Car Insurance for Driving Instructors

By Desiree Baughman
Desiree maintains insurance licensure in 46 states, and by combining years of experience as a writer and insurance professional, she delivers information consumers can easily relate to and understand. A graduate of Sweet Briar College with a diverse writing portfolio, she regularly serves as an expert source and commentator for respected outlets like CBS Money, Bankrate, and Ragan.com.

Car Insurance for Driving InstructorsIf you’re a driving instructor, your basic personal insurance won’t be enough. Just consider the fact that many teen drivers or new drivers are behind the wheel of your car – or perhaps better said, your classroom – and it’s easy to understand why. Should anything go awry while teaching a new driver the rules of the road, you won’t have the proper coverage that would otherwise protect you, your passenger, and your finances.

Cities and states across this country have been cracking down on driving schools and instructors who lack appropriate insurance, which not only could result in monetary penalties, but will also severely damage yours and your business’s reputation. The bottom line is: make sure that you’re adequately covered before hitting the road, especially when accompanying an inexperienced and nervous new driver (and most especially when learning to parallel park).

How Car Insurance for Driving Instructors Is Different

Obtaining insurance as a driving instructor who works for a driver training school or as a self-employed instructor may appear to be similar to private or personal passenger auto insurance at first glance, but you need special permissions and modifications due to how the car is used. If you’re a driving instructor, the insurance you need can be obtained by adding special endorsements to your existing policy, offering important key benefits:

Permission From Your Insurer to Use the Vehicle For Training

You’re granted permission from your insurer to use your vehicle for driver training purposes. Without this, any claims could be denied since it’s being used for commercial purposes and because you failed to report that any other drivers regularly drive your vehicle.

Extended Liability Protection

Your policy’s liability section will be extended to cover any bodily injury a student driver or observer may suffer while in the vehicle.

Limiting Your Amount Paid for Loss of Damage

Should you experience a covered loss, the maximum amount of insurance under the physical damage section of your policy will be limited to a specified dollar amount or the actual cash value (ACV), whichever turns out to be less.

Damage to Property or Passengers

With this endorsement, instructors are provided with coverage for a passenger’s property. Typically, this is capped at $5,000.

Downtime Limitation Side Agreement

Instructors can receive coverage for themselves,should they lose their vehicle in what the insurance company rules a covered loss.

Fire and Theft Deductible

Driving instructors can have their vehicle repaired or replaced if he or she chooses to pay the pre-determined deductible.

Reducing Your Premiums

Depending on your state and insurance company, you may have some control when it comes to lowering your premiums. The first thing your insurance company will look at is the experience of the individual and the nature of the fleet, as well as the class of business you’re operating. They will then look into loss control procedures, such as:

  • Performing auto accident reviews.
  • Whether or not an auto safety program has been taken by the instructor.
  • Driver selection, which could include a physical examination and motor vehicle reports.
  • The certification and proof that an instructor attended a driver training program.
  • Whether or not the vehicle has regular vehicle maintenance performed – meaning it’s of great benefit to hold on to copies of all work performed on the vehicle.

One accident could result in the loss of your business, your personal assets, and more. As tempting as it may be for drivers to cut corners on their insurance, trying to minimize your insurance coverage as a driving instructor in any state is not a wise gamble, and leaves you open to large amounts of liability and risk. Give your insurance policy a shoulder check to ensure that you are properly certified and insured so that you can focus on the education and safety of both you and your pupil. Being the passenger in a car driven by a new driver is terrifying enough; the least you can do for some peace of mind is ensure you have the right coverage in place.