The insurance industry in this country is highly competitive. In many ways, therefore, the answer to this question is largely a matter of whatever you want it to cover. Insurers respond to the market by offering products demanded by their customers and potential customers – so there is almost certainly going to be a policy to suit your individual needs and requirements as the owner or operator of a heavy goods vehicle.
Elements of cover
Many of the features of heavy goods vehicle (HGV) insurance are likely to be familiar to anyone who has arranged cover for a motor vehicle:
- level of cover – just as any other motor vehicle, an HGV is required by law to have a minimum level of third party insurance. If the vehicle is old or of particularly low value you might consider third party, fire and theft cover adequate. In the majority of cases, however, comprehensive cover is likely to be required to protect your valuable investment against loss or damage or claims from third parties;
- as with other types of insurance, you may be able to secure significant reductions in the cost of premiums by building up consecutive years of no claims discounts; and
- further discounts may be available if you restrict the numbers of drivers of the vehicle or allow only named drivers.
Insurance for HGVs
Heavy goods vehicles, though, are a special category of motor vehicle and may require your consideration of further aspects of the cover you need.
The type of vehicle, for example, is especially wide ranging and might include:
- articulated or rigid vehicles;
- refrigerated vehicles;
- skip lorries;
- curtain side trailers;
- tipper trucks; and
- flatbed trucks.
The particular type of vehicle you are operating may influence the protection you require and help to determine the insurance cover you choose.
The nature of your business may also determine the type of insurance cover that may be arranged. Probably the most common distinction made in this area is whether the vehicle you are insuring is for the carriage of your own goods or whether you are operating a general haulage business in the transport of others’ goods for hire or reward.
With respect to the geographical nature of your business, you may qualify for discounts on the insurance premiums for your heavy goods vehicle if you are using it within the UK only and intend to make no journeys overseas.
In addition to the core elements of cover, the protection of your haulage business might also benefit from the protection of additional forms of insurance, such as:
- cover for goods in transit;
- roadside assistance – to ensure that in the event of a breakdown, the provision of a replacement vehicle may ensure that your delivery deadlines are still met;
- public liability; and
- employer’s liability – an element of cover that is mandatory if you employ drivers or other staff to help run your business.
Consult the experts
Before making your decision on the most appropriate form of cover you may wish to consult experts – such as ourselves at Isis Insurance Services – for expert guidance.
When it comes to insurance for heavy goods vehicles there is unlikely to be any one size fits all solution – so much is likely to depend on your individual needs and circumstances. For that reason, the guidance and advice of a broker experienced in this field may pay dividends.