What is breakdown cover for driving instructors?
By Bethan Harper
To legally drive on UK roads, all motorists need to take out a standard insurance policy, which financially protects drivers should they get into an accident. However, most standard motor insurance policies don’t include breakdown cover.
Vehicle breakdowns are always inconvenient, but when you’re a driving instructor whose livelihood revolves around being able to drive your car, there’s extra pressure that comes with a breakdown.
In this article, we’ll delve into what breakdown cover for driving instructors is, how it could benefit you, what you could expect from a policy and the potential benefits you might enjoy if you purchase this type of insurance.
Jump straight to a specific section or read on for the full piece.
- Defining breakdown cover
- Why is breakdown cover for driving instructors so important?
- What can you expect from a breakdown insurance policy?
- What isn’t included in a breakdown insurance policy?
- What are the benefits of breakdown cover for driving instructors?
- How to choose the right cover for you
Defining Breakdown Cover
Let’s start by answering the basic question: what is breakdown cover?
Breakdown cover is a type of insurance policy that will financially cover you should you need roadside assistance or recovery to a garage to get your vehicle back up and running.
Typically, motorists who purchase breakdown cover will pay either a monthly or yearly premium for the benefit of having this support available to them without paying typical call-out or repair fees.
And, while most breakdown insurance policies are similar, not all providers offer the same terms and benefits. So, it’s important to read the terms and conditions of any breakdown cover policy to understand the limits, exclusions, and the level of service you’ll receive. Different providers and policies will offer varying levels of coverage, so it’s crucial to choose one that fits your needs and driving habits.
One key difference between some breakdown policies is whether they cover those who use their vehicle for business purposes, for example, driving instructors. Most standard breakdown policies will not cover you while you are operating for business and carrying a client in your car. Therefore, you’ll need to opt for breakdown cover for driving instructors if you want your insurance to extend to working hours.
Why is breakdown cover for driving instructors so important?
Driving instructors don’t merely drive; they teach. Their car isn’t just a mode of transportation; it’s a classroom. So, the implications of a breakdown go beyond inconvenience. For instance, a broken-down car during a lesson could mean an anxious student and a compromised teaching schedule.
Not to mention the additional financial implications breaking down as a driving instructor could have. Sure, most people without breakdown cover would be concerned about the financial effect paying for repairs, recovery, and callouts might have. But driving instructors must consider potential lost earnings and even potential lost customers in addition.
Given these potential complications, ‘driving instructor breakdown cover’ often takes into account scenarios specific to the profession.
What can you expect from a breakdown insurance policy?
As we mentioned previously, all breakdown policies will differ slightly. However, there are some features and terms that are often included in your cover.
Here are some of the potential benefits you could enjoy when you purchase driving instructor breakdown cover:
One of the key features of breakdown cover is roadside assistance where and when you need it. This typically involves sending a mechanic to the breakdown location to attempt repairs there and then to enable you to complete your journey (albeit a bit later than planned).
Recovery to the nearest garage
While the ultimate aim of breakdown insurance is to get your vehicle back up and running with as little inconvenience as possible, this isn’t always possible. That’s why most policies offer an alternative option if repairs can’t be made roadside, usually recovery to the nearest garage.
However, policies may enforce a limit on recovery distance (for example, you’ll be covered for recovery to the nearest garage up to 20 miles).
Overseas cover is a relatively niche perk of some breakdown cover policies. But, if it’s something you need, it could really come in handy.
Usually, for an additional premium, overseas cover will mean your breakdown cover is valid even if you leave the UK. Sometimes, these policies will cover worldwide travel, but often, overseas insurance for UK drivers only covers European countries.
Travel or accommodation expenses
Some policies might also offer financial compensation for travel and/or accommodation costs incurred due to the vehicle breakdown if fixing the issue isn’t possible at the roadside.
However, it’s important to note that there’s typically a monetary cap for this compensation.
Replacement dual-control cars
As we mentioned previously, there are some differences between standard breakdown cover and breakdown cover for driving instructors. One of these differences is some policies offer replacement dual-control cars. Unlike regular vehicles, driving school cars usually come with dual controls. Recognising this, some specialized breakdown services might offer replacement dual-control cars to ensure minimal disruption to you and your students.
Many policies will also cover you (up to a certain amount) for misfuelling. Typically, this feature covers the draining of the incorrect fuel as well as refuelling with the correct fuel.
What isn’t included in a breakdown insurance policy?
As with any insurance policy, there will be some exclusions to your policy. And while these exclusions will differ depending on the provider you choose, here are a few common examples:
- Breakdowns that occur within the first 48 hours of the start date of your policy or before the vehicle was placed on cover or upgraded from a lower cover level.
- Breakdowns caused by failure to maintain the vehicle in a roadworthy condition or assistance if the vehicle is untaxed or uninsured.
- Any costs that have been incurred in respect of a recovery further than the stipulated distance.
- Pre-existing faults: If your vehicle had known issues before the policy was taken out, these might not be covered.
- Vandalism and accidents: Breakdown cover usually assists with mechanical and electrical failures, not damage from an accident, vandalism, or fire (unless you’ve purchased additional coverage).
- Vehicles over a certain age: Some policies have age restrictions on the vehicles they’ll cover.
What are the benefits of breakdown cover for driving instructors?
Alongside the practical insurance features of breakdown cover, there are also some additional benefits that might come as a byproduct of your insurance. These include:
Peace of mind
Peace of mind is something money can’t buy but knowing that there’s a financial safety net in place could allow instructors to focus solely on teaching without the added stress of potential car troubles.
Thanks to breakdown cover, your lessons are more likely to proceed as planned and even if there is an interruption to your usual schedule, it shouldn’t be a problem for too long.
Enhanced professional image
For students and parents, knowing a driving instructor has taken precautions like insurance could enhance trust. It may showcase the instructor’s dedication to ensuring that lessons are conducted in a seamless and professional manner.
Cost-effective in the long run
While there might be an initial cost involved in obtaining cover, in the event of a breakdown, the potential savings in terms of repairs, replacement vehicles, and retained business could be substantial.
How to choose the right cover for you
Given the diverse options available, different price points and varying features on offer, deciding which breakdown cover policy is best for you can be tricky.
So, if you want to make an informed decision, you might want to consider these factors before selecting a breakdown cover:
- Coverage extent: Does the policy cover just the basics, or does it offer additional services like home start or onward journey solutions?
- Response time: How quickly might the service provider respond in case of a breakdown?
- Customer reviews: What do other instructors say about the service? Are there positive testimonials or red flags to be aware of?
- Cost-benefit analysis: While cost is a factor, it’s essential to weigh the benefits against the price. A slightly pricier cover that offers comprehensive services might be more beneficial in the long run.
The bottom line
For driving instructors, their vehicle is more than just a car; it’s a tool of their trade, and any downtime could impact their livelihood. Taking the time to understand and invest in a suitable breakdown cover could be a strategic move, ensuring smooth operations, satisfied students and peace of mind.
So, if you’re looking for a motor breakdown cover for driving instructors that offers a variety of cover types and potentially save you money in the long run, Save More Money might just have the right option for you from £34.84 a year.