A Guide on Selecting Commercial Vehicle Insurance For Your Business
Selecting the right vehicle fleet insurance can seem like a huge task when commercial vehicle insurance providers in UK offer a wide range of policies. In addition, from goods in transit insurance, to public and employers’ liability insurance there are many vital types of essential cover to also consider and this guide should help to pave the way through any confusion you might have.
Do you need an operator’s licence?
This is a really important consideration when getting cover for your fleet as not having an operator’s licence will invalidate your insurance and halt your ability to trade. You will need a goods vehicle operator’s licence if your vehicle has a gross plated weight of over 3.5 tonnes and an unladen weight of over 1.5 tonnes. There are different types to choose from depending on your business needs:
- A standard national licence allows transportation of your own goods overseas as well as in the UK and transportation of the goods of others within the UK.
- A standard international licence enables you to transport your own goods as well as the goods of others within the UK and internationally.
- A restricted licence only allows for transportation of your own goods and not those of others.
To find out more visit the VOSA website.
For businesses in the UK that employ staff, it is a legal requirement to have employer’s liability insurance as part of your vehicle fleet insurance policy. The minimum level of cover insurance providers offer is £5 million and the amount of cover you’ll need will depend on the size and nature of your business. It will cover you for medical costs, legal fees, loss of income and other related damages if an employee becomes ill or injured as a result of their work. Fleet businesses pose a higher level of risk for accident and injury than other businesses due to working with large machinery and heavy loads. Therefore, it is important to have employer’s liability insurance in addition to your wider commercial vehicle insurance policy to comply with the law.
Public liability isn’t a legal requirement but it is essential for fleet businesses due to working with the public and operating large machinery. In case one of your driver's causes accidental injury to someone or damage to property, you can get cover ranging between £1 million to £10 million depending on the size of your business and the level of risk involved. A stone quarry fleet has a much higher level of risk than a flower delivery fleet and so would need a higher amount of cover due to heavier loads. Public liability insurance will cover you for third party medical costs, on-going care, loss of earnings and legal fees which could soon stack up unless you are adequately covered.
Goods in transit
Businesses that transport goods should ensure they are adequately covered for potential theft, loss or damage. Goods in transit insurance covers all items being transported in the course of business in case one of your business vehicles is broken into or items are damaged in a road collision. Furniture removal companies or couriers for online retailers would definitely benefit from this level of cover as replacing someone’s whole collection of antique furniture could be costly!
For haulage companies, we can arrange £100,000 all risks cover at Avis Insurance when carrying goods for Amazon and £6,500 worth of cover per tonne when transporting for Maritime under RHA conditions of carriage. And if the cargo is bottled wine, the limit can be increased further to £13,000 per tonne carried. It’s handy to be in the know and explore the best possible coverage to meet your individual business needs. At Avis Insurance, we have extensive experience in providing cover for you on the above, so please do not hesitate to give us a call if you require such services.
Telematics based policies are a growing area of the insurance market for commercial business fleets to monitor driver performance. This form of policy uses black boxes or a mobile app to calculate your premiums based on the standard of driving. If you make sure your drivers are regularly trained and safe on the roads, this will be reflected in their driving performance and lower your premiums. Sophisticated data is also fed back to you so that you can analyse the performance of your fleet and minimise any risks flagged up on the system.
How to keep premium costs down
You can save on your commercial vehicle insurance by combining multiple layers of cover under one single policy. A scaffolding company, for example, would need public liability as well as employer’s liability since the risk of accident and injury is quite high. Most insurance companies offer multiple cover options within a single policy which drops the overall cost of your premiums.
You can further reduce the cost of premiums by minimising the level of potential risk within your fleet through creating a protective maintenance plan. Implementing measures like regular health and safety training will significantly reduce the risk of injury for your workers and members of the public. Insurance providers reduce premiums for businesses who implement risk management plans, so don’t miss out on potential savings.
How to check what cover you need
Local authorities and trade bodies or associations will usually have advice and guidelines for the correct level of cover for your industry sector. Checking in with these sources will give you peace of mind that you’re keeping in line with your industry standards.
Before committing to a policy, it’s important to check with your insurance provider exactly what risks you are and are not covered for. Policies can be tailored to the risks specific to your industry and business, so be sure to clarify with your insurance provider what risks you would need cover for. If you feel that you are lacking cover in any areas, it’s crucial to flag this up and make necessary changes to your policy as soon as possible.
These 7 considerations should act as a guide to selecting commercial vehicle insurance suitable for your business. If you’re looking for HGV insurance for your fleet, please do not hesitate to get in touch today. Give us a call on 0333 577 0331 or contact us.