There a various types of UK truck insurance - some compulsory, others optional, so you must decide what you can and cannot do without. The cover that you get also depends upon the kinds of locations you visit and the driver you have and the experience he has.
Every operator needs the appropriate level of insurance cover for their vehicles.
If you intend to use a truck on a UK public highway which is over 7.5 tonne gross vehicle weight then an HGV insurance policy is required. Unlike car insurance, the make and model of your vehicle will have little bearing on your premium, instead the emphasis is placed on the weight of the model.
How you are intending to carry your goods determine what insurance cover you will require:
- Haulage Insurance - this is required if you are charging to deliver someone else's goods
- Carriage of Own Goods Insurance - for the carriage of your personal business goods e.g. builders
- Social Domestic and Pleasure Insurance - usually for personal use
The types of insurance available is similar to other types of insurance - Comprehensive, Third Party Fire and Theft and Third Party Only. All insurance policies will carry an excess.
Your vehicle insurance premium will be assessed on the following factors:
- Age, condition and value of your vehicle
- Number, age and experience of your drivers
- The way you manage and equip your drivers and vehicles
- The types of goods carried
- Your claims history
The type of work your vehicle will carry out also plays a major factor in your premium. Tippers will be more expansive to insure than boxvans because of their stability, whilst trucks that will be making multiple drops will be seen as a higher risk due to potential bumps and scrapes.
For single models and fleets up to five vehicles your insurance will be assessed similarly to car premiums - with most of the emphasis being place on the drivers age and experience, annual mileage and on-board security systems.
For larger fleets the main factor when considering premiums is the company's claim history over the last three or five years. The factors mentioned for small fleets will also be considered, but not as much.
However, new companies with a large fleet looking for insurance will be judged by the small fleet model as they have no previous history. This could result in higher premiums as these firms are seen as a gamble. Some insurer will not insure these type of companies.
Goods In Transit Insurance
Stolen, destroyed and damaged goods are all covered by goods in transit insurance. Although it is not a legal requirement it is recommended for anyone carrying goods on behalf of a third party.
Similar to car insurance, brokers and insurers will look at the routes you run, the value of the goods and your claims history when deciding on your premium. Additional considerations, such as overnight parking may also apply.
Some policies insist that overnight stops are only made in secure parking facilities. Others may require the load to be attended at all times. Take time to clarify these terms.
Drivers' personal effects are unlikely to be included as standard. As are high-value goods which usually come with a payout cap. This is normally below the value of the goods being moved.
Loading and unloading operations are usually included in the cover, but make sure you understand the ins and outs of this. A forklift truck that loading a pallet onto a lorry will be covered however that same forklift will not be covered when transporting the pallet across the yard 10 seconds earlier.
Policies can be amended in many ways, mainly to extend cover for one-off deliveries. However it is important to inform your insurer every time you wish to extend. If you amend your policy without informing your insurer and you make a claim they may turn around and say they're not paying out.
Goods in transit premiums have fallen in previous years thanks to growing levels of competition.
It is important to have liability insurance to cover you and your business if an accident occurs and results in injury to a member of the public, a customer or an employee.
If you employ anybody, employment liability is crucial for your business. Not only are employees accidents covered, but so are any illnesses that have been contracted as a result of working - even if they manifest after they have left your employment.
For this reason, you must keep on file all documentation related to your employers’ liability insurance, even if it has expired.
Public liability insurance provides cover against claims made by members of the public who have suffered injury or damage to property in connection with the business.
It is designed to pay compensation including loss of earning, future loss of earnings and damages to the claimant, as well as any legal fees therefore if it important to have to avoid any costly claims.
- Pay your insurance annually rather than monthly - this will save oney in the long run.
- Try to only employ drivers with clean or near clean driving licences - covering drivers with penalty points and convictions may push your premium up.
- If appropriate, use fleet insurance policies - these may be considerably more cost-effective.
- Install anti-theft devices - this could lead to a significant reduction in premiums.
- Deal with a specialist provider
- Speed-limit vehicles - models that are restrixed are less likely to be overtaking or driving hurridly
- Consider driver training - although this may not produce an instant prmium discount it should prive its worth when your claims history improves
- Install on-board safety sytems - lane departure warning sytems, for example, will all result in safer driving
It really is important to take some time to consider all of your options. In the long-term it does not pay to cut corners to have short-term savings.