July 10, 2017
As a driving school owner, you’ve done your due diligence by analyzing your competition, finances, staffing and marketing needs. However, one of the biggest pieces of the puzzle is choosing the best driving school insurance.
When I opened my first driving school, the insurance piece was super confusing. However, through different trials and errors, I finally figured it out. And you can too with this ultimate guide to driving school insurance.
How to choose driving school insurance
Insurance is one of the top five expenses of any driving school, so it’s critically important to choose the coverage and price that meet your needs and budget. Do you have too little coverage? Are you throwing money in the wind?
If you own a small driving school, price is important. It’s equally important to work with a solid company that provides excellent and speedy customer service. Look for an insurance company or agent that is responsive to your needs and can handle any issue that may arise. I personally bounced around several different companies before finding Brian Dolewski, an account executive with Arachas Group.
Brian is a insurance expert who understands the driving school business to a tee. He currently insures 50+ driving schools and writes over $750,000 in annual driving school premiums. More importantly, he understands and constantly evaluates the needs of driving schools across the country. Why go to a general contractor when you can choose an expert for a lower cost?
Types of driving school insurance
Whether you own one or one hundred driving schools, you will need two types of insurance: Vehicle insurance for your cars and general liability for your brick and mortar location. You may also want to purchase additional umbrella policies to protect you even more.
Driving school insurance for vehicles
Teen drivers are more at risk of crashing than any other age group. That’s why whether you have 1 or 10+ vehicles in your fleet, you need to protect your investment. In fact, 49 out of 50 states require auto insurance. As a driving school owner, insurance is as important to the long-term success of your business as oxygen is to a scuba diver. You must have it. Period.
The tricky part is determining how much insurance you need to protect your investment. “It’s a risk game,” says Brian Dolewski. “You either buy insurance to reduce your risk, or cover it yourself.”
Protect yourself and your assets
The driving school insurance expert offers many options, but recommends a $1,000,000 policy at a minimum. He also suggests that umbrella policies for additional coverage are a great idea for driving schools.
If your student driver runs into a vehicle carrying a family of four, is $1,000,000 enough? Nope. What if a student hits a vehicle and a high-level executive making $300,000 a year can’t work? Is a $1,000,000 policy enough? Probably not. “The more you have, the more they can take,” Brian explains.
In addition to a $1,000,000 policy, Brian also recommends umbrella policies that are available for an additional $1, $3 or $5 million dollars of protection. These umbrella policies are especially important for driving schools that run a fleet of five or more cars.
Keep it affordable
Because Brian’s company insures so many driving schools, it can leverage its volume to keep prices affordable. “If your driving school qualifies for our program, we can get your insurance for cheaper,” Brian explains. “Because we specialize in driving schools, I know all the risks and can offer the best plans for your industry.”
When I started using Brian’s services, I was incredibly pleased with his level of industry expertise and his priceless advice, especially when it applied to our fleet of 20+ cars. He understands that a driving school’s business is dependent on keeping their cars on the road, so when a car is out of commission, he works diligently to get the issue resolved as soon as humanly possible.
I consulted Brian about the pros and cons of different deductibles versus cost and he was able to provide invaluable answers because he knows the business so well. Annually, he’ll meet with every customer to review policies, any changes in business, and evaluate current needs.
I strongly suggest that every driving school owner review their insurance policies annually to determine if you are getting the best prices for the right amount of coverage that you will need. The success of your business depends on it.
General Liability Insurance
What happens if a student or employee slips and falls in your driving school? Are you responsible? Yes, you are. If it’s a serious fall, the medical bills could be high and threaten your success.
A general liability insurance plan offers wide protection from accidents, property damage, product liability and adverse actions of employees working at your school(s). You can also purchase an umbrella liability plan to supplement existing policies that don’t cover certain losses. A well-crafted driving school insurance policy can shield you from the risk of unforeseen hazards that can lead to costly problems and substantial financial loss.
Questions to ask about driving school insurance
Brian Dolewski suggests that you look for a policy that can be paid in monthly increments, instead all at once. He also advises all owners to ask these questions when considering driving school insurance…
- Does your insurance company specialize in driving schools?
- Is your current agent versed in the driving school industry?
- Are you covered for sexual abuse claims?
- Can you get professional liability coverage from your current agent?
- Does your agent handle your claim quickly to get the vehicle back on the road?
- Can you make monthly payments?
Driving school insurance in review
There is no “one size fits all” insurance option for driving schools. Because the line item for insurance is so high, I suggest that you do your homework and review your policies on an annual basis.
Again, I would recommend talking to Brian Dolewski, the only agent that specializes in insuring driving schools across the country. Below is his contact information.
Account Executive – Arachas Group, LLC
Phone: (630) 673-3084