​A helping hand for community minibuses getting back on the road

Charity Minibus Bloghead

By James Hayward, Product Manager for Passenger Carrying Vehicles at ERS

It’s the time that every parent has been waiting for. School life is finally returning after months of lockdown and makeshift home-schooling arrangements. Not only are parents breathing a sigh of relief, but their colleagues, families and friends – all of us – will benefit from UK schools reopening.

But of course, things won’t be operating in the same way as pre-pandemic. 

Where possible, pupils are still being discouraged from taking public transport, leading many schools to continue operating additional free transport services for those unable to walk, cycle or travel in with their parents. 

And it’s not just schools that are looking to get these minibuses back out on the roads. As society reopens, not-for-profits and other civic-minded organisations are looking to step up their community support – from care homes taking elderly people out on their first social excursion in a year, to local taxi firms offering free transportation to and from vaccination appointments. 

Keeping minibuses on the road

Last year we wrote about the need to support these services by ensuring critical vehicles had fit-for-purpose motor insurance cover – including thousands of additional minibuses purchased, leased or contracted by schools and other organisations for non-fare-paying community transportation. 

Available via ERS eTrade, our 1-5 vehicle minibus product offers competitive rates for comprehensive third-party, fire and theft cover for vehicles of up to 17 seats, used by schools, charities, other not-for-profit organisations as well as for private hire.

With Lockdown 3.0 finally coming to an end, we know that these community vehicles will be in high demand, so we’re pleased to announce the launch of several additions to our minibus product, providing that little bit of extra support and security to organisations at their time of need.

Protecting Minibuses for every scenario

We understand that all organisations – particularly schools, charities and not-for-profits – are under increased pressure to cut costs and achieve the best possible value from their insurance cover. So from week commencing 15th March we’re extending our cover – without increasing our premiums – across five key areas for our minibus product from 1-5 vehicles on a single policy:

1. Medical expenses cover, upto £500 per person, for anyone who is injured while they are in the policyholder’s vehicle as a result of an accident involving the vehicle.

2. Personal accident cover for the policyholder, policyholder’s partner, or the named driver, offering a pay-out of upto £7,000 in the event of a serious incident.

3. Additional personal belongings cover for items lost or damaged due to an accident, fire, theft or attempted theft: upto £2,500 for any wheelchair, upto £200 for child seats, pushchairs and carrycots, and upto £1,000 for other personal belongings.

4. Extended keys replacement cover, up to £1000 for any vehicle keys lost or stolen.

5. Breakdown cover, Complementary standard breakdown cover when comprehensive is chosen

Your charity minibus clients could receive a £250 donation 

Our extended minibus cover is open to both new and existing customers at renewal for the carriage of non-fare-paying passengers with 1-5 vehicles on a single policy, with existing customers able to enjoy the benefits from their next policy renewal onwards.

Not only have we worked hard to create a minibus product that really stands out from the crowd, but we also want to give something back to charities who have really been hard hit with fundraising events having to take a back seat this past year, so this year we’ll be holding four prize draws for all registered charity policyholders with a live minibus policy (1-5 vehicles) with us at the time of the relevant draw from 15th March to 30th November, picking one at random each time to receive a £250 donation from ERS. Details of the draw can be found here.

Non-fare paying passengers account for more than one third of our passenger book, because unlike mainstream insurers, we recognise that these drivers are some of the safest on the road and we want to give them a better deal on their motor insurance as they continue to serve a wide range of local community needs. 

There’s no cast-iron guarantee that schools and other community organisations will be free from further Covid-related disruption, but one thing’s for certain – we’ll be on hand to support their minibus needs on the road back to normality. 

To trade Minibus (1-5 vehicles) for speedy and competitive quotes, sign up to ERS eTrade or contact the Commercial team commercialquotes@ers.com

For any minibus fleet enquiries (more than 5 vehicles) please contact: fleet.quotes@ers.com

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