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A Guide to HGV Insurance for New Start Operators

A Guide to HGV Insurance for New Start Operators

If you are hoping to take your heavy goods vehicle onto the road as part of a business, then adequate insurance must be purchased to keep yourself and others protected. Truck insurance for new ventures can often be confusing, especially if you are a newly passed truck driver looking to make a change. You need to remember that you are responsible for yourself on the road as well as the safety of other people, and if you want your new startup to succeed, you must adhere to the rules.

Cheap lorry insurance is likely the first thing you will look into when you are a new start operator looking for HGV insurance. Even if you don't intend to drive the lorry at first, you need to ensure it's covered unless you have it registered as being off the road. If you plan to have up to ten lorries - or maybe even more - you need to look into HGV fleet insurance as a matter of urgency. Saving money will be a priority for you as a business owner in the UK, but as it's a minefield out there, you need to think about how to choose the right HGV insurance for your business.

An HGV is not the same as a standard truck on the road, so a dedicated policy should be a priority for you. You need to look for an HGV policy that will clear you and cover your whole fleet, which means you need to be aware of a range of issues when you shop for the right cover. HGV policies will often ask you for the same information as you would provide for all other trucks, but there will be questions about your business, the size of your fleet, and how many drivers you plan to cover. You will even have questions about whether you plan to drive in the UK or Europe - or both. All of these factors will impact the level of cover you will be provided, and it will impact the cost, too! 

You may have more complex needs compared to other lorry owners, and it's why you need to do your research and shop around. In this article, we're going to cover some of the things that you need to know to make HGV insurance as stress-free as possible for you. You may need a bespoke insurance plan, and the right company will be able to provide you with one. Let's take a look at the things you need when you set up as haulage operators.
HGV Licences: First Steps
The first step to ensuring that you secure the right insurance policy is ensuring that every single driver in your team holds the proper driving qualifications. Haulage operators need an appropriate licence to be behind the wheel of a truck carrying any type of goods for a business. Acquiring this licence is a must before you are approved for an insurance policy that will be appropriate for new startups.
Truck Insurance: Available Types
When looking for cheap lorry insurance, it will help you to look at the range of truck insurance for new ventures that are available now. There are actually different main types of cover out there for HGVs. These include:

  • Third Party Only Truck Insurance. This is the minimum level as required by law. It covers drivers in the UK for liability for injury to others, including passengers in the truck, liability while towing a caravan or trailer, and any damage to third party property. For this HGV insurance to be valid, your drivers must hold the Driver Certificate of Professional Competence (CPC).
  • Third Party, Fire & Theft Truck Insurance. This covers everything as to the above, but it also includes any fire damage, if the truck is stolen, and if there is damage to your lorry caused because of the theft, too.
  • Comprehensive Truck Insurance. This is a full policy that will give haulage operators the best level of cover available. This includes everything we’ve already mentioned, including loss or damage to your lorry, damage and loss of personal effects, windscreen coverage, and accidental damage. Medical expenses are also covered, but you have to check the terms of your policy exclusively to know what is and isn't included.
  • Fleet Insurance. If your business has several HGVs, then finding insurance will cover them all as part of a fleet is the most cost-effective option in front of you. It could be more convenient and cheaper than individual coverage, too. Insurers will all have different criteria when it comes to how many trucks you’ll need to make a fleet. However, it can be as low as two. So, if you choose to grow your new startup and add more than one truck, it may be worth looking into the cost of insuring more vehicles. There is also a cap on the number of vehicles that can be considered in a fleet, but it can be into the hundreds and more.
  • Telematics Truck Insurance. There are some policies out there that require you to install a black box or a mobile phone app in your HGVs to calculate premiums based on the nature of the driver and the standard of driving. It’s very popular with some commercial fleets, and it can be used to monitor the performance of different drivers. This will help if you are a new start-up, as you can work out the best places to save money.

What Do Insurers Class As A HGV?
Before you can choose which policy that you should go for, it would help for you to know what an insurer would class as an HGV. You’re not likely to find a standard HGV classification for insurance purposes. The insurance cover that you need depends on your vehicles, why you're using them, how many of them there are, and even where they are going to travel. Policies for HGV insurance vary from company to company. Some policies are specifically tailored to business needs. For example, if you have one HGV instead of a full fleet, you may find that the insurance you manage to obtain is different. Specialist truck policies are the norm for large HGV vehicles, and as there is no standard classification for the weight of an HGV, the limit can vary from 3.5 to 7.5 tonnes. Some insurers choose to cap the weight limit of an HGV, and specialist insurers often cover the weight of up to 200 tonnes.
Commercial Truck Insurance
If you are looking to buy and use HGV rigs for your new start-ups, consider looking into commercial truck insurance. You must check the policy wording very carefully when you are buying your HGV insurance, as you need to make sure that you are purchasing the correct type. For example, commercial truck insurance has different categories of business use. These include carriage of own goods and carriage of goods for haulage, hire or reward. There are very subtle differences between haulage and carriage of goods for hire, which is why it’s so vital that you check the small print. Reward or hire classifications generally apply to businesses with drivers who deliver to a range of addresses. Still, haulage is different and is usually for drivers who take a single load to one drop-off point further away. It can also be used to cover couriers.
Insurance For Hazardous Goods
If you are haulage operators who are looking to carry hazardous goods, you need to consider that this is usually an exclusion on a lot of different truck insurance policies. Some firms will cover the movement of hazardous material, but you should check the policy wording, again and again, to make sure that it’s included in your policy terms. Always speak to the insurer in depth before you take out your cover, just in case there is something in the small print that you need to discuss further. It’s vital that you have the right hazardous good coverage; if one of your drivers has an accident with dangerous goods, you need to be covered.
Other Coverage Options
Truck insurance for new ventures can include a range of different options in your policies. There are some that offer more protection for more money, and then there are others that provide only the very basic coverage. The cheap lorry insurance that you would be looking for needs to include exactly what you want. There are some comprehensive options out there, and these include:

  • Income protection
  • Personal accident
  • Sickness cover
  • Goods in transit insurance
  • Commercial property cover
  • Legal cover
  • And more.

Cutting Costs
If you are looking for cheap lorry insurance, you can do a few things to make sure that you save a little cash. There are things that you can that are specific to the HGV insurance you are looking to get, and these can range from:

  • Ensuring all drivers have the right experience and a clean driving record
  • Ensuring that your newly passed truck drivers have the correct training about the job
  • Installing cameras to determine the result of an accident.
  • Fitting the right security devices to all HGV trucks
  • Ensuring that you have a safe location for your vehicles for overnight

As well as the above, you can shop around for the right deal, barter with insurance specialists, and ensure that you review your options to avoid pricey auto-renewals. You can pay your insurance annually and save money over monthly, and if you build up an excellent no-claims bonus, you can save money here, too.
Named Driver Policies VS Fleet Policies
It’s essential to assess and identify your needs correctly when it comes to HGV insurance. Some companies have just the one vehicle, and so only need to insure one driver. Others have a few trucks on their books and need to have a specific fleet policy to ensure that everyone is covered by insurance if they are driving. The most significant difference here is permissive use. 
A named driver has direct permission and coverage to drive the vehicle, and named insurance policies do not include those permissive use clauses. If you have an excluded driver using your car and an accident happened, your business would be exposed, and you would be left without coverage. This is the most significant difference between a named driver policy and a standard insurance policy. All drivers have to carry the correct insurance, and if you have a fleet of vehicles, you need a policy that will cover everyone in the fleet.

Some insurers like named driver policies as they remain aware of the risks presented to them and customers may then choose to opt for named insurance as it can cost less. The problem is that it isn't all about the cost. It would be best if you made sure that this insurance you buy - whichever one you buy - is the best one you could invest in for your drivers. The last thing that you want is for there to be a massive accident, and no one is covered. That right there is the most significant disadvantage of named driver insurance: only the drivers listed are eligible for coverage, and if you miss anyone out, then there is a liability issue.

It would be best if you choose the right insurance for your new start ups in the trucking industry. Owner drivers should consider the pros and cons of each insurance policy they find, and then consider which add-ons they’d like to include that could make a big difference to their business. As a new operator, you want to get your insurance policy correct before anyone is on the road. It’s essential that you don't skimp on your truck insurance for new ventures.


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