The range of cover offered in the fleet market may be greater and less restrictive than cover you can find elsewhere on individual policies.
An individual insurance policy for a truck will usually allow driving by named drivers whereas a fleet policy will offer open driving, subject to age restrictions and experience. A fleet policy would usually exclude drivers aged below 17, or exclude drivers aged below 21, or exclude drivers aged below 25 or exclude drivers aged below 30. There are other variables, but these are the most common. You would pay more for a policy that excludes drivers aged below 17 than you would for a policy that excludes drivers aged below 30.
In order to insure a vehicle which carries goods for trade or business purposes on public roads you are required to have an operators licence if the vehicle exceeds 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight (GVW). It can take up to 9 weeks to apply for an operator’s licence, but in certain cases you will be granted an interim licence.
Depending on your occupation, you would either apply for a Restricted Operators licence, a Standard National licence or a Standard International Licence.
- This licence allows you to carry your own goods, but not other people’s goods.
Standard national licence:
- This licence means you can carry your own goods in the UK and internationally.
- You may also carry other people’s goods in the UK.
- You can also take loaded trailers to or from ports within the UK as part of an international journey, as long as your vehicles don’t leave the country.
Standard international licence:
- This licence means you can carry your own goods, and other people’s goods, both in the UK and on international journeys.
- When you get a standard international licence, you can also request the issue of Community Licences. These allow:
- Trips between all EU member countries.
- Transit traffic through EU member countries
- Cabotage (journeys entirely within another EU member country)
A HGV fleet policy will allow cover for trailers subject to them being declared to the underwriter and will usually cover them on a specified basis or an unspecified basis. Specified trailers will be identified by their make, model or serial number and would usually be rated depending on their individual value. Here the cover for the trailer would usually be the same as that of the towing vehicle, whether the trailer is attached or detached.
A trailer covered on an unspecified basis may include a trailer that you are towing for a client. Or that is borrowed or hired. Here the trailer would be covered whilst being towed and covered only whilst temporarily detached. A trailer left in a lay by at the side of the road overnight would not be covered.
The type of cover you select will determine your premium and there are 3 main levels of cover ranging from Third Party Only to Third Party Fire and Theft and finally to Comprehensive cover. You would expect to pay more for Comprehensive cover than you would for Third Party Only cover. There are other levels of cover available but these are the 3 most common cover types.
Finally, the number of vehicles insured on the policy will also be one of the main driving forces behind the premium along with the geographical radius in which you operate. Discounts would be allowed for companies that operate within a 100-mile radius of base. Other operators might require National cover or International cover and the premiums would increase accordingly.