What you need to know when insuring your minibus

If you own a minibus or several minibuses, whether used for business or private purposes, then you should know that they are legally required to be insured. Whilst you are legally obliged to insure your minibus, you also want the peace of mind that comes with having your vehicle insured. To ensure you have the correct type of insurance it is a good idea to be fully informed about the different types of cover that exist for minibuses.

You may own a family minibus that you also sometimes use to make a bit of spare money, however if you don’t have public liability cover as part of your insurance then you could be in big trouble, both financially and legally if there were an accident. In this article I’ll look at three of the main types of insurance that are available for minibuses according to the use (you can also find out more at http://www.minibus-insurance.net/) .

Private Cover for Families –

A minibus can be an excellent solution for larger families who don’t find a car to have adequate room. If you have a minibus that is used solely for domestic, non-profit purposes then you have the same options that are available for car insurance. Those are: fully comprehensive, third party or fire and theft.

Whilst fire and theft is the cheapest level of cover, it is not recommended for a family vehicle. As the name suggests it will only cover you if the vehicle is stolen or damaged by fire. For a family vehicle it is always recommended to go with a fully comprehensive policy. This way you are covered for almost every risk posed to your vehicle including accidents, breakdowns and criminal acts such as theft and vandalism.

Taxi Insurance –

Most taxi firms will have at least one minibus as part of their fleet of vehicles. This is because there are often larger groups of passengers who require transportation where a regular taxi would not be adequate. Minibuses offer not only a great capacity of passengers but also greater storage space for luggage.

Whilst they are excellent as taxis, minibuses being used for this purpose do require you to have extra provisions such as public liability cover. This is required by law if you are transporting members of the public for financial gain.

Fleet Insurance –

This can tie into taxi insurance as often taxi firms will have more than one minibus that can be classed as a fleet. If this is the case then a fleet policy can be an excellent way to save time, money and paperwork when insuring your minibuses. With fleet insurance all your minibuses are covered in one policy rather than having individual policies.

Most large insurance companies will offer fleet insurance for minibuses. If you have several different types of vehicles and would like to insure them along with your minibuses then this isn’t a problem. Most fleet policies allow for different types of vehicles to be included.

Shop insurance can help protect you against the ‘distraction burglary’

A recent case of shop theft in Lancashire has highlighted the need to be aware of so-called ‘distraction burglary’ and to make sure you have the right shop insurance.

Three women recently committed a robbery at a shop in Great Harwood using distraction techniques.  This is a common type of theft and our guide looks at what ‘distraction burglary’ is, examines this recent case and underlines how important it is that you have the right shop insurance.

What is a ‘distraction burglary’?

Distraction burglary is defined as being: ‘Any crime where a falsehood, trick or distraction is used to gain, or try to gain, access to the premises in order to commit burglary’.

It is often used on people at home – for example someone will pretend to be someone else to gain access to a property – but it can also be used in shops.  Victims tend to find that they have had money and/or valuables stolen and in many cases will only realise that they have been victims some time after the offence has actually been committed.

A recent case

Police are looking to speak to three women in Lancashire after a Great Harwood shopkeeper was distracted and property, including a laptop computer, was stolen.   One woman began speaking to the owner of the shop who was inside carrying out some refurbishment work.

The Lancashire Telegraph reports that ‘while the owner was distracted, it is believed the other two women took a number of items of clothing and the laptop and put them into large handbags before leaving the store.’

Police have released images of the woman and are looking for members of the public to come forward with information.  PC Lee Richardson said: “If anyone saw anything suspicious in or around the area on the day or has any other information they think could assist, then I would ask them to contact us.”

Shop insurance can protect you against burglary

If you want to ensure you are not out of pocket in the event of a theft from your shop, it is vital that you get the right shop insurance.  Most shop insurance policies will protect you against the theft of goods or cash from your premises, and theft is often covered as standard.

When you take out your cover, you should check whether you have to have any security measures in place as a condition of your insurance.  If you don’t take these measures, your claim may not be paid.

Things to remember when looking for empty house insurance quotes

If you own a property, which is left vacant for 30 days or more on a regular basis, then make sure that you have empty house insurance in place. This will mean your property is protected against things like fire, flood damage or vandalism even when you or users of the home are not there.

Ensuring you have the correct level of empty house insurance is important too as you need to take into account the rebuilding costs of the property and any outbuildings that are associated with that dwelling.

You can also get contents insurance when purchasing empty home insurance policies to protect the many contents that are left in properties when they are vacated for long periods of time. Homes can be left empty with possessions still in them for reasons including:

  • The property is a holiday home, which is used infrequently
  • The property is awaiting probate
  • The property is being marketed for sale

Many policies could also include property owner’s liability insurance, which protects the owner against any claims from a third party for damage to them as an individual or to their property.

Why is empty house insurance so important?

Regular home insurance policies are available online and will provide cover for properties in case they suffer damage from fire, floods, vandalism and theft. Many of these house insurance policies might not provide cover for a home that is left empty for more than 30 continuous days however. Therefore, if you try to make a claim the traditional home insurance cover could have become invalid.

There are specialist insurers on the market who can offer you a quote online for empty house insurance that is tailor made for you. This can be on a temporary basis and is generally available for between 3 and 12 months. This flexibility allows customers to choose a policy that will best suit their needs and circumstances.

When is empty house insurance available?

You can purchase empty house insurance when a property is vacant on a regular basis for 30 days or more, if for example you rent it out as a holiday let. Other reasons a property might be unoccupied includes:

  • The property is being redecorated
  • The property is being marketed for sale
  • A renovation is taking place

If your property is being renovated, there could be exclusions if significant repairs are being carried out or an extension is being built. This is something you can check when comparing the quotes from specialist online insurers.

What are the different types of empty home insurance available?

  • Unoccupied property insurance
  • Empty house insurance
  • Empty property insurance
  • Unoccupied home insurance
  • Unoccupied house insurance