What Type of Risk Can a Typical Vehicle Insurance Cover?
Having a fleet business comes with lots of potential risks as you’re working with members of the public and potentially large machinery or heavy loads. All businesses want to run as efficiently and safely as possible to keep things running smoothly. This is why it is so important to get adequate vehicle fleet insurance. Many commercial lorry insurance providers will have different level of cover to choose from and with a multi-layered policy you can often make savings on your premiums.
We run through the different types of cover you can get so you can reduce the risk to your business and people.
Accident And Injury To A Third Party
One very likely risk within a fleet business is accident or injury to a third party. Whether a driver has a collision and injures someone or, for example, reverses into someone’s stone wall, not having cover for these situations can be severely detrimental to your business finances.
To minimise the risk to your business, you can take out a public liability insurance policy. This will cover you for any damage repairs, medical fees or legal expenses as well as loss of income and other forms of compensation. You can get cover ranging from £1 million to £10 million depending on the size of your business and the level of risk involved. For example, a stone quarry fleet has a much higher level of risk than a food delivery fleet and so would need a higher amount of cover due to transporting heavier loads.
Accident And Injury To An Employee
Another very likely potential risk is an injury or fatality of one of your drivers or workers. There’s a higher risk when reversing large HGV Lorries or other machinery for an accident to occur. If your business employs staff, then you are legally required to have employer’s liability insurance as part of your vehicle fleet insurance policy.
The minimum level of cover insurance providers offer is £5 million and the amount of cover you need will depend on the size and risk-level of your business. It will cover you for medical costs, legal expenses, loss of income and other related damages if an employee becomes ill or injured as a result of their work. Fleet businesses pose a higher level of risk for accident and injury than other businesses due to working with large machinery and heavy loads. Therefore, it is essential to include employer’s liability as part of your wider commercial lorry insurance policy.
Loss To Your Business
If a vehicle is damaged and off-road or one of your drivers is off work due to injury, then this will impact your day-to-day activity and could potentially cause business losses. One less lorry in your fleet to carry loads could cause havoc for your delivery schedule, especially for smaller businesses. As a result, this can directly impact your customers and clients, which could have a detrimental impact on your reputation as a business.
This is why adding legal protection cover to your fleet insurance could be beneficial. This level of cover provides free legal help and will cover solicitor fees to assist in claiming back any uninsured losses, such as policy excess, loss of earnings and injury claims. You can also choose to receive a replacement like-for-like vehicle whilst one of your lorries is being repaired. This can help improve your business productivity and get things running back to normal, reducing the risk of any financial losses.
Loss Of Goods
If your business transports and delivers goods then the last thing you want is for them to be damaged in a road collision as this would result in a huge loss as well as customer complaints. For example, if you own a furniture removal company and a serious collision happened, replacing someone’s antique furniture collection could be very costly.
That’s why adding goods in transit cover to your wider fleet insurance policy is a smart move. Goods in transit insurance covers all items being transported in the course of business in case one of your business vehicles is broken into or items are damaged in a road collision. This ensures that you won’t suffer any business losses as the value of the goods will be covered and your customers will be able to receive a refund or have their goods re-sent. This keeps your finances as well as your reputation safe as a responsible and trustworthy business.
Cost Of Replacing Vehicles
Imagine the inconvenience and cost incurred if someone was to steal one of your fleet vehicles. Not only would this disrupt your day-to-day business activity but you would also have to fork out to replace the vehicle with a new one.
However, if you have a comprehensive fleet insurance policy, this provides the most extensive level of cover including loss or damage to vehicles, accidental damage, medical expenses, personal effects and windscreen cover. This will tide you over with a replacement vehicle in the time it takes to source a new one and will cover the costs for the new vehicle too. This protects your finances as well as ensuring business continues running as normal.
You can further reduce potential risks to your business by forming a protective maintenance plan which, in turn can also lower your overall premiums. This can include regular staff health and safety training, parking your vehicles in a secure location and routine vehicle maintenance checks to keep risk to a minimum. You can also install telematics in your vehicles to track driver safety and add dash-cams to provide evidence in case of a claim. Even by hiring experienced drivers aged 25 and over as well as providing regular driving training, you are taking risk preventative steps. Insurance providers reward businesses that take measures to lower risks, so it’s a win-win!
It is important to get the correct levels of cover that suit your business and check that you are adequately covered for the risks specific to your industry sector. If you feel you are lacking cover in any areas, you must flag this up with your insurance provider as soon as possible and make any necessary alterations.
Tony Jewitt is a Director at Avis Insurance, a leading UK based commercial truck insurance provider. He established Avis Insurance in 1983 initially as general insurance and mortgage brokers, before specialising completely in truck and haulage insurance markets in 2016. He has extensive experience in the insurance industry and is passionate about presenting his clients with customised solutions.