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HGV, Lorry and Truck Insurance
HGV, Lorry and Truck insurance can be a complicated and confusing business, given the number of different terms insurers use to describe these vehicles. Despite the wide variety of ways to refer to these vehicles, however, they mostly refer to the same type of vehicle—typically over 3.5 tonnes, and used for moving goods from A to B.
Regardless of what you call it, we’ve put together a thorough yet concise guide to HGV insurance. Read below to learn how it works and the answers to frequently asked questions. And if you’re ready to compare quotes, Fill out a short form. We’re partnered with QuoteZone, who work with some of the UK’s leading insurers for this market, and they’ll take care of connecting you with some of the UK’s top HGV, Lorry and Truck insurers.
Note: You may also see HGV, Lorry or Truck insurance referred to as Haulage insurance or Hire and Reward insurance—these are more general terms that do often include HGV’s, but may also include vehicles like vans, cars or motorbikes.
- What insurances do Lorry owners/drivers buy?
- Does a Lorry need insurance?
- How much does Lorry insurance cost?
- Who Provides Lorry Insurance?
What is Lorry Insurance, and What Does Lorry Insurance Cover?
As with Car insurance or Van insurance, there are three primary types of HGV insurance. The type you opt for will define what you are and aren't covered for, so it's important to make sure you're clued up before making a decision.
|Lorry Insurance Types||Third Party Only||Third Party, Fire and Theft||Comprehensive|
|Repair if your HGV is damaged in an accident|
|Repairs if your HGV is damaged in a fire or stolen|
|Compensation if other people are injured in an accident|
|Damage to third party property|
While these coverages will take care of damages to your vehicle (and, while not always, policies may also cover you for damages to your trailer/tow, but be sure to check beforehand) they are unlikely to cover you for the goods you carry. For that, you’ll need a separate Goods in Transit policy. Your HGV insurance provider should be able to provide this coverage as well.
Third Party Only (TPO)
The most basic of the three coverage levels, TPO is the minimum level of insurance required for you to be able to take your vehicle out onto the road. TPO will cover you for any damages to other vehicles or public property that you’re responsible for.
You’re not covered for any damages to your own vehicle or trailer, so will be responsible for covering these yourself. And while you may assume that TPO would be the cheapest of the three options, our research into Van insurance suggested that Comprehensive can be considerably cheaper, so keep that in mind.
Third Party, Fire and Theft (TPFT)
TPFT, predictably, offers you the same protections of a TPO policy, but with additional coverage in the event your lorry is stolen or damaged in a fire. As with TPO, you won’t be covered for any damages you incur for an accident you’re at fault for.
You may find that providers opt to simplify things for customers and only offer a TPO or Comprehensive policies, so if you’ve got your heart set on TPFT then you may have to shop around a little bit—although that’s a good habit for saving money anyway.
As the name suggests, Comprehensive Truck insurance is the highest level of the three coverage options, protecting both yours and others vehicles if there’s an accident you’re at fault for. It’ll include everything that a TPO or TPFT policy would cover you for, with additional insurances for damages and repairs to your own vehicle. If you rely on a lorry for your income, or lorries play a key role in a business you run, a Comprehensive policy is highly recommendable.
While you may assume it’d be the most expensive, as mentioned above, this is often not the case—our research on Van insurance found Comprehensive almost 50% cheaper than either TPO or TPFT, and the Government’s Money Advice Service even mentions that it’s often possible to get more coverage for less.
As with any other form of insurance, insurers may offer you a variety of optional extras. These are designed to cover you for specific costs/circumstances that not every policyholder would want/need included in their coverage. Additional protections you’re offered may include:
|Common Extras for Lorry, HGV & Truck Insurance|
|Legal Cover||Covers the cost of any legal costs incurred during your defense|
|Goods in Transit||Insures for damages to any of the goods/materials you’re carrying if they’re damaged while you’re on the road|
|Breakdown Cover||If your vehicle can’t be fixed at roadside, it will be recovered to an appropriate destination of your choice within an agreed radius|
|Debris Removal||If your cargo becomes loose or falls off your truck, you may be responsible for the cost of cleaning it up. This’ll help cover those costs|
|Misfuelling||If you accidentally put the incorrect type of fuel in your vehicle, this’ll help cover the repair|
|Personal Accident/Income Protection||Income cover if you’re unable to work due to an accident or illness that puts you out of action for a long period|
Carriage of Own Goods vs Haulage vs Hire and Reward
Whether you’re transporting passengers or goods in a car, van or lorry, it can be quite confusing deciphering which of these options is the right one for you. It’s important to make sure you’re clear with your insurer when signing up though, as using your vehicle for a purpose you haven’t agreed with your policy provider can lead to your policy being invalidated.
|Type of Insurance||Description|
|Carriage of Own Goods||If you use your vehicle to transport your own tools, goods or equipment back and forth. You are not covered for transporting anyone else’s property.|
|Haulage||For drivers taking a single load to one drop-off point. This likely wouldn’t cover you if you had to make multiple drop-offs on your delivery route.|
|Hire and Reward||Covers deliveries from multiple pick-up points or deliveries to multiple addresses.|
The differences between Haulage and Hire and Reward can be difficult to spot in some policy wordings (and some providers will only offer Hire and Reward to avoid confusion), so your best bet is to check with your insurer exactly what you’re covered/not covered for. If you feel you’ve made the wrong choice, insurers will usually be more than happy to make an adjustment.
If you’re running your own transport/logistics business, or you’re self-employed, you’ll want to be aware of the following insurances that can help protect you and your business if something goes wrong. Keep in mind that coverages like Employers' Liability are a legal requirement if you hire any staff, so make sure you’re clued up before getting started.
Public Liability Insurance
Public Liability insurance for truck drivers covers you if a third party (customer, member of the public) is hurt or incurs financial loss as a result of your work.
You may find that some insurers include it automatically within your policy, and some include it as a “recommended” extra. Most drivers would recommend having a policy, and they’re not overly expensive—£2,000,000 of coverage starts from just under £85 per year for an example driver, and may even be cheaper if you’ve got more than 2 years experience.
- While making a delivery, one of your drivers drops a heavy item onto the foot of a customer, and they sue your business for damages
Employers Liability Insurance
Employers' Liability Insurance is a legal requirement for any business that hires staff. It’ll cover the cost of compensation to an employee if they are injured or become unwell due to their work for you.
You’re required to be able to present your Employers’ Liability certificate to an inspector at all times, and can be fined up to £1,000 per day if you’re unable to (even if you have a policy!). If you don’t have a policy, you can expect fines of up to £2,500 per day for each day somebody works for you uninsured.
- As an employee is climbing into one of your company HGVs, he slips and blames a damaged step ladder for his injuries
Fleet Insurance is ideal for any business with 5+ HGV’s under their ownership, covering multiple vehicles under one policy. The benefits of a policy make them attractive for anyone trying to save time on admin or looking to get a multi-vehicle discount on their cover.
Not really. You may find some drivers refer to a “private” policy—this likely means that they’re a self-employed owner-driver working as a contractor for another business, and so have their own personal policy instead of relying on those provided by whichever company they’re working for at the time.
Having certain policies, not including your legally required road insurance, can be a requirement to work with some business—a good Public Liability policy, for example, can be a good indicator to employers that you’re a risk averse driver who cares to make sure things don’t go wrong, so some employers might ask you have one before bringing you onboard.
It depends where you go hunting for your coverage. Some insurers appear to offer discounts to “professional drivers”, but some will charge you the same irrespective—so it’s important to shop around if you’re looking to take advantage of your job.
Looking through the forums at TruckNet UK, drivers tell a mixed story—some finding policies cheaper and some finding they stay the same. It doesn’t seem as if announcing your occupation would ever increase your policy cost, however, but do keep in mind that being dishonest about your occupation to try and save money is illegal, and could lead to your cover being invalidated in the event of an accident.
Yes—you’ll need a bespoke Horse Lorry insurance policy to tow a horse trailer, even if your vehicle is already insured or you hold another form of Lorry insurance.
Horsebox insurance will almost never cover your horse while in transit, so you’ll need a specialist policy if you want cover on the roads. And make sure the vehicle you’re using meet UK towing regulations—you'll need, at minimum, a Category C1 licence if the combined weight is above 3.5 tonnes.
Our partners at QuoteZone partner with some of the UK’s leading horsebox insurers— fill out a quote form and they’ll connect you with some of the UK’s leading horsebox insurance providers.
7.5 tonne Lorry insurance is designed to cover slightly smaller lorries and trucks while on the road. Compared to a larger coverage, say full 44 tonne Lorry insurance, it’s likely to be considerably cheaper, taking into account the smaller size of the vehicle.
7.5 tonnes is also the limit for vehicles you can drive before needing a HGV drivers licence, per the government's guide to lorry types and weights, so if you need to move something and don’t hold a HGV licence a lorry under 7.5 tonnes might make a lot of sense.
If you operate a vehicle recovery business then you’ll need a specialist form of motor trade insurance (usually conveniently called Recovery insurance or Recovery Vehicle insurance).
How you insure your vehicle specifically can, in theory, be similar to insuring a traditional lorry or HGV, however our research indicated many businesses in the recovery market prefer a more specialist policy that covers them for all eventualities. Their Recovery Truck insurance policy can include things such as Road Risk (cover to drive vehicles that you don’t own) and Carriage of Vehicles (covering the vehicles you’re transporting).
Yes—”classic” insurance is designed to help cover the additional risks that might come about as a result of owning a classic vehicle. This could include things such as the difficulty of sourcing replacement parts, likelihood of breakdown and cover while your vehicle is undergoing renovation.
While each insurer is different, there are a few criteria that tend to need to be met before a vehicle can be considered a classic—these can include low mileage, age (usually 25+) and having the vehicle permanently stored in a garage, drive or lock-up (not on the road). You’ll also need to prove the classic is your 2nd vehicle—most people keep their classic for special occasions, not for day-to-day use.
Does a Lorry/HGV/Truck Need Insurance?
Yes—by law, you’re required to have an appropriate insurance policy before taking to the roads. That’s not all—you may need a certain type of driver’s licence too in order to drive heavier vehicles. Thankfully, the DVLA has a convenient guide and questionnaire to make sure you know what you are and aren’t covered for.
If you’re running a business, you’ll want to consider Public Liability to help prevent large compensation payouts to third parties who incur damages as a result of your operation. And if you’re hiring staff to drive for you, whether they’re full-time, part-time or on a contract, you’ll have to have Employers’ Liability before they get to work.
Finally, if you own/use multiple vehicles, consider a form of Fleet insurance to keep all your policies under one convenient provider, and Goods in Transit coverage can help to protect yours/others items while you move them from A to B.
How much does Lorry/HGV/Truck insurance cost?
Our research indicates that the average cost to insure a HGV is between £4,000 to £8,000 per year. How much you pay for your coverage will depend on a number of factors—some of which you’ll be familiar with from insuring other vehicles, and some more bespoke to HGVs. These include:
- Vehicle Type (Breakdown, Refrigerated etc.)
- Make and Model
- Primary Use (Haulage, Own Goods etc.)
- Carriage of Hazardous Goods
And, as with insuring any other vehicle, there are a few things your insurer will want to know about you as well:
- Type of Driving Licence
- Years held
- Operator’s Licence/Number
- Operating Area (UK, EU etc.)
- Named/Any Driver
- No Claims Bonus
Lorry insurance is a fairly specialist form of insurance—you’re unlikely to find quotes without speaking to an advisor over the phone, and many of the large comparison websites such as GoCompare or Confused won’t actually offer you quotes, instead directing you to one of their approved partners for your HGV insurance needs.
Additional Cost Information
For example, the average commercial HGV journey was 107 kilometres in the UK last year and leading logistics provider Kuehne-Nagel estimates that it’s new HGV’s will clock around 125,000 miles per year, far more than the average vehicle on UK roads.
Along with the massive mileage HGV’s clock up, there’s a few other reasons they’re much more expensive to insure on average
|Reasons why Lorry/HGV/Truck insurance is more expensive than regular vehicle insurance|
|Vehicle size||Larger vehicles are more likely to be in accidents|
|Vehicle cost||HGV’s are considerably more expensive than the average vehicle (an average (median) model from 2016 will cost you £27,750 pre-owned per AutoTrader)|
|Long/unsociable hours||Lorry drivers often accrue high mileage per trip, and regularly drive through the night|
|Theft target||Lorries often carry valuable cargo, making them an attractive target for theft|
And finally, the costs of being involved in an accident can be severe in more ways than one—the Campagin for Better Transport estimates that HGV’s are 3.4x more likely to be involved in a fatal accident on a motorway, 3.1x more likely on an A road and 4.9x more likely on minor/back roads.
How to Save Money on Lorry/HGV/Truck insurance
As with any vehicle, insurers will take into account a number of factors before offering you a quote. Many of these are similar to ways you may have saved on insurance for other vehicles.
- Clean drivers licence
- No claims bonus
- Blackbox/tracking device/dashcam
- Gather quotes from a number of providers
- Name all drivers
- More years of experience as a driver/truck driver
- Cheaper, smaller vehicle
Many insurers won’t offer coverage for drivers under-25 (and those who do will charge a lot for it) so keep this in mind if you’re thinking to add a younger driver to your policy. Many “Any Driver” policies will insist on everyone getting behind the wheel being over-25, and you risk voiding your policy if they find out someone younger has been driving the vehicle.
Who Provides Lorry/HGV/Truck Insurance?
Finding a specialist Lorry insurance provider isn’t overly challenging, however you’re unlikely to see any of the “big” name brands in the market. HGV insurance is a complicated business, and better left to smaller, more specialist providers, than the larger, more "general" insurers.
TrustPilot reviews cover the entire business, so may not be indicative of the quality of their HGV cover.
You can also fill out a quote form with our partner QuoteZone; their search engine will connect you with up to 5 lorry insurers suitable for your needs. To get started, click on the blue button below.
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