A Guide to HGV Insurance for Operators New to the Industry
Consumer behaviour has significantly changed over the last few years, it is no longer the standard to wait 5-7 days for goods, as buyers want next day deliveries. This means that the transportation of goods has become the backbone of our economy and a crucial part of the way we live.
A HGV is not the same as a standard car on the road, so a dedicated insurance policy should be a priority for you.
Whether you need to look for a single truck policy or a fleet of HGVs, you need to be aware of a range of issues you may come across when choosing the right cover.
HGV policies will often ask you for similar information as you would provide for all other vehicle policies, but there will be questions about your business, the size of your fleet, the weight of the vehicle, how many drivers you plan to cover, and what you are transporting. You will even have questions about whether you plan to drive in the UK and/or Europe. All of these factors will impact the level of cover you will be provided with.
According to the Campaign for Better Transport, HGVs can account for over 50% of fatal accidents that occur on motorways.
This statistic is not only worrying, but it also shows how dangerous HGV driving can be. Driving HGVs requires skill and concentration, as they can be difficult to handle and can result in fatalities and injuries if not operated correctly.
This has been one of the main reasons why the government and other governing bodies have developed so many qualification requirements in order to operate a HGV. Acquiring the correct licence, along with maintaining your driver certificate of professional competence (CPC), has become a necessity before you are approved for an insurance policy.
However, with all the training and experience, things can still go wrong, and accidents can happen!
There are a few different types of cover for HGVs. These include:
Third Party only (TPO) – Nowadays, this is the lowest form of cover that most commercial motor insurers will offer. TPO is designed to cover you for your third party risks while in your vehicle. These cover third party property damage, injury, and death that you would be legally liable for. Though injury and death have unlimited cover, it is important to note that third party property damage for commercial policies has a maximum limit of £5 million. This is still significantly more than what the legal requirement is.
Third Party, Fire & Theft (TPF&T) – This covers everything that is included in TPO. However, this cover now includes two benefits for your vehicle. TPF&T covers your third party risks and includes fire damage, plus costs incurred as a result of the theft of your lorry. It is usual for motor policies to exclude damage as a result of a mechanical or electrical breakdown.
Comprehensive HGV Insurance – This is the fullest level of cover available. Again, this cover includes the previous. However, the benefits now include further enhancements to your vehicle. The main feature of this is accidental damage, where you will be able to claim for the damage caused to your vehicle, whether you are at fault or not. This would normally exclude wear and tear of the vehicle at the point of the incident.
There are also other benefits available that could give haulage operators peace of mind, such as loss of personal items, windscreen cover, and even loading and unloading.
What Do Insurers Class as a ‘HGV’?
Policies for HGV insurance vary from company to company. Some policies are specifically tailored to your business’s needs.
The insurance cover that you need depends on your vehicles, why you’re using them, how many of them there are, and even where they are going to travel. There is no standard classification for the weight of an HGV, the limit can vary from 3.5 – 44 tonnes.
You must check the policy wording very carefully when you are buying your HGV insurance. As there are different categories of business use when deciding on a policy, you need to make sure that you are purchasing the correct type. These include carriage of own goods and carriage of goods for hire and reward.
Fleet Insurance – If you own several HGVs, then fleet insurance could be the most cost-effective solution for your business. Insurers will all have different criteria’s when it comes to how many HGVs you’ll need to make a fleet. However, it can be as low as two. So, it is worth checking with your broker about the cost of insuring more vehicles. With most insurers, there may be a cap on the number of vehicles that can be considered in a fleet, but it can be into the hundreds.
Telematics – Whether you are a new start-up or an experienced haulier, you could look to install telemetry solutions into your HGVs. This can monitor driver behaviour and the standard of driving, which can potentially lower premiums. It’s very popular with some commercial fleets, and it can be used to monitor the performance of different drivers. This can also help with training and education.
Insurance for Hazardous Goods
If you are a haulage operator looking to carry hazardous goods, you need to consider that this is usually an exclusion on a lot of different HGV insurance policies. Only specialist insurers will cover the movement of hazardous materials, but you should check the policy wording to make sure that it’s included in your policy terms. It’s vital that you have the right hazardous goods coverage. If one of your drivers has an accident with dangerous goods, you need to be covered.
As your business evolves, regularly review your insurance coverage to ensure it aligns with your changing needs. Inform your insurer of any changes in your operations, such as vehicle additions or modifications, driver turnover, or changes in the types of goods transported.
Remember, having the right insurance cover is crucial for protecting your business and ensuring compliance with legal requirements. Take your time to research and select the best HGV insurance policy that suits your needs and budget.
We work with some of the biggest insurance companies in the industry and have access to a wide range of insurance policies for HGV cover. 1st Choice Insurance is here to help. Call our friendly, experienced team on 01743 770500 for a no-obligation quotation or use our Get a Quote Form.
If you would like to know more about the telematic solutions we can offer, visit: www.1stchoiceinsurance.co.uk/fleet-services/
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