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Beginners Guide to HGV Insurance

11 January 2023

To put it simply, HGV insurance is the policy you need to drive an HGV on the road. It ensures that in the event of an accident, the HGV driver is protected against claims from other road users for damage and personal injury, when it’s the driver’s fault. It can also cover the cost of repairs to your own vehicles as well as fire damage or theft, depending on which type of policy you go for.

Looking for policies online can be confusing, as there are so many different options out there to choose from. It is essential that you choose the right lorry insurance policy that meets your individual needs, for example, how many drivers will be using the HGV, and what type of cargo it will carry.

Whether you are a tradesperson who owns a single HGV vehicle, or you operate a fleet of HGVs, you need to make sure that your insurance covers you under any circumstance that could occur when the HGV is being operated. That’s why we’ve created this handy guide, to answer some common questions about UK HGV insurance, to help you find the right policy for you.

What Does Lorry Insurance Cover?

As with all vehicle insurance, there are three main types of HGV insurance:

  • Third Party: Covers compensation if other people are injured in an accident with your vehicle, and damage costs to their
  • Third Party + Fire and Theft: Covers all of the above, plus repairs if your HGV is damaged in a fire or stolen.
  • Comprehensive: Covers all of the above, plus repair costs if your HGV is damaged in an accident.

If you are using the vehicle regularly, the safest option is to take out comprehensive insurance to cover any eventually. Some insurance providers will also provide optional extras, including, but not limited to, legal cover, cover for any damage to goods in transit, breakdown cover, , and personal accident/income protection.

Remember, before you get HGV insurance, you will need to get your HGV licence.

How Do I Choose the Right HGV Insurance for My Business?

There are different lorry insurance options, depending on what type of goods you transport, how often, and for what purpose. There are three purpose categories that you will need to choose from when you are signing an HGV insurance policy:

  • Carriage of own goods: You’ll be insured only to transport your own tools, goods or equipment. You will not be covered to transport anyone else’s property. This type of insurance is best for tradespeople and other truck owners not using the vehicle for hire or reward.
  • Haulage: This covers drivers that take a single load to one drop-off point. It does not cover you if you need to make multiple drop-offs on your delivery route. It is a good option for businesses that only transport goods from one destination to a final location.
  • Hire and reward: This covers the driver to make multiple deliveries from as many pickup and drop-off points as you like. This is the type of HGV insurance most professional delivery drivers will need to use.

Sometimes, it can be difficult to distinguish between haulage and hire and reward policies, so make sure that you discuss with your insurance providers the specific needs of your business, to make sure you get a policy that covers you completely.

If you are running a commercial business in the haulage and logistics industry, including if you are self-employed, you will should have public liability insurance, which covers you if a member of the public is hurt or needs compensation or their property is damaged, by your negligence, public liability excludes any event that would be expected to be covered by a motor policy under the Road Traffic Act, and employers’ liability insurance, to cover you if any of your staff members are injured or become unwell whilst working for you.

Does the Size and Weight of the HGV Affect Which Insurance I need?

The bigger your lorry, the more expensive it will be to insure.

7.5 tonne lorry insurance covers Category C1 vehicles, which are smaller HGVs, designed for more local deliveries. This will be less expensive than insurance policies which cover you to drive bigger , which would be Category C (Class 2 vehicles, up to 32 tonnes), and the largest type of HGV, Category C+E vehicles (Class 1, up to 44 tonnes). If your HGV weighs over 44 tonnes, you will likely need specialist insurance.

What is HGV Fleet Insurance?

You need HGV fleet insurance if you are transporting goods with multiple vehicles, whether it is for personal or business insurance. Motor fleet insurance for HGV vehicles is a single policy that covers multiple vehicles – perfect if you are running a haulage business with several trucks being operated by different drivers- but all insured under the same company.

Depending on the policy, you can ensure from two, up to hundreds of vehicles with HGV fleet insurance. If you do run a large fleet of HGV vehicles, you might want to explore fleet analysis and compliance services, to help you understand and manage risk within your transport operation.

What is Telematics Lorry Insurance?

Telematics HGV insurance uses black box tracking technology, the same as on a car policy, to offer you a lower price if you are a cautious, sensible driver. These black box HGV insurance policies are becoming more and more popular with haulage companies that own fleets of trucks, as it also encourages safe driving practices, reducing the likelihood of accidents. When you are purchasing an insurance policy, you can ask your HGV insurance advisor if you, or your employees, are eligible for telematics insurance.

Does it Matter What I Use the Vehicle For?

The short answer is- yes. If you are going to be using your HGV vehicle to transport specialist or very expensive goods, like art, artefacts, technology, or medicine, then you will need to look at bespoke motor and goods  insurance to cover the items that you are carrying.

If the vehicle is going to contain hazardous materials, like explosives, flammable matter, or toxic or radioactive materials, and/or operate in hazardous environments where these things are present in large quantities, then you will need an extension to cover this. The extension will be on top of what you are already paying to cover the vehicle for ordinary purposes.

If the HGV will be used as a recovery vehicle, then you need to inform the insurance provider, as this type of vehicle requires specialist insurance. Several insurance providers offer this type of cover, either for singular vehicles or as part of a fleet.

To sum up, there are many different types of HGV insurance that you can purchase for your vehicle or fleet of vehicles. What’s more, it’s important that you find the right policy for your haulage needs, cargo requirements, and business size.

If you are a new HGV driver that needs insurance, you might also need initial CPC training, which you can book with Driver Hire. Or, if you are a business that has recently hired new HGV drivers that you need to insure, check out our HGV training programs.