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Regardless of whether you operate a public hire or private hire vehicle, cheap 9 seater minibus insurance is going to be very important to you.
What is 9 seater minibus insurance?
Whether you use your 9-seater minibus for work, church, charity events or ordinary family life, it’s crucial to have insurance that gives you the right cover for your needs. To ensure you get the best 9 seater minibus insurance policy for your needs and budget, here’s what to consider.
What are you using your using your 9 seater for?
If you are using your mini bus for purposes that are commercial in nature you may want to consider coverage that accounts for this. For example if you are transporting people or goods for payment then a form of hire and reward insurance would be an appropriate coverage.
If your mini bus operations put you in regular contact with members of the public, you may want to consider a form of public liability insurance. This will cover you against claims made by members of the public for injuries and damages. For example if you are a tour bus operator and a passenger suffers and injury whilst in one of your mini buses, they could claim against the operator or owner for compensation. This has the potential of leading to costly legal fees and even potential pay outs, a good public liability policy can cover you against this.
What does ‘class of use’ mean for a 9 seater mini bus?
Class of use is an insurance term used to describe the way you will use your minibus, for example social, domestic, pleasure or business use. Examples include, tour bus operators, school bus, retirement village transport or just simply a family transport.
Whatever policy you choose should reflect the way your minibus will be used. If it doesn’t, you risk invalidating your policy which means your insurer can refuse to pay out if you need to claim. For example if you are claiming to use your mini bus for personal use but are using it to make profit through commercial activity, your insurer will view this as an act of non-disclosure and so will void your insurance.
Most insurers are flexible when it comes to arranging insurance for minibuses so even if you use it in a variety of ways, your policy can still be tailored to suit your specific needs. Examples of the different ways you might use your minibus include:
- Personal use – If you use your minibus just for social, domestic and pleasure purposes only. These are typically family vehicles.
- Taxi, private or contract hire – If you use your minibus to carry paying passengers, you’ll need insurance that includes hire and reward; for example, if you use your minibus for airport runs.
- Carriage of passengers – Suitable if you carry passengers who don’t pay; for example, if your minibus is used for a school, sports club, church or charity.
What’s the maximum number of seats a minibus can have?
Minibuses typically have 9 or more seats up to a maximum of 17, although this number is sometimes disputed between insurers. On your logbook (V5C) your vehicle should be classed under category M2 if it’s a minibus with up to 16 seats. Generally speaking, anything with more than 16 seats is considered a coach – meaning you’ll have a different risk profile to a mini bus in the eyes of an an insurer so you’ll need coach insurance.
Who needs 9-seater minibus insurance?
If you drive a minibus with between 9 and 16 seats, you’ll need a minibus insurance policy, whereas vehicles with 6 or 7 seats can often be insured as people carriers (also known as multi-purpose vehicles, or MPVs).
The reason vehicles with 9 or more seats need 9-seater minibus insurance is that carry a different set of risks faced – for example, they’re usually much larger than people carriers, which can affect manoeuvrability and introduce additional blind spots.
What does 9-seater minibus insurance cover?
Like other types of vehicle insurance, you’ll be able to choose from one of three levels of cover:
- Third party only (TPO)– This covers the cost of injury and damage you cause to other people, but it won’t pay to fix your 9-seater minibus if it’s damaged. This is the minimum level you can have by law.
- Third party, fire and theft (TPFT) – This includes third party only and will also pay to repair or replace your minibus if it’s stolen or damaged by fire.
- Comprehensive – provides third party, fire and theft cover and will also cover costs if your minibus needs fixing. This is the highest level of cover you can buy.
You’ll also need to make sure your policy covers the way you use your minibus. So, if you’re using your minibus for a charity, school or community group, you should let your insurer know so they can take this into account.
If you carry fare paying passengers, your policy should include hire and reward cover. This will allow you to transport passengers in exchange for money – for instance if you use your minibus as a taxi service.
If your policy doesn’t give you the cover you need based on the way you use your minibus, you risk invalidating any policy you have. This means your insurer can refuse to pay out should you need to claim. If in doubt, speak to your insurer, as they’ll be able to tailor your policy to suit your needs.
How much does it cost to insure a 9-seater minibus?
Cost depends on a number of different factors and insurers will consider each of these to work out a fair premium based on your needs and the chances of a claim being made. Insurers will typically consider:
- Minibus value – New or particularly expensive minibuses are likely to cost you more to insure due to repair and replacement costs.
- Driver age – Younger drivers under 25 tend to pay more for insurance.
- Parking and security – The lower the risk of theft or damage, the lower the premium.
- Penalty points – Premiums are significantly higher if drivers have penalty points on their licence.
How can I get cheap 9-seater minibus insurance?
When you compare minibus insurance, it’s a good idea to look at what’s on offer rather than make a decision based on price alone. The quickest and easiest way to find cheap yet comprehensive minibus insurance quotes is to search online. Simply answer a few questions and we’ll connect you with the most suitable minibus insurance providers from our range of panel members.
There are some practical steps you can take to push your insurance premiums down with most insurers.
- Insuring named drivers rather than opting for an ‘any driver’ policy – ‘Any driver’ fleet insurance policies offer a lot more flexibility, but they’re also riskier from an insurer’s point of view which means the premium will be higher. By insuring specific drivers for specific mini buses, you can keep your premiums down.
- Only insuring drivers that are over the age of 25 – If you operate a fleet of mini buses for commercial purposes, younger drivers on a fleet insurance policy will almost certainly push your premiums up. This is due to younger drivers being viewed as a greater risk as a result of less driving experience. Data from Brake, the road safety charity, has revealed that drivers under the age of 20 are 33% more likely to be killed in a car accident than someone in their 40s or 50s.
- Only insuring drivers that have clean driving records – It probably goes without saying that riskier drivers are likely to increase the cost of your fleet insurance. By employing those with clean driving driving records, you can reduce the risk to insurers and so keep your premium prices lower.
- Paying for your fleet insurance annually rather than monthly – Monthly payment plans tend to incur interest and admin fees, which means you’ll pay more for your mini bus fleet insurance if you opt to pay monthly.
- Avoid modifications – Quotezone.co.uk has found that modifying fleet vehicles can push up your premiums considerably.
- Avoid branding – Branding on your fleet vehicles can be classed as a modification by some insurers and may even void your insurance if not properly declared. Data from Quotezone.co.uk has revealed that vehicles with additional signage and branding can change a vehicles risk profile in the eyes of insurers. To find out more follow our article on how branding could void insurance.
- Don’t let your policy auto-renew – Although it may be convenient, our data shows there is virtually no additional benefit to letting your fleet insurance simply auto-renew. Even though a new law passed in January 2022 forces insurers to offer all eligible customers the same deals, we found that your chances of finding cheaper policies almost always increase when comparing multiple providers.
- Keep your vehicles in a secure location – This may seem obvious, but the more secure your fleet is when not in use the cheaper your premiums will be. Having the vehicles of your fleet behind closed fencing or even better with enclosed hangar installations can dramatically reduce instances of theft and break in.
Of course, the easiest and quickest way to find great deals on cover, is to compare 9-seater minibus insurance providers right here at Quotezone.co.uk. Simply answer a few questions and we’ll bring back quotes that fit your needs and your budget.