You don’t really have much choice deciding whether or not to insure your heavy goods vehicle – the law requires you to have a minimum level of cover before it may be driven on the public highway.
That legal obligation aside, however, there are many aspects of HGV insurance where you do have options. Taking into consideration some of these may help you not only to secure the precise coverage you need, but also help you to save money:
Levels of HGV coverage
Just as with the motor insurance for your own car, there are three broad levels of coverage:
- third party – the basic minimum level of cover required by law and designed to ensure that you are indemnified against claims from third parties whose property is damaged or who suffer personal injury when your vehicle or its driver is to blame;
- third party, fire and theft – a level of cover typically reserved for older vehicles whose value has depreciated considerably and where insurance is required to meet the bare legal requirement and the more common risks of fire and theft;
- comprehensive cover – is the insurance you are most likely to choose for a vehicle that is in daily use as a critical asset to your business. It protects you not only against third party claims but also accidental damage – often offering optional extras that extend your cover still further.
Types of vehicle
There is more to insuring an HGV, however, than choosing the levels of cover that you might for your car:
- heavy goods vehicles come not only in all shapes and sizes, but fit for a whole variety of different purposes;
- toxic or hazardous cargo-carriers, for example, require quite different considerations to refrigerated trucks or those transporting perishable goods.
Domestic or foreign
Different considerations may also apply choosing your HGV insurance for vehicles that are used entirely on domestic routes and those that may be used in Europe or further afield.
The nature of your business
- depending on the nature of your business your vehicle or vehicles may be travelling whatever routes your next order takes you as a carrier of goods for hire or reward;
- as a haulage contractor, your vehicle or vehicles are more likely to be travelling fixed routes on a regular basis for established clients;
- the nature of your business, therefore, may be an important consideration when arranging your insurance.
Goods in transit
The insurance of goods in transit may be a frequent area of confusion, with both the owner of the property and the haulage contractor believing that the other carries appropriate cover for the loss or damage of the goods:
- to ensure that your liability for any such loss or damage is both limited and indemnified, however, you may want to give consideration to cover that includes goods in transit or to arrange such insurance separately;
- you may read more about insurance for goods in transit on the government website.
A key consideration when arranging any kind of insurance is the price you pay in premiums and cover for heavy goods vehicles may attract discounts for a number of reasons:
- the more security, immobilisers and anti-theft devices you are able to fit, the greater the chance of your attracting discounts from the insurer;
- if you employ the same team of drivers on a regular basis, you may also want to consider arranging cover for named drivers only – typically earning a significant discount for such a restriction;
- if you have more than one vehicle, you might want to consider fleet insurance rather than arranging cover for each one separately – not only is this likely to result in discounted premiums but may also assist in your management of vehicle insurances.
With management of your company’s cash flow in mind, you may want to give particular consideration to those insurance providers offering flexible payment options.
In summary, insurance for your heavy goods vehicle or vehicles, therefore, may involve considerably more than first appeared. Exercising good judgment on such aspects may help you secure the cover you need at a competitive price. If you want to pursue particular questions or queries about your cover, you may wish to consult a specialist provider of insurance for HGVs.