HGV operators best practice guide

HGV Operators – what you need to do to manage your staff and ensure that your insurance is arranged correctly

When it comes to making sure that you have the right insurance in place for everyone who drives your vehicles, there are a number of steps you can take. We look at what you can do to ensure you don’t get caught out when it comes to HGV insurance.

  • Make sure you’re clear about what covers you need for the various drivers that you use. Some may be full time employees, some self employed drivers who you use from time to time, and others may be agency drivers who you choose to hire in at busy times of the year. They all have slightly different insurance requirements (particularly when it comes to Employers’ Liability cover) and it’s important that you’ve not missed anything.
  • Make sure that you have correctly declared all claims histories for all drivers. A common assumption is that if it wasn’t you who made a claim, it doesn’t need to be declared. That isn’t correct. If your insurance company has been in receipt of a claim notification, it must be declared.
  • Carry out regular licence audits on your drivers – once a year isn’t enough. If a driver is in receipt of an endorsement that he knows may put his work with you in jeopardy, it’s unlikely that he’s going to mention it to you, as his employer. Ignorance isn’t an excuse or defense here and you will be held responsible.
  • Consider implementing a proper system for referencing all of your drivers, and invest in training them. Since 2014, all HGV drivers have required a Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC). When taking on new drivers consider a number of basic checks that you can make – Check their CPC, look into their driving history, follow up their references and think about asking them to take a proper road test before employing them. While not compulsory, taking this approach may avoid costly mistakes later on.
  • Be cautious when it comes to employing agency drivers. While there are excellent agency drivers out there, it can be easy to miss something in terms of qualification to drive and license or claims history. At ISIS, we actually have some documentation that we offer to clients to make this easier to do. Some insurers won’t insure agency drivers, so again, working with a specialist broker can pay dividends as we can advise you on which insurers might be suitable if you do use agencies, or are likely to in the future.

Want to know more about what cover a HGV owner or operator may need?