Opinion: HGV driver crisis and lack of insurance provision for young HGV drivers

HGV Insurance for under 25s – Should there be a rethink in the industry?

UK HGV driver crisis is being made worse through lack of provision of HGV insurance for under 25 year old.

The UK HGV industry is facing a well publicised driver shortage – and an ageing demographic with a reported 60% of drivers being over 45 years old. Conversely, it’s thought that less than 2% of all drivers are under 25 years old.

With wide ranging issues facing the UK driver market, including the uncertainty around the impact of Brexit, there appears to be a very real need to make it easier for new drivers to enter the HGV driver profession.

The lack of availability of good quality HGV insurance for under 25’s is certainly a key factor.

The insurance industry is, after all, wary of young drivers getting behind the wheel of a private car, let alone a commercial HGV. Statistics pertaining to young drivers show that they are more likely to be involved in an accident. But the private and domestic motor insurance marketplace has altered dramatically in the last few years, with innovative insurance products designed to help reduce the exposure of insurance companies by allowing young drivers the opportunity to demonstrate that they are driving sensibly, and rewarding them with better cover and more reasonable premiums. For example, the fitting of a ‘black box’ which records driver habits and driving style, has meant that many young drivers have been able to access more cost effective policies. Similarly, young drivers who invest in advanced driving courses may find themselves able to buy insurance at more realistic premiums.

It seems logical that these approaches could and should be applied in the HGV industry. Already, HGV fleet managers can take a number of steps to help reduce their premiums for all drivers. These include:

▪ Being able to prove a responsible approach to driver recruitment and training

▪ Having cameras fitted to vehicles and trailers

▪ Incorporating tracking devices and telematic systems in place

It doesn’t seem like a huge leap that similar approaches could be taken with younger HGV drivers in the near future. Watch this space.