle cannot be fixed at the roadside the vehicle will be recovered. Quotax have sourced cover that will take up to 16 passengers and the driver to a chosen destination. The home service will assist our clients if the vehicle does not start at home and will also recover the vehicle to a garage.
We cover almost every use of minibus from minibuses being used for school runs to childminders through to ones being used for large families. Please see out Minibus Breakdown Cover page for further details.
Emergency services were called to Heathrow Airport at around 5.30 a.m. today after a Minicab crashed into the terminal 5 building.
It is believed the Minicab driver suffered a heart attack at the wheel, and he was taken to Hillingdon Hospital.
The thick fog in London this morning added to the chaos as a lane of traffic was closed off for some time following the incident.
A Minibus driver who had a collision with a motorcyclist, killing him instantly, has been spared Jail at Bolton Crown Court this week. The accident happened in Manchester Road, Kearsley, in January 2011.
The motorcyclist, Neil Cooper, was a 52 year old father of two, and his wife Linda died just four months later after suffering a heart attack.
Henry Hamilton who had been found guilty of causing death by careless driving had received a 12 month suspended prison sentence and was disqualified from driving for three years. However he failed to tell his Insurance Company, Bollington, about this conviction for over five years. He had continued to renew his commercial policy with them for his business Dunne’s Travel. The disclosures only came to light when Henry was recognised by the Police Officer who had investigated the fatal motorcycle crash, when he pulled over a van in which Hamilton was a passenger.
He admitted to five counts of fraud committed over the period January 2011 – January 2015, and at Bolton Crown Court was sentenced to 12 months in prison, suspended for 12 months, and was ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work.
The Judge in summing up said ‘You failed to disclose a number of particulars concerning your offending and your position to your Insurers’, which must have resulted in a reduction of your premiums and ensured you had insurance when otherwise you may have been refused. ‘This is why you did it’
Jude Timothy Stead imposed a 28 day residency order for Hamilton to remain at his house in Masefield Drive, Farnworth. He also ordered him to pay a £100 victim surcharge but made no order for prosecution costs or compensation as Hamilton is not in work or in receipt of benefits. It emerged that he is being supported financially by his family.
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