Insuring Fleets: Haulage

Photo By: Texas Federal State Property Office

Haulage firms specialise in the transit and delivery of larger products, or larger quantities of products to and from factories, manufacturing plants and even supermarket warehouses.

Haulage firms are made up almost exclusively of Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs); vehicles which are over 3.5 tonnes in weight, although some businesses may also make use of vans for smaller deliveries, known as Light Goods Vehicles (LGVs).

What Vehicles Can I Cover On My Policy?

Haulage fleet insurance will help you to cover a number of HGVs in your fleet under a single policy, as opposed to insuring each truck individually, which could prove to be quite expensive in the long run.

Haulage insurance can be used to cover a wide range of different lorry types; including articulated, refrigerated, flatbed and tipper. So whether you have a mixed fleet or only use a single type of truck to deliver goods, insuring them all under one policy can help save you money in the long term.

If you have a fleet which is comprised of a mixture of vehicles, it can be worth looking into grouping these onto their own fleet policies, such as courier fleet insurance and van fleet insurance in order to save yourself some money by insuring them all under one policy rather than individually.

What Will Be Covered By A Haulage Policy?

Haulage policies will help cover you against damages as a result of an accident caused by a third party, as well as protection from theft – both for the vehicle and for your customers’ goods.

Much like a regular car insurance policy, there will be differing levels of cover on HGV insurance – from third-party only to fully comprehensive. Third-party covers the driver only whilst fully comprehensive gives a more balanced cover, and is recommended for fleets as it covers all bases.

There are a wide variety of insurers out there who offer haulage fleet insurance, it can be worth comparing prices to see what suits your business needs.

What Extras Can I Get?

Insurers will offer additional extras as part of your policy, which depending on your line of work and the goods you carry can be handy to have in addition to your basic cover, here are a few things you should look out for when searching for a policy:

  • Goods In Transit cover

Goods In Transit cover is an essential part of your cover, as this covers your customers’ goods against theft, loss or damage sustained in an accident while in transit.

However, depending on the type of load you are carrying you might find this cover difficult to get, as products such as hazardous materials may not be covered by your insurer, ask your broker if you are unsure and be as honest as you can about the goods you carry.

  • Public Liability cover

Public liability cover helps to protect members of the public against damage to property or injury sustained because of a mistake by one of your drivers, which can include anything from property damage from scraping as a result of tight cornering to personal injury.

  • Employers’ liability cover

Employers’ liability cover helps in the payment of compensation should a worker sustain injury or illness while working for you, with many policies allowing you to insure up to a certain amount to cover all the vehicles in your fleet.

  • Windscreen cover

Windscreen cover, much like on a standard car insurance policy, will help to cover the cost of replacement windows on your HGVs in the event of damage – from involvement in an accident, chipping over time or even as a result of damage from wildlife such as flying birds.

  • Equipment cover

Equipment cover helps to cover the contents of your HGV which are involved with the security of your cargo or help to keep it secure during transit – including strapping, ropes, secure latches and security ties – and help to protect these against theft and damage.

  • Drivers’ belongings cover

On the other side of the coin is drivers’ belongings cover. HGV drivers usually spend a lot of time in their cabs and may have personal possessions contained within. Drivers’ belongings cover helps to protect these against theft or damage as a result of an accident, think of it as contents cover but on the road.

  • Breakdown cover

Breakdown cover is also available as an added extra and can prove handy for getting back on the road as quickly as possible following a breakdown, allowing your drivers to continue on with their journey with minimal time loss.

  • Courtesy vehicle

If the breakdown company are unable to fix the cab by the side of the road, some policies will include cover for a courtesy truck to help get you back on the road as quickly as possible following an incident.

Delivering Abroad

If your business takes you across the Channel and into Europe, you will need to get some European cover on your haulage insurance policy, as well as ensuring that your drivers have the correct paperwork and licences to drive their HGVs abroad.

Hazardous Goods

The type of goods you carry may affect your level of cover, especially if you carry hazardous materials such as chemicals. Depending on your cargo, some insurers may initially refuse you cover because of the risk factor, so it can be worth talking to several brokers when you are looking for cover as some may be more specialised and accommodating to your cargo.

Driver Diversity

When it comes to your staff force, age and experience can help to keep your premiums low. So while it might be difficult to insure younger drivers and new starters against your fleet insurance policy, providing your drivers have clean driving records and have accumulated some No Claims Bonus on your policy already you could find your haulage fleet insurance policy becoming cheaper.

Whichever business you are, haulier or courier, your vehicles will need insuring against third party damage and theft, that’s where a haulage fleet insurance policy comes in, and it is valuable to have.