What to consider when buying HGV insurance

What to consider when buying HGV Insurance

If you own a heavy goods vehicle (conventionally described as one between 7½ and 44 tonnes in weight), the financial success of your business is likely to rely on that lorry being as often as possible not only fit for the road, but actually in operation.

A reliable vehicle, combined with regular maintenance and servicing, of course, help to keep the wheels turning, but an equally important safeguard is likely to be the HGV insurance you arrange.

When looking for this cover, there are a number of factors you might wish to take into account:

Official advice

  • one of the most authoritative sources of information about vehicles used for road haulage – especially where the import or export of goods is concerned – is the guidance issued by HM Revenue & Customs;

Level of cover

  • the market value of your HGV is likely to play an important part in deciding the level of cover you need;
  • comprehensive cover, linked to the replacement value of the vehicle, is typically the option for a lorry that probably plays such a central role in your business;
  • an accurate and up to date valuation is clearly less important if you choose the barest minimum third party cover;

Where you’re driving

  • in this day and age, there are many haulage operations that require the vehicle to be driven outside the UK;
  • for your own benefit and for the protection of other road users, there is a legal requirement on you being properly insured for driving in Europe (or elsewhere for that matter);
  • it is important to know, therefore, whether your insurance cover is up to the job and you might want to consult specialists such as those of us here at Isis Insurance to get expert advice about the type of cover you need;
  • an invaluable source for advice on the additional documents (such as your CMR note, FCR certificate and TIR declaration) you may need for your international haulage operations is the HM Revenue & Customs website already mentioned;

Who is driving

  • just as when insuring your own private motor car, insurers are likely to consider the risks appreciably lower if you name all the drivers who are going to be driving your HGV – it is thus worth naming your regular drivers in order to lower the perceived risk of claims and, therefore, gain a discount in premiums;

Categories of goods

  • there are special rules and the risks may be higher when transporting dangerous or hazardous goods – you may want to ensure that the insurance you have for your heavy goods vehicle covers all of the categories of goods you are likely to be carrying;

More than just the vehicle

  • insurance for heavy goods vehicles may extend to wider areas than the vehicle itself;
  • you may want to safeguard the goods you are carrying against loss or damage with goods in transit insurance;
  • there is also a risk of injury to third parties during the process of loading and unloading your cargo or in any other incident involving the vehicle when it is not being driven along the road – to indemnify you against claims arising from such incidents you may also want to consider public liability insurance.

Thus, there are a number of factors you might want to take into account when buying HGV insurance. Some of these considerations may be familiar enough to anyone who has ever arranged insurance for any kind of vehicle, but in the case of an HGV there may be more than the usual need to consult a specialist provider.