What does HGV insurance cover?

There are a number of questions that typically come to mind when you are considering HGV cover.

One of the commonest of those is, in fact, what exactly does HGV insurance cover?

Here is a quick summarised overview:

  • third party liability cover. As you probably know, this isn’t a nice-to-have but a legal requirement. Driving a heavy goods vehicle on the road without this cover or paying someone to do so on your behalf, would be a prosecutable offence*;
  • vehicle cover. That might typically include things such as accident damage, theft and fire. In some cases, it might also include damage caused by vandalism;
  • goods in transit insurance. This is by no means as straightforward as it sounds and there are a number of complexities that we at Isis can help explain and offer you solutions to. What is clear is that transporting goods belonging to somebody else for reward may leave you liable to claims in the event they are damaged or stolen. This is an area of cover that it might be highly unwise to ignore;
  • driver insurance. There are a number of solutions here and they may depend very much upon the nature of the legal relationship between you and the people driving your vehicles. The solution required for an owner-driver might be substantially different to that required for an organisation where the drivers are employees. This might also include considerations relating to things such as employers’ liability insurance;
  • public liability protection. This is actually a broader area of risk than simply thinking about third party cover in circumstances where your vehicle is involved in a road traffic accident. You may easily find yourself exposed to claims from the public relating to non-accident situations;
  • hazardous cargoes cover. The road haulage industry typically differentiates between the risks associated with transporting hazardous cargoes and those that come with transporting ordinary goods. The nature of the cover you need here may be specifically related to aspects of your business model and indeed the specialist nature of some of your vehicles that might be required to carry dangerous cargoes;
  • perishable cargo transport. The specialist nature of the risks and cover requirements here are not dissimilar to those above;
  • overseas transport. Today a huge volume of trade flows across the channel to other European Union member states and in fact, road haulage sometimes involves very long distance journeys to destinations that are outside of the European Union (e.g. Turkey, Ukraine and so on). Specialist policies might be needed for certain overseas destinations and it might also be critically important that your drivers have full medical insurance cover etc.

As you can see, HGV insurance is rather more than simply signing on the bottom line of a given one-size-fits-all policy. It requires in-depth analysis of your business operations and that should be performed by an insurance provider who understands the industry and the issues that come with it.

Unfortunately, getting it wrong with insurance is something that might only come to light in the event of you needing to make a claim. That is also arguably the worst possible time to find out that you have made an error in selection and that your existing cover is inadequate.

That is why we’d welcome the opportunity to work with you to help you put into place cover that protects your interests.

* http://www.lawontheweb.co.uk/Road_Traffic_Law/Driving_with_no_Insurance