If you’re running a driving school or are an independent instructor then insurance is a business essential. Read on for our latest guest blog by Marc Loud.
The assumption is that stock insurance such as standard car insurance will cover most eventualities. However, and especially if you’re operating a dual control vehicle, this is most definitely not the case. Standard car insurance, even fully comprehensive cover, has two major drawbacks – it won’t cover your vehicle for business use and it won’t cover dual-controled vehicles.
Let’s take a quick look at the first problem – a lack of cover for business use. Check on the average driving insurance policy and you will usually see a clause that states the cover is for social, domestic and pleasure use only. Some insurance cover goes so far as to withdraw cover for commuting – and a lot of drivers don’t even realise that they may not be properly covered during the morning drive into work! So if you only have standard comprehensive driving insurance, you’re effectively driving un-insured. Not only is that putting you, your livelihood and others at risk, but you could also be breaking the law.
Secondly, a standard insurance policy won’t cover dual control vehicles. It’s regarded by most insurance providers as a ‘modification’ to the vehicle, and in the majority of cases standard car insurance covers unmodified vehicles only. So if you are operating a dual control vehicle, you will need to talk to your broker to find an effective insurance policy that covers your vehicle.
There are a number of other insurance policies that you’d be wise to consider. These include:
- Personal liability insurance
- Public liability insurance
- Loss of earnings cover
- Employer’s liability insurance (mandatory for employers, including those who engage sub-contractors)
Personal liability insurance will protect the individual from financial liability should they be sued for compensation. This covers accident claims and a comprehensive package will cover both physical injury and damage to a third party’s property.
Public liability insurance will cover you or your school in the eventuality that a member of the public is injured and you or a member of your company is held to be responsible. This is particularly important for driving schools, as there will inevitably be accidents when teaching novice and inexperienced drivers.
Loss of earnings cover is especially important for solo traders. Your vehicle is, quite literally, your livelihood. If it is damaged and off the road for even a short amount of time, your net income is impacted immediately. Loss of earnings cover helps to reduce the financial impact, and in some cases you may even be able to hire a replacement, dual control vehicle and get back to work straight away.
Finally, employer’s liability insurance is mandatory if you are running a business and employ other people, even if they are part-time or sub-contracted to you. Failure to have proper employer’s liability insurance could result in prosecution and a hefty fine.