If you are a business owner with a lot of vehicles in your fleet, one of the important aspects of ownership is ensuring that each of your vehicles is adequately insured against damage and theft, much like with your regular car insurance policy.
But how best to insure your fleet? Insuring each vehicle individually is not only going to be expensive but also generate a lot of additional paperwork, which could not only lead to clutter but also to confusion when it comes to sorting out an insurance claim against one of your vehicles.
What Is Fleet Insurance?
Fleet insurance essentially allows you to insure all of your vehicles under a single policy, so whether your fleet involves cars, vans, trucks or a mixture of all three, putting all of your vehicles on one policy could work out cheaper for you in the long run.
How Does Fleet Insurance Work?
Fleet insurance insures multiple vehicles at one time, usually over five, although some brokers may allow you to insure three or fewer vehicles under them, this can vary so be sure to ask in order to be sure.
By taking the time to put all your vehicles onto one collective policy, not only can you save you on administrative tasks, but you may also save yourself some money in the process, especially if your drivers have good driving records.
What Level Of Cover Can I Get?
Fleet insurance can involve different levels of cover, including:
- Third Party Only
- Third Party Fire and Theft
- Fully Comprehensive
Much like with a regular car insurance policy, the higher the level of cover the higher the price, so bear this in mind when choosing a policy. Fleet insurance will allow you the opportunity to place the same level of cover onto all of your vehicles, ensuring that all are covered against the same dangers.
What About No Claims Discount?
No Claims Bonus (NCB) can be built upon your fleet insurance policy, and each driver will have an individual NCB which will count towards the policy. So provided of course your drivers have good, clean records you could find yourself saving on your fleet insurance.
By accumulating a combined NCB for all your vehicles, and by keeping track of your drivers driving habits individually you can help to lower your premiums in future.
Any Additional Extras?
Depending on the nature of your business, there are a few additional extras that you may wish to add to your policy in order to add some extra protection for your fleet, including:
- Goods In Transit cover – helps to cover your cargo against loss or damage en route to the customer site.
- Breakdown cover – helps to get you back on the road in the event of your vehicle breaking down, either by repairing it by the side of the road or by towing you to a nearby garage for repairs.
- Courtesy vehicle – helps to get you back on the road quickly if one of your vehicles break down on the road by providing a like-for-like replacement to allow you to continue on your journey.
- European cover – if your orders take you across the Channel and into Europe, you’ll want to make sure you are covered while over in the EU, helping to cover against breakdowns and accidents caused by third parties.
- Personal belongings cover – helps to protect a drivers’ possessions in the cab of his truck against damage or theft.
- Windscreen cover – helps to cover damage to windscreens as a result of dangerous chipping, impacting wildlife or as a result of an accident.
- Equipment cover – helps to cover any equipment that is used during the delivery, including tarpaulin, strapping and security ties.
As well as extras which cover the equipment and goods, you’ll also need to ensure that your driver is also covered, and the following extras are essential to ensure safety for them and your business:
- Public liability cover – helps to protect you against claims made by third parties for injuries caused by your vehicle or equipment.
- Employers’ liability cover – helps to ensure that you are covered should one of your employees is injured on your premises (eg. One of your drivers sustaining an injury while loading their van because of a faulty piece of equipment).
Check with your broker as to what comes as standard on your policy, and which of these extras may need to be added to your policy in order to cover your vehicles.
What Documents Do I Need To Insure?
Insuring a fleet may seem like a lot of work to set up at first, you’ll have to find the documents for each of your vehicles and register each one on the policy, which could take a good amount of time depending on your fleet size.
However, when it comes to renewal time, this process can be shortened if your fleet has not changed, and a new premium can be worked out from this previous detail.
Be sure to let your insurer know if you add vehicles to your fleet, replace vehicles and drivers or make any modifications to any of your vehicles, as this could affect the price of your premium going forward.