What Is School Bus Insurance?
School bus insurance is a legal contract between the insurer and the policyholder that provides coverage for any unforeseen incident resulting in loss or damage to the students/staff travelling inside it. The school buses make countless trips every academic year, transporting the students securely, efficiently and economically. Therefore, if you own a bus, which is commercially used for the transportation of the students/staff from the various neighbourhoods, then buying school bus insurance is necessary and a smart choice.
School Bus Insurance: Salient Features
Listed below are some salient features of school bus insurance:
- Provides cover for any bodily injury or demise of the driver.
- Cover in case of any legal implications following the demise or injury of a third-party.
- Cover in case of any man-made calamity such as theft, vandalism, fire and so on.
It gives you peace of mind in case of incurred unwanted fiscal cost due to an accident/mishap.
School Bus Insurance: Inclusions
Listed below are the inclusions offered under school bus insurance policy:
- Cover Against Fire: Any damage or loss incurred to the vehicle in case of fire and ignition, a school bus insurance provides cover for the same.
- Cover Against Accidents: In case of any damage or loss incurred to the vehicle in any mishap or accident, having comprehensive school bus insurance will provide protection.
- Third-party Liability: In case of an accident, any damage/loss incurred to the third-party property, vehicle or person, having third-party liability cover will let you remain stress-free for the unwanted financial expenses.
- Cover Against Theft: Under any unfortunate circumstances wherein the vehicle gets stolen or is lost, a theft-cover offered under the school bus insurance policy will take care of the incurred expenses.
School Bus Insurance: Exclusions
Listed below are the exclusions that are uncovered under a school bus insurance policy:
- Unethical Driving: If an accident/ mishap occurs, under the influence of alcohol or any other intoxicant substance. Moreover, if the driver is driving the vehicle without a valid commercial vehicle driving license.
- Deliberate Loss: In case of any loss arising out of an accident, that was a deliberate act.
- Consequential Loss: In case of any loss/damage, which is a result of a certain action by the insured or the third-party. For instance, driving the vehicle during rains leads to damage to the engine of the vehicle.
- Wear and Tear: Any damage incurred to the vehicle because of a known cause such as a damaged engine because of oil leakage for a long time.
- State of War: Any damage incurred to the vehicle due to war, civil war, mutiny, any nuclear-related peril, nuclear weapons and so on.
Types of School Bus Insurance Policy
School buses are one of the most convenient ways of transportation used by students to commute. The two types of school bus insurance are listed below:
1. Comprehensive School Bus Insurance: Comprehensive school bus insurance policy offers complete protection for any damage or loss incurred to your vehicle as well as protects the interest of the third-party. Buying comprehensive bus insurance is best recommended over third-party liability school bus insurance.
2. Third-party School Bus Insurance: Third-party liability school bus insurance provides coverage for any loss/damage incurred to the third-party property/person/vehicle. Third-party liability school bus insurance policy does not provide any coverage for any damage incurred to the own vehicle.
In case, you do not know, third-party liability insurance is a legal mandate in India as it serves to secure the policyholder from any claims arising from any third-party when the insured vehicle is at fault.
School Bus Insurance: Importance
School bus insurance is important as primarily it provides adequate cover against any unforeseen event. Besides, having school bus insurance ensures the safety of the drivers and passengers on the bus.
Generally, a school bus is owned, either leased or contracted to be operated by a school as it continuously is in the functioning of transporting the students from the school or any of the school-related activities. However, it does not include a transit or charter bus.
To operate a school bus, you will need a hired driver. Therefore, extensive liability coverage is important for the drivers, the passengers and the school district.
Moreover, a school bus is different from many other vehicles because of the following stated reasons:
- The buses fall under the category of passenger carrying vehicle rather than a vehicle used personally.
- Besides, the seating capacity in a school bus does not only need a standard driving license but also require a commercial driver’s permit.
Any bus, which has a seating capacity of more than 14 people, is considered a commercial passenger-carrying vehicle. Therefore, in case the bus is not in use for the transportation of students and is used otherwise, the owner needs to have commercial vehicle insurance.
Companies Offering School Bus Insurance In India
Below is the list of companies that offer school bus insurance policies in India:
- HDFC ERGO General Insurance
- ICICI Lombard General Insurance
- IFFCO Tokio General Insurance
- Universal Sompo General Insurance
- Reliance General Insurance
- Chola MS General Insurance
- Bharti AXA General Insurance
- Bajaj Allianz General Insurance
- Shriram General Insurance
- Royal Sundaram General Insurance
Factors That Determine School Bus Insurance Cost
The following are some of the factors, which determine the school bus insurance premium rate:
- The number of trips the school bus undertakes within a year.
- The distance covered by the school bus.
- The driving record and background of the driver.
- Seating capacity of the vehicle.
- The insured declared value of the vehicle.
- Make and model of the vehicle.
- Safety equipment on the school bus.
- Profile and age of the passengers and the vehicle. In the case, of a school bus, the major profile will be of the children.
Important Aspects to be Considered Before Buying School Bus Insurance
The following are the important aspects that need to be considered before you buy the school bus insurance, which are:
- Knowledge About Insurer: Before, you buy a school bus insurance policy, check with your insurance provider or school bus insurance agent if the specific plan is by the regulations in your state. Therefore, purchase school bus insurance from an insurer who specializes in school bus insurance.
- Accessibility: In case of an accident or mishap, it is important for immediate assistance from your insurance provider. Therefore, before you zero down a school bus insurance policy, look for the claim settlement ratio of the provider. Opt for a school bus insurance policy provider, which has around-the-clock customer assistance facility.
- Cost: While buying school bus insurance, the cost of the plan plays an integral role. However, it is always recommended to opt for a plan with an adequate coverage that suits your requirements and simply do not opt for a plan because it is offering low premium rates. Therefore, it is advisable to compare school bus insurance quotes and zero down the school bus insurance policy online.
How to Calculate School Bus Insurance Premium?
While buying an insurance policy, you need to invest time. Do not buy a policy in a hurry or in a rush. To get the best deal, it is suggested to buy school bus insurance online.
Before you buy the policy, compare the quotes offered by various school bus insurance providers. Look for the various benefits, features, premium rates and so on to make a wise choice.
Besides, you may also take the help of an insurance aggregator website such as Policybazaar Insurance Brokers Private Limited, wherein you can compare various school bus insurance quotes. Use a motor insurance calculator, to get an idea about how much you are going to pay for a school bus insurance premium.
How to Renew School Bus Insurance?
As important, it is to buy school bus insurance, it is important to renew school bus insurance on time before the policy expires or gets lapsed. Follow the steps below to renew your school bus insurance policy online.
- Visit the insurer’s official website.
- Locate the insurance renewal button and click on it.
- Fill in your policy number and access your account.
- If you want you can add any add-on or remove any add-on as per your requirement.
- Addition or removal of add-on will reflect in the premium amount for a consecutive year.
- Cross-check the plan once before proceeding with payment.
- Click on the payment button and proceed to pay.
- You can make the payment using a debit/credit card, UPI, net banking, etc.
- Once the payment is done, the insurer will send the updated policy documents to your registered email ID and a hard copy to your registered home address.
School Bus Insurance: Claiming Process
To raise a claim for any loss or damage under school bus insurance, you can follow the steps mentioned below:
Step 1: Inform the insurance company about the accident.
Step 2: Once you inform the insurer, they will send an inspector to inspect the damage.
Step 3: Keep the documents ready that you will have to submit along with the claim form.
Step 4: Once the inspector is satisfied, he/she will inform the insurer about it and then the claiming process for the coverage will begin.
Step 5: After a few days, the insurer will settle the claim.
Besides, file an FIR in the nearest police station of your location. In this digital era, you can also file a claim online and provide all relevant subtleties. The policyholder needs to provide the following while filing a school bus insurance claim:
- Date and time of the loss
- Policy number
- The location where the incident took place
- A brief description of the incident
- Name & contact details of the person who filed the claim
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Documents Required To Raise Claim Under School Bus Insurance
To claim a school bus insurance policy, you will need to provide the following documents:
- Copy of FIR
- Registration Certificate of the Vehicle
- Original Copy of Driving License
- Copy of Aadhar Card
- Fitness Certificate Of the Vehicle
- Duly Completed and Signed Claim Form
- Original Bus Insurance Papers
- Receipt of Tax Payment
- Route permit
Documents Required to Drive the School Bus
The following is the list of documents required to drive the school bus:
- Valid Registration CertificateValid Driving License
- Valid Pollution Under Control CertificateValid Permit to drive
- Valid Fitness Certificate
Important Points- Do Not Miss
There are certain directions as per the Supreme Court of India, which are as follows:
- 'School Bus' should be indicated on the front and at the backside of the bus.
- The name of the school and contact number should be written on the bus.
- The windows of the school bus should be fitted with horizontal grills and mesh wires.
- An attendant needs to be present on the bus from the school and the bus should not exceed the speed of 40 kph.
- The installation of GPS and CCTV has been made a compulsion due to the rising incidents on the school bus.
- The school buses in India need to have an external color of golden yellow.
- Two emergency exits are a mandate in all the school buses.
- In case of any negligence or complaint, the parents/guardian should immediately inform the school administration.
School Bus Insurance: FAQs
Ans: Yes, the policyholder has to provide a copy of the route permit of the bus under the school bus insurance.
Ans: Yes, the seating capacity, number of trips taken by the bus and many other factors determine the premium amount of the school bus insurance.
Ans: Yes, the insurer does send an inspector to make sure that the policyholder has raised the right claim and not fooling them just to get the insurance coverage money.
Ans: Yes, you can renew the insurance plan online by visiting the insurer’s official website. You just have to fill in your policy number and access your account. Then locate the renewal button and click on it. After that, you can add or remove any add-on as per your requirement, it will reflect in your premium amount and then you can process to make the payment. Once the payment is done the insurer will send the updated policy documents to your registered email ID as well as a hard copy to your registered home address.