If you run any kind of haulage operation, the insurance of your vehicles is likely to be a major subject of concern – your rolling stock needs to be insured, of course, but the cost of that protection represents an inevitable drain on your operating profits.
How then might you as an HGV business owner think about saving money on the cost of insurance?
The cover you need
- there is no way around the fact that any vehicle you operate requires the very minimum of third party insurance;
- failure to arrange that insurance may result in severe penalties, including removal from the roads of the very vehicles on which your business relies;
- saving money on the cost of your HGV insurance, therefore, starts out with this basic consideration firmly in mind;
- it might be tempting to think that the more restricted your cover the cheaper your premiums – in fact, this might not always be the case and you may find that the premiums you pay for relatively limited cover might in fact cover considerably greater risks;
- it is clear, therefore, that the insurance you arrange is fit for purpose in providing just the level of protection you need;
Saving money on the cover you need
- you may be required by law to hold a certain basic level of vehicle insurance, but that does not mean you are automatically prevented from shopping around;
- even the most cursory of searches, for example, is likely to identify insurance providers with particular expertise in this niche of the property insurance market;
The vehicle or vehicles you own
- the age, make and model of the vehicles you own, of course, has an immediate bearing on the cover you need and the price you are likely to pay for that cover;
- when it comes to saving money on the premiums you need to pay, it is very much a question of back to basics – what risks and perils do you need to be protected and to what extent are you prepared to assume those risks yourself;
- in other words, if you prepared to accept a higher rate of excess – the amount you need to contribute in the event of a claim – you may win a reduction in the insurance premiums you need to pay;
Naming your drivers
- accepting a higher excess is not the only way of saving money on your HGV insurance premiums;
- a further option is to name all of the drivers who are going to be driving your HGV – if you employ a more or less regular team of drivers, of course, this might be a feasible option, but if you hire on a seasonable or occasional basis of course it may not;
Your claims record
- there may be precious little you are able to change your past claims record when applying for your lorry insurance – but it is still worth keeping your eye on the future and convincing any insurer that today’s record is better than the past;
- this might be just the reassurance that your insurer requires;
- you might want to take matters into your own hands when it comes to securing any discount on your lorry insurance;
- the most conventional way of doing this is to adjust the relative balance of risk between you and the insurer by way of an excess;
- an excess is effectively an uninsured risk – on that it absolves the insurer from any need to cover – and one that reduces the insurance premiums you need to pay as a result;
Goods in Transit insurance
- this may be a particular – and invariably complicated – insurance need for your haulage business;
- just as the term suggests, it provides cover against loss, damage or delay in delivery of the cargo you may be responsible for delivering;
Keeping the wheels of your business turning
- HGV insurance might also include roadside assistance or emergency breakdown cover that provides the wherewithal to get your lorry up and running again – and therefore contributing to the overall financial viability of your business.
What this all goes to show is that there may be ways of reducing the price that you pay for your lorry insurance, but that at the end of the day what really counts is arranging the cover that truly represents the protection you need for your business and its rolling stock.