In today’s world, rising fuel costs and emission concerns have prompted many travellers to switch to minibuses and minivans. Like other forms of road transport, minibuses also need to be insured. Therefore, the whole concept of minibus insurance is slowly becoming popular.
As with any insurance policy, minibus insurance covers are of three types. A comprehensive minibus insurance policy would cover almost all risks, including fire, theft, third person injuries, or physical damage. All medical expenses incurred will be paid for by the insurance company, if the amount is within the policy limit.
A second type of minibus insurance is related only to third party insurance. This is the minimum insurance requirement, as per law. This covers injuries to other people, liability for death, damage to third party property, et cetera.
The final type covers fire insurance, third party, and theft insurance. It does not cover personal medical expenses and liability for death. This is normally chosen by commercial operators and transit service operators.
Minibus insurance is also divided into five categories, based on the use of the minibuses.
Multi purpose minibuses can be insured under a separate category: Multi,purpose Vehicle Insurance. This policy covers passenger injuries, damage to cargo, theft, and fire. Some countries make it compulsory for operators to opt for this type of insurance.
Taxi and Shuttle operators should choose the Taxi Insurance category. Travellers are insured through this policy, and injuries to passengers are taken care of. Liability Insurance is also offered.
If an organisation has a large number of minibuses, it can opt for the Fleet Insurance category. This policy is cheaper, and covers passenger insurance, theft, damage to the vehicle, fire, and third party injuries or death.
If a minibus is used for personal purposes, it should be insured under the Family Insurance category. The members of the family are also insured against injuries, and theft insurance is also offered.
The last category is for charity institutions that use a minibus. This is named Charity Minibus Insurance. Under this, theft, fire, and passenger insurance are offered. The policy limit is usually higher in this category, owing to the legal requirements.
There are other types of minibus insurance that don’t fit into any specific category. For example, a minibus used as a school van cannot be insured under the Taxi Insurance category, or Fleet Insurance category alone. Injuries to school children fall under a very sensitive legal web. Some types of insurance offer legal support also.
There are some add,on insurance benefits in certain policies. These include breakdown assistance, recovery assistance and public liability cover. An important factor that should be taken into account while choosing an insurance policy is the duration of the policy.
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For example, 12 month policies will not be effective for commercial and taxi operators.
In order to make a claim on an insurance policy, there are some basic legal requirements.
If an accident has taken place, and the driver concerned does not possess a valid or a relevant driver’s license, the insurance company will not take up the case. In Europe, a green card is necessary for an insurance policy. In the United Kingdom, a Minibus Driver Awareness Scheme (MiDAS) qualification is mandatory for any minibus driver.
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