Singapore school bus operators to get cover

Insurance to protect students’ parents from sudden closure of school bus companies

Singapore school bus operators to get cover

Insurance News

By Gabriel Olano

Starting in late October, several school bus operators in Singapore will have insurance that will protect consumers in case of a company’s sudden closure.

Participating school bus operators will have an SGD300,000 insurance policy to cover consumers’ payments. The scheme was launched through the joint efforts of the Consumers Association of Singapore (CASE), and the Singapore School Transport Association (SSTA).

Twenty-two SSTA member companies are currently seeking accreditation. The organisation provides school bus services to over half of Singapore’s primary schools.

SSTA chairman Wong Ann Lin has expressed hope that more of the association’s 900 members will come on board, as the current number of 22 is “a bit low”, reports the Straits Times.

In 2015, several school bus operators suddenly closed, prompting CASE and SSTA to take action. In one case, a transport service provider for Bethesda (Bedok-Tampines) unexpectedly stopped operating, leaving 70 of the school's 200 pupils without a sure way to get to school.

Another company, the Sindoz Group, stopped responding to customers after collecting more than SGD50,000 in fees from parents of students in five schools.

“Parents who made advance payment for up to two months of bus services were unable to seek a refund as the operator had ceased operations,” CASE said in a statement. From 2010 to 2014, CASE received 39 complaints against school bus operators.

Aside from insuring parents’ payments, the scheme also requires school bus companies to send their staff for 40 hours of training every two years.

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