Individual Insurance or Fleet Insurance: Which is Cheaper?

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.

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.