It’s essential to have the right cover for your truck, lorry or HGV. But how do you insure your truck, and what’s the best kind of cover?
A truck insurance policy can also be referred to as a HGV, lorry or haulage insurance policy. These policies are designed to meet the needs of these types of vehicle.
Your insurance premiums are going to depend on your vehicle’s daily use, what it transports and the size of the vehicle.
What is classed as a truck?
There isn’t a standard definition of a truck for insurance purposes, as the cover usually depends on what the truck’s being used for. Nevertheless, there are some brief guidelines on classification.
A “truck” can be a heavy goods vehicle (HGV), lorry, or light goods vehicle (LGV). To qualify to drive one of these, you need a full car licence.
Light goods vehicles have a gross vehicle weight of 3.5 tonnes. This includes passengers, cargo, and fuel. Usually these are pick-up trucks and vans. Driving these may require you to take an additional large vehicle and lorry (category C) test.
Heavy goods vehicles or lorries are over 7.5 tonnes. Some examples include Arctics and lorries with more than two axles. These require a heavy goods vehicle driving licence.
You can find more lorry classification guidelines on the GOV.UK website. More information on licences can be found in the driving licence categories section.
What kinds of truck does the insurance cover?
There’s cover available for a variety of different types of truck – it’s not just lorries or commercial vehicles. These include:
The cover itself
There are three main options of cover for trucks. These are third-party only (TPO), third-party, fire and theft (TPFT) and comprehensive. Most HGV drivers opt for the fully comprehensive, as it means they should be covered for most incidents.
Third party insurance will provide cover:
This is the minimum level of cover required by law in the UK. Third-party, fire and theft covers these too, but also provides cover for:
The main difference with comprehensive insurance is that it covers damage to your own vehicle, and to you. There may be additional features, such as:
a choice of repairer
removal of debris following an accident
vehicle hire if yours is stolen
changing or replacing locks and key
returning the vehicle after theft
It’s vital to read the terms and conditions of your policy, to make sure you know what you’re covered for. If you feel unsure, contact your insurer.
Using your truck for business
If you’re using your truck for business then you’ll need to get a commercial insurance policy.
Standard vehicle insurance and employer’s liability insurance are a legal requirement. However, goods-in-transit insurance, public liability insurance, truck breakdown and recovery, legal expenses insurance and European cover are all optional.
Often these policies can be extended to cover hazardous goods, specialist tools and materials. Even modifications like winches or snorkels may be added to the policy.
If you’re an employer, fleet insurance may be a viable option to save money. This applies if you have more than one HGV.
It’s important to talk to your insurer about these options. They’ll be able to advise on the best cover for your truck.
Telematics truck insurance
Telematics uses GPS to assess your personal driving ability.
It takes into consideration your location, driving experience, your braking, cornering, and how rapid or measured your acceleration is.
It’s used to provide a more tailored insurance quote, instead of basing your quote on the average person. It’s worth looking into, as it could end up saving you some money.