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Driving Instructor Insurance—Everything You Need To Know

No matter how careful we are as drivers, there’s always the possibility of something causing damage to our vehicles. When you’re a driving instructor, however, the risk of damage is even higher. Teaching learners how to drive increases the likelihood of accidents on the road, which is why driving instructor insurance is so important. You need an insurance policy that meets your needs and keeps your vehicle, yourself and your learners protected.

To help you through this process, we’ve put together a handy guide to driving instructor insurance—looking at the types of policies you can expect to find and where to look for the best deals!


Table of Contents


Driving instructor insurance

Typing out car insurance on a typewriter
Photo © Nick Youngson (cc-by-sa/3.0)

All driving instructors in the UK are required by law to be insured. You might not be aware, however, that instructors require an entirely different kind of insurance to other road users. While ordinary drivers can opt for standard car insurance policies, instructors have to look at policies that offer cover features dedicated to meeting their specialised requirements.

Feeling overwhelmed already? Don’t worry—by the time you’re finished with our guide, you’ll be more than prepared to make the right decision.

How is it different to standard car insurance?

Standard car insurance policies cover drivers for social, domestic and personal use. As a driving instructor, however, your insurance policy needs to cover additional factors. Offering services—in this case, driving tuition—requires hire and reward cover. The risks associated with learner drivers also means you require more accident coverage than other drivers.

Learners increase the risk factor on the road dramatically due to their inexperience. Whilst you might be a perfect driver yourself, you could end up in an accident because of something as simple as a student suffering from test day nerves. And with learners now allowed on motorways, this risk is even more apparent.

It’s not just additional accident coverage you need to think about. As an instructor, your car is your livelihood. If you’re in an accident or your car breaks down, you won’t be able to teach your students or take them to tests—problematic if they’ve had to suffer through long driving test waiting times. That’s why most instructor insurance policies include dual controlled car covers and multi-vehicle coverage.

What if I’m still training?

Even if you’ve not yet made the big step from Potential Driving Instructor (PDI) to Approved Driving Instructor (ADI), you’ve still got to think about driving instructor insurance. When you’re training to become an ADI, there are 3 tests you need to pass in order to qualify:

  • 1st test: hazard perception and theory questions (multiple-choice).
  • 2nd test: eye test, vehicle safety questions and driving ability test
  • 3rd test: testing your instructional capabilities and techniques

The third and final test will involve you instructing a learner driver. To do this, however, you’ll need insurance that covers you driving with a learner in your car. Mastercover, for example, offers a 1-day driving tuition insurance policy for part 3 of the ADI test. You can get an accurate quote and purchase the insurance in minutes here.

Interested in becoming an instructor? Train with PassMeFast.


The cost

pound notes and a calculator
Photo © Images Money (cc-by/2.0)

Why is it more expensive?

Driving instructor insurance policies tend to be far more expensive than standard car insurance policies. So, what exactly is the cause for this difference in price? We’ve hinted at the reasons already…

Learners increase the likelihood of you being involved in a car accident. Additionally, they put your car under a lot of strain—wearing down the clutch and brake pads—increasing the chances of your car breaking down at some point.

And that’s not all. As we’ve mentioned—and will delve further into below—instructors need far more coverage than standard drivers. Each instructor has individual requirements and looks for different features in their insurance policies—not the least of which includes:

  • Any driver (including learners) cover
  • A replacement dual control car
  • Modified vehicle cover
  • Negligent tuition cover
  • Driving off road cover
  • Breakdown cover

There are a lot of factors and covers that instructors have to consider when choosing the right insurance policy. As you’d imagine, the more coverage you require, the more costly the insurance policy will be. Of course, it’s not just the coverage that affects the cost of your policy…

Factors that affect the cost

① The type of instructor you are

Potential Driving Instructors have a six-month probationary period whilst they’re training. If you’re looking for an instructor insurance policy in this time, you’ll find that premiums are higher than usual. This is because PDIs are still in training and have a higher risk factor. Approved Driving Instructors, by comparison, tend to have lower premiums on account of their full qualification and experience.

② Your car

If you’ve previously looked at standard car insurance policies, you’re probably aware of how the type of car you’re driving can affect the cost. Something as simple as the size of your engine could increase or decrease the overall cost. Even the transmission of your car could play a role. For example, manual cars are more prone to wear and tear than automatic ones—especially with the clutch—which means they can be more expensive to insure.

③ Your location

As with standard car insurance, location can play a large role in the price of your driving instructor insurance policy. Unfortunately—while this is something we can’t control—some areas tend to attract more crime than others. If you live in such an area, there’s a higher risk of the insurance company having to pay out. As such, you’ll get additional premiums on your policy.

④ Full-time or part-time?

Not all driving instructors work full-time. Fortunately, most policies take this into account when calculating coverage and the overall cost. They’ll tailor the policy according to how many hours you work and even what level of tuition you provide to learner drivers.

⑤ Cover type…

If you opt for the most comprehensive policy that you can find out there—with every specialist cover—the overall cost will obviously be far higher. The point is to pick the one that fits your needs and budget. Of course, just as the policies differ, so too do the insurance providers. Two providers might offer the same type of policy and covers but at different prices—it’s up to you to shop around and get the best possible policy.

How can I lower premiums?

If you want to lower your premiums, there are a few things you can consider. Firstly, you should look at whether it’s worth investing in a new car. Whilst you’ll have to fork out to buy one—an action you might not see as that cost-effective—you could end up reaping the benefits in the long run. Newer cars are far more reliable and better equipped than older ones. Bear in mind that ADIs have to replace their cars far more frequently than other road users due to wear and tear. Of course, you’ll have to decide whether it’s an investment that will pay off in the long run.

Secondly, you’ll want to look at optimising the storage and security for your car. If you’re just parking your car on your street, an insurance provider might see it as a bit risky. To counter this, you could fit an immobiliser to reduce the chances of theft. Alternatively, if you have a garage or driveway that you’ve not been making use of, you should look into storing your car there.

An option to consider is increasing your excess to get lower premiums. Not sure how this works? It’s pretty simple. Increasing the amount you’re willing to pay in the event of a claim—thus decreasing the amount your insurer has to pay—can lead to your insurer rewarding you with cheaper premiums. That being said, this option is only cost-effective if you don’t end up making a claim. If this doesn’t work in your favour—and you end up in an accident in which you have to make a claim—you might end up paying more than you would have to meet the cost.

What about discounts?

If you’re not content with just lowering your premiums, you might be looking at ways you can nab an insurance discount. If you happen to be an experienced and safe driver, you could have it in the bag! Many insurance providers offer discounts to driving instructors who have claim-free years of driving and experience under their belt. It’s certainly nice to see that you can get rewarded for being a careful driver!

Total Insurance Comparison, for example, tells instructors that the more years they’ve been qualified, the bigger discounts they can receive. With that in mind, you should make sure you’ve documented your years as a qualified instructor.


What does it include?

Insurance quotes on a clipboard
Photo © Nick Youngson (cc-by-sa/3.0)

Whilst most insurance providers offer a general, comprehensive driving instructor insurance policy, there’s always the option to add additional coverage. Essentially, you can tailor your insurance policy to suit your exact needs and specifications—taking into consideration whether you’re in need of ADI or PDI insurance, whether you own multiple vehicles and how much you want to protect and plan ahead.

With so many cover types on offer, it’s important that you take the time to figure out exactly what you need before you start shopping around for your insurance policy. To give you a better idea of what to expect, we’ve put together a list below of the typical covers offered to driving instructors.

Types of cover

In general, driving instructor insurance policies will all incorporate the same basic, compulsory cover types—like any driver cover or hire and reward cover—that are required by law. Policies will vary, however, depending on the optional cover types they offer to instructors. You might find that some features are vital whilst others are completely irrelevant—that’s the beauty of tailoring and modifying your insurance policy to suit you.

Any Driver Cover

As a driving instructor, you need insurance that covers not only you, but also the learners who drive and use your car. Any Driver is the answer to this issue—enabling you to teach any licenced driver in your insured vehicle.

Replacement Dual Control Vehicle Cover

If your car’s in for repair after an accident, you run the risk of not being able to continue working—this is where vehicle coverage comes in. Insurance providers will offer instructors a dual control replacement car in the event of a non-fault accident—some offer it even in fault accidents.

Negligent Tuition Cover

Regardless of how confident you are that you’ll be able to keep learners safe in your car, you never know what might happen on the road. Negligent tuition cover is put in place to protect you against any claims made by students injured due to negligence on your behalf.

Driving Off Road Drivers Aged 14+

Many driving instructors are in the habit of teaching learners how to drive off road. In most cases, it’s because the learner is either too young to teach on road, or because they’re not yet confident enough on main roads. In either case, you’ll need driving off road cover.

Damage to Your Car

Accidents happen all the time on the road, which is why we recommend getting coverage for damage to your car so that if your vehicle is damaged in an accident, fire or attempted theft, your insurer will repair it. If repair isn’t possible, most insurers will pay you the value of what your car was worth prior to the damage. Some policies even give you the option of a brand new replacement if you’re the first owner and it’s less than a year old.

Uninsured Driver Protection

In an ideal world, all drivers on the road would be insured. Unfortunately, this isn’t the case—to the detriment of drivers across the UK. Uninsured driver protection means that if you’re involved in an accident that wasn’t your fault, you won’t lose your no-claims discount if an uninsured driver is involved.

Hire and Reward Cover

As a driving instructor, you’re teaching people how to drive for a fee. In order to do this, however, you need the correct cover. Hire and reward cover is required by law for all driving instructors—you won’t find it on standard car insurance policies. It allows you to legally carry people or their property in exchange for a fee.

Modified Vehicle Cover

If you’re an instructor who drives a modified vehicle, you need to inform your insurer and get the correct coverage added to your policy. Examples of modifications include dual controls, additional mirrors and sign writing.

Personal Accident Cover

It’s not just your vehicle that needs coverage—you also need to invest in a cover that will protect you if the worst does happen. Personal accident cover not only protects you when you’re on the road, it also covers your passenger—whether they’re your students, friends or family.

Banned/Convicted Drivers Retaking Tests Cover

If you’ve not taught banned or convicted drivers before, you might not even be aware of this particular issue. When teaching banned or convicted drivers—working towards them retaking their test—you will need this additional cover.

Windscreen Cover

Cars are very susceptible to damage—especially windscreens. With the right cover, you can get your windscreen repaired or replaced if it does sustain damage. Some policies apply this even to car windows and sunroofs—offering the option of fixing the bodywork of your car if it happens to be damage by broken glass.

Breakdown Cover

With the risk of road accidents and faulty parts hanging over your head at any point, it’s important that you have breakdown cover. If the worst does happen, this cover means that you’ll get roadside recovery and assistance in repairing your car and getting you home safely.

Gap Insurance

If your vehicle loses its value due to theft or an accident, most insurers will only pay you the market value of your car at the time of loss. In most cases, this won’t even leave you with enough to purchase a new car. Gap insurance will protect and cover your car from losing its value.

Public Liability Insurance

In order to protect yourself and your business against the event of someone looking to sue you—or your business—for negligence that has caused injury or property damage, you need to look for a policy that includes public liability insurance. 

Making a Claim

When shopping around for the right driving instructor insurance policy, be sure to look at their process for making a claim. In most cases, providers will have incident management services on hand to handle your clams. Once you’ve reported an incident, they’ll work with your insurer directly to deal with the issue. During this time, you’ll be given a replacement dual control—if this is covered by your policy—until your vehicle has been repaired.


Getting the insurance you need

Keys labelled car insurance on a keyboard
Photo © Investment Zen (cc-by-sa/2.0)

If you were looking into purchasing a new car, you wouldn’t just head to a car dealership and pick the first one you see—you’d take into account variables like cost and what your overall needs are. It’s exactly the same process when it comes to choosing your driving instructor insurance policy. You need to find an insurance provider that will meet all of your criteria—regardless of how long it takes.

Choosing your insurance provider

Before we look at examples of top driving instructor insurance brokers and comparison sites, we’ll look at variables you need to take into consideration when making your choice.

① Expense

Driving instructor insurance policies can be expensive—especially if you’re working as a private driving instructor. If you’ve only just started working, you might not be willing to fork out more than what you’re currently earning for coverage that you might not need. With that in mind, you need to weigh up the pros and cons involved.

If you pick a policy based specifically on how basic and cheap it is, you might end up regretting it in the long run if the worst happens on the road. Vice versa, if you pick the most comprehensive policy out there—with every cover type on offer—you might find it to be a waste of money in the end. Pick an insurance policy that not only fits your budget but also your current—and future—needs.

② Covers

Before you start shopping around for the perfect insurance policy, we recommend you note down the types of covers that you feel are most vital for you, e.g. negligent tuition cover and personal accident cover. By doing so, you can make a more informed decision when choosing between different insurance providers and policies.

③ Customer service and support

Don’t forget that simple things like customer service and support will also factor into which insurance provider you opt to go with. You’ll want to pick a provider that will give you a full support system whenever you need it—you never know when you’ll need to get in touch after all!

④ Payment options

One of the main factors that instructors take into account when choosing an insurance policy is the price—it has to be affordable and within budget. And that’s not all. You’ve also got to look at what payment options the insurer provides. For example, are you paying your insurance in one lump sum annually? Or are you paying it off in monthly instalments?

If you’re financially stable with enough money to spare to do so, it might be more cost-effective for you to choose an annual payment option. Of course, if you’ve not got enough to cover the whole year, monthly instalments might be the way to go. Some policies can even be paid off in bi-annual instalments. With this in mind, take care to check the payment options on offer with any potential insurance policies you’re looking at.

Tips for finding the right fit

By this point, you should hopefully be ready to start your search for the perfect driving instructor insurance policy. Remember—take note of any relevant cover types so that you know what to look for. Once you’ve got a few options in mind—see the section below for example brokers and comparison sites—it’s time to apply for driving instructor insurance quotes.

To do this, you’ll need to fill out online forms. This is so that insurance providers can give you a price estimate tailored to you and your needs. For example, a quote will be different depending on how much experience you’ve had, what vehicle you drive and where you live. Typically, these forms will ask you to provide:

  • Personal details
  • Criteria for the policy
  • Vehicle information
  • Details for the driver(s) involved
Screenshot of Mastercover's insurance quote form
Image source: Mastercover

It can be all too easy to get overwhelmed with the wide variety of driving instructor insurance providers out there. With that in mind, we’ve got a few tips to help you to not only find the right fit, but also keep a level head while you’re at it…

Don’t panic

With so many options when it comes to driving instructor insurance, it can be difficult pushing back the panic when looking for the perfect policy. It’s important, therefore, that you stay patient and calm during your search. The last thing you want—or need—is to have dozens of insurance providers calling you at once because you sent off for countless quotes. Instead of asking for a quote from every possible insurance provider, we recommend you pick a top five and get quotes for each.

Compare

Even if the first insurance policy you come across seems to be a match made in heaven, you still need to look at other policies—you might find one offering lower premiums or additional coverage. What you need to do is line up the quotes from your top five and compare. No matter how similar they look, they’ll no doubt differ on factors including:

  • Payment options
  • Excess
  • Additional covers
  • Premiums

Seek clarification

Just as you shouldn’t pick an insurance policy without comparing it to others on offer, you shouldn’t pick one without reading the fine print. There’s a lot of money on the line when it comes to insurance—so take the time to read through everything before making any kind of commitment.

Not sure what something means? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with seeking extra clarification. With that in mind, we’d definitely recommend you get in touch directly to ask questions. Here a few suggestions to get you going…

  • What payment options do you provide?
  • What’s the excess on the policy?
  • Is a replacement vehicle provided in the event of a fault/non-fault claim?
  • How long will the replacement vehicle be provided for?
  • If I’m hit by an uninsured provider, how will this be recorded on the policy?

Whilst you’re reading through your top five policies, we recommend you make note of any questions you can think of. By doing so, you won’t end up forgetting anything important when you finally get in touch with the provider.


Where to look…

Driving instructor insurance brokers

Adrian Flux driving tuition insurance policy

Adrian Flux company logo

Adrian Flux offers driving instructor insurance policies tailored to suit each customer’s individual needs. They offer policies for both Approved Driving Instructors and Potential Driving Instructors. By making use of a panel of over 40 insurers—including names like ABC, Aviva, Heath, RSA and Trinity Lane—they’re able to look at insurance schemes on offer and calculate insurance premiums individually.

Top features included in policies:

simple green tick Up to 70% no claims bonus discount
simple green tick Full breakdown, home-start and European cover from £68
simple green tick No hidden excesses
simple green tickLegal protection & recovery of uninsured losses
simple green tick Automatic cover for banned/convicted drivers resitting tests
simple green tick Optional 21 day dual control replacement on fire, theft & total loss

Request a quote online

GET QUOTE

Call directly to discuss your options

0800 369 8590

Towergate driving instructor insurance policy

Towergate company logo

Much like Adrian Flux, Towergate makes use of a varied panel of insurance companies—including RSA, Aviva, Chaucer, Equity Red Star—to offer specialist driving instructor insurance for ADIs, PDIs and driving schools. They’ll take all the requirements you have and source the perfect policy from an insurer.

Top features included in policies:

simple green tick 24 hour in-house total incident management service
simple green tick £5 million public liability & £10 million professional indemnity
simple green tick Multiple vehicle coverage
simple green tick Negligent tuition cover
simple green tick Driving off-road drivers aged 14+
simple green tick ADI part 2 & 3 cover

Request a quote online

GET QUOTE

Call directly to discuss your options

01603 753 888

Mastercover driving instructor insurance policy

Mastercover company logo

Mastercover has been established for over 25 years—so they definitely know what they’re doing. As a broker, they use several major insurers and Lloyds syndicates—that include Aviva, Ageas, KGM, Markerstudy—to source the best insurance policy for you. Whether you’re looking for an ADI, PDI or driving school policy, they promise to find you the cover you need.

Top features included in policies:

simple green tick Up to 70% introductory no claims bonus
simple green tick Guaranteed no claims bonus available
simple green tick Banned driver-testing, police speed awareness, National Driver Improvement scheme
simple green tick Up to £10,000 personal accident cover for you and your spouse
simple green tick Up to 10% discount if you’re Grade A
simple green tick Legal protection and recovery of uninsured losses

Request a quote online

GET QUOTE

Call directly to discuss your options

0800 731 3378

While we’re not endorsing these insurance brokers, they’re definitely worth checking out—at the very least to get an idea of what to expect for your insurance policy.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for cheap driving instructor insurance, you might want to check out driving instructor insurance comparison sites. Popular options include Go Compare, Compare the Market and Money Supermarket.


FAQs

① Do I really need instructor insurance?

We wouldn’t have written this guide if you didn’t need it! Yes, you need driving instructor insurance in order to teach learners how to drive. Remember—this is not the same as standard car insurance.

② How much is driving instructor insurance?

The cost of your insurance policy depends entirely on which provider you choose to go with—whether they offer lower premiums or discounts. It also depends on how much coverage you’re looking to get. Apply for driving instructor insurance quotes to get a better idea.

③ Do I need to pick an insurance policy with the most coverage?

While coverage is important, you also need to make sure that your premiums aren’t too high. When choosing your policy, make sure you’re getting coverage you definitely need. Otherwise, you may end up paying most of what you’re earning.

④ Can I get insurance for an entire driving school?

If you’re in charge of a driving school franchise with many drivers, consider opting for a single policy that covers all of your instructors (better known as fleet insurance).

Should I pay monthly or annually?

In some cases, it can be more cost-effective in the long run to pay your insurance annually. Of course, this is in an ideal situation in which you’re financially stable enough to do so. If you’re unable to, monthly instalments should be fine.


Driving instructor insurance is compulsory and a legal requirement. Whilst it might seem like a minefield at first, all you’ve got to do is follow our tips, do the necessary research and the rest should fall into place.

For more essential guides, keep a close eye on the PassMeFast blog!

By Bethany Hall

Whether you’re a learner or a pro driver, Bethany is here to help. From defensive driving to the Highway Code, she’ll tell you everything you need know about driving. If she’s not on the road, you’ll probably find Bethany with her head in a book or binge-watching the latest TV show.

2 Comments

  1. Reply

    Ross Richardson

    Most brokers exclude under 25s from driving for Social Domestic and Pleasure under the Driving Instructor Insurance policy. I’ve heard of ADIs who have got this cover by discussing it with the insurer direct. Of course there is an additional premium to pay but I expect that.
    I can’t find any broker or insurer who can help me with this. Any advice?

    1. Reply

      Bethany Hall

      Hi Ross,

      I think your best bet would be to ask around any ADIs you know to see what kind of insurance policies they’re on. They might be able to point you in the direction of a broker or insurer who will allow you to add this kind of cover to your policy.

      Hope this helps,

      Bethany

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