Car Insurance For Driving Instructors and Schools

  • driving-instructor-car

There are many insurance companies that offer car insurance to driving school instructors in Ontario. These programs include hours of in-class and in-car classes to train students on road safety. The driving schools are also regulated by MTO and the website has a list of approved driving schools. The MTO website also has a list of revoked driving schools that are not legally allowed to teach students. When a car is used by an instructor for training purpose it has to be notified to the auto insurance company.

Types Of Driving School Insurance                               

There are generally 2 types of driving schools in Ontario. The first one is a commercial driving school with a large fleet and instructors. The vehicles have signage fixed on them displaying a ‘D’ decal for in-car classes. This decal cannot be switched to a car without the license for training purpose. The roof sign should have a lighted display clearly showing the driving school name. These driving schools need a commercial fleet insurance that is sold as a special product by many insurance companies.

The second type would be an individual owner operated driving school using a personal vehicle. It is important to have commercial endorsements added to the personal auto insurance policy to cover this condition. This policy should provide coverage for any accident and damages during in-car classes. The claims departments of these insurers mostly handle incidents related to driving school scenarios. They are able to provide good support in terms of customer service and knowledge specific to the driver training.

Is There Mandatory Endorsement For Driving School Insurance

The special endorsement OPCF 6D is mandatory as per the by-laws in Ontario for a driving school insurance. This is a requirement to get the license for operating a driving school. A proof of insurance has to be submitted to the Chief License Inspector to verify coverage. The OPCF 6D for operations related to driving school will provide coverage for a minimum $2,000,000 per incident.

The coverage includes accident benefits, damage to property and bodily injury. It is important for a driving student to verify that the driving school has the proper insurance coverage. If there is an incident, this OPCF 6D would be required to provide protection to the student too.

Becoming A Driving Instructor In Ontario

It is important that a driving instructor in Ontario carry the regular license at all times. The instructor has to clearly display the instructor license at the time of training in the vehicle. There are rules as regulated by 473/ 07 of the Highway Traffic Act and a minimum standard for driving instruction needs to be met by driving instructors. This is a requirement for Beginner Driver Education Programs. The license exchange is not allowed for instructors when moving into Ontario from another province or abroad.

Requirements to become a licensed driving instructor for class G students

  • You have to be 18 years old or more.
  • Have a valid Ontario driver license. This license cannot be a G1/G2, M1/M2 or M class.
  • The driver record must be clean with no demerit points.
  • Must pass the check by customer service agent at the DriveTest Centre to verify your eligibility for licensing.
  • Need to pass the vision test as per MTO standards.
  • Must pass a knowledge test at G1 level. If you fail twice, the waiting period is 1 year.
  • Has to pass road test including highways at G level. If you fail 2 times, there is a waiting period of 1 year.
  • Passing a vulnerable sector check.
  • Has to complete the Ministry approved driving instructor course.

How To Save Premiums On Insurance For Driving School

The insurance companies consider many criteria to compute car insurance rates including vehicle and driver details. It varies when they are providing a commercial auto policy. Or, adding a special commercial endorsement on a personal auto policy to provide cover for driving students. If it is a fleet operated by a driving school, there are ways to reduce the insurance premiums. The driving experience of the fleet owner or the instructor is vital when calculating rates. It is recommended to have review and safety procedures to reduce the occurrence of an accident by the fleet operators. By having some controls in place, they could avert a mishap and save on insurance.

Procedures could be followed by fleet owners to reduce insurance premiums

Review of Incidents

It is a wise idea to have a log book to report and follow up incidents during training. There is a need for regular performance reviews for driving instructors. The wrong actions by driving instructors will have to be corrected to prevent incidents and for the student safety.

Safety Incentive

The incentive program would motivate driving instructors to adhere to road safety.

Selective Hiring

While hiring driving instructors there is a need for careful evaluation of qualification and experience. Before selecting instructors, it is better to conduct a  physical fitness check and assess any available motor vehicle reports before selection.

Instructor Training

It is essential to train the qualified driving instructors on any changes to rules of the road or using the training cars. Certificates could be provided to record this training.

Fleet Maintenance

It is important to maintain the training vehicles by equipping them with safety devices and testing for training purpose. These vehicles have to meet some minimum maintenance standards. There has to be a document to report all the repairs to show the frequency and nature of work done to the vehicles.

Risk Assessment For Driving Schools

The number of driving schools in Ontario is increasing daily. The ministry has not approved most of these schools to teach G1 students. When students enroll in such schools then they are in a risky situation. These schools do not offer a competent safe learning environment. The insurance coverage may not be valid for a student driver if there is a missing endorsement. These driving schools are luring students by charging lower fees. But, they are unable to provide the students proper road training or protect them. So, it is important to choose a driving school by paying great attention.


Resources

http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/driver/driving-schools.shtml