If your business owns trucks or lorries, it is vital you keep on top of your lorry insurance. UK providers need to ensure that your information is up to date if you were to make a claim. Making sure all your details are still correct with your fleet insurance company is essential to ensure you’re covered should the worst happen.
Haulage insurance cover is required when drivers are making long-distance deliveries, particularly for courier services where you are delivering goods for a price.
Once you’ve taken out your insurance policy, it can quite easily get forgotten about. Despite this, it is important to regularly check your policy and vehicles for anything that could potentially invalidate your insurance. Having a claim refused by your heavy haulage insurance company or getting into legal trouble can have a detrimental effect on your business.
We take a look at some of the things you should keep on top of, to make sure that you keep your haulage insurance policy up to date.
Your Driver’s Operator’s Licence
When obtaining your truck and lorry insurance in the UK, your drivers need to have an operator’s licence if the vehicle they are driving weight over 3.5 tones or unladen weight of over 1.5 tonnes.
Under the umbrella of operator’s licences, there are three different types depending on transportation location and goods carried. A standard national licence allows you to carry your own goods in the UK as well as internationally and other people’s goods within the UK. A standard international licence enables you to carry yours and other people’s goods both in the UK and overseas. Finally, a restricted licence allows you to only carry your own goods and not those of others. To find out more visit the VOSA website.
Without the correct licence, you could be validating your insurance, so it’s important to make sure you’re checking your drivers have the correct one.
Dates On Policies
In a busy world, it can be quite easy to get caught up and forget dates on policies, particularly if you have individual policies for vehicles. Some policies will renew automatically, but if they don’t, you don’t want to get caught out without insurance.
It might be worth scheduling your start dates, renewals and expiration dates in a calendar or management platform so you can set reminders.
In addition to this, if you have 2 or more vehicles, you could look at taking out a fleet insurance policy instead. All your vehicles will be under the same policy, making it much easier to manage the dates.
Where you keep your vehicles stored overnight or when off the road is important information that needs to be shared with the insurance provider and updated accordingly should anything change.
Without the correct address on your policy, you could be invalidating your haulage insurance. Similarly, if you move your business to new premises or you make the decision to allow employees to park vehicles at home, you must remember to register the updated location of your vehicles on your policy.
Driving Licence Changes
It’s a good idea to carry out annual licence checks on your drivers to make sure that you are aware of any possible driving offences that may have accumulated throughout the year. If you fail to report offending drivers to your truck insurance provider and they have an incident on the road, it will affect your ability to claim against your insurance policy.
It is essential to report any incident, big or small to your insurance provider as soon as possible to avoid putting your ability to claim at risk. It’s also worth noting, that with your fleet insurance some drivers have restricted cover – particularly your younger drivers and with high-value vehicles. Check that your drivers are allocated to the correct vehicle, to avoid the risk of losing a claim should an accident occur.
If your business bank details should change, you’ll need to notify your insurance provider, particularly if you’re paying by direct debit or standing order.
All bank details must be up to date for those monthly outgoings, otherwise, you could fall into arrears which could impact your ability to claim should an accident occur. You don’t want to find out that you need to pay you arrears before being able to make a claim.
Modifications To Vehicles
Any modifications made to vehicles must be reported to your insurance provider. If you wanted to claim a damaged vehicle with unreported modifications, you could lose out and have to pay up out of your own pocket.
This is also why it is important to carry out routine maintenance checks on your vehicles, in case any modifications have been made without your knowledge.
Incorrect Job Titles
When registering your employees on your policy, something as minor as an incorrect job title could cause your claim to be invalid. Your job title could be associated with the level of risk the driver poses.
Therefore, all information you tell your provider about your drivers, as well as your vehicles, must be accurate when starting or updating your policy. If anyone gets promoted or changes departments, make sure to inform your insurance provider and update your policy as soon as possible.
If your driver reports that the annual mileage for their vehicle is 10,000 when in reality it’s more like 15,000, your insurance provider will have the right to refuse a claim. As a result, it is crucial to maintain regular checks on your vehicles and have a ensure you’re not allocating vehicles to go out on the road that has reached the limited mileage.
Unreported Medical Conditions
As well as regularly checking the licences of your drivers and the state of your vehicles, it is also important to check in on the health of your employees.
If a driver had an incident due to an unreported medical condition, it could invalidate your insurance claim. So, make sure you check in with your drivers on an annual basis to be sure of any medical changes you would need to update on your policy.
Leaving Vehicles Vulnerable
If a driver were to leave a vehicle unlocked in a public space or with the keys in the ignition and the vehicle was stolen, you would be unable to make a claim. This can often occur when stopping to refuel or making a delivery. To avoid the risk, it is important to regularly train staff on keeping your vehicles protected from potential theft.
Tony Jewitt is a Director at Avis Insurance, a goods in transit and liability insurance broker in the UK. He established Avis Insurance in 1983 initially as general insurance and mortgage brokers, before specialising completely in the truck and haulage insurance markets from 2016. He has extensive experience in the insurance industry and is passionate about presenting his clients with customised solutions.