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Jamie Gibbs

Truck insurance explained

Whether you're driving a truck, lorry or heavy goods vehicle (HGV), it's important to have the right cover in place.


A truck insurance policy can also be referred to as a HGV, lorry or haulage insurance policy. Despite the different terms, they largely refer to the same type of vehicle.

What's the difference between a truck and a lorry?

At first it can be quite confusing to figure out whether you're driving a truck or a lorry. Generally, the two terms are interchangeable. 'Truck' tends to be more of an American term, while 'lorry' is more commonly used in the UK. Both are classed as HGV vehicles.

To add a little more confusion into the mix, 'truck' can also be a nickname for a pick-up truck, which is a light goods vehicle (LGV).

 What's the difference between a HGV and LGV?

LGVs have a maximum gross weight of 3.5 tonnes. This includes passengers, cargo, and fuel. Pick-up trucks and vans come under this. Usually, you can drive these kinds of vehicles with your standard driving licence, though you may need additional training to drive certain kinds of LGVs.

HGVs or lorries have gross weight of over 3.5 tonnes. Some examples include Arctics and lorries with more than two axles. If you want to drive these, you'll need an upgraded driving licence.

You can find more lorry classification guidelines on GOV.UK. More information on licences can be found in the driving licence categories section.

What kinds of truck are covered?

There’s cover available for a variety of different types of truck – it’s not just lorries or commercial vehicles. These include:

  • trucks, lorries and HGVs

  • tankers

  • tippers

  • low loaders

  • removal vans

  • refrigerated and insulated vans

  • flatbeds

  • box vans

  • cement mixers

  • bulk carriers


What does truck insurance cover?

There are two main levels of cover available for truck insurance. These are third-party, fire and theft (TPFT) and comprehensive.

Third-party, fire and theft provides cover:

  • if another vehicle is damaged or written off

  • if property is damaged

  • if a person other than the driver is injured (passenger or other)

  • fire damage

  • theft of the truck

  • damage caused through theft

The main difference with comprehensive insurance is that it covers damage to your own vehicle, and to you. Depending on the policy, you may also get:

  • a choice of repairer

  • repair guarantees

  • removal of debris following an accident

  • towing costs

  • 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 worth talking 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. These black box van insurance policies are becoming more common among companies that own fleets of trucks.

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