Insurance can be expensive, it’s extra administration to fit into your busy working week and many people find it confusing to understand exactly what type they need. So, do you really need to go to the trouble of getting some for your commercial vehicle? In short: yes! Despite what you might have heard, it’s against the law for you or your employees to drive a commercial vehicle without proper insurance.
What is commercial vehicle insurance?
Commercial vehicle insurance is different to insurance for personal use. If you drive a vehicle for personal errands, such as as getting to the supermarket to do your grocery shop or dropping the kids off at school, you might only need personal insurance. However, if you use your vehicle for any business operation, it’s likely that you need commercial insurance. See if you can answer ‘yes’ to any of the questions detailed on the esurance website and find out which level of cover you require.
Whether you’re leasing a fleet of vans on finance, hiring one or two trucks on a contractual basis or are just driving a replacement vehicle for the day, (for instance, to attend meetings with your customers around the country or to transport your tools or products), you most likely need commercial insurance.
What does commercial vehicle insurance protect?
Commercial insurance is designed specifically to cover eventualities associated with operating a vehicle for business purposes. It covers:
- your business and its assets.
- you, your employees and other drivers you hire (such as contractors) to drive your company car, lease van or any other vehicle used for business purposes.
- the risks associated with operating a commercial vehicle
What happens if you don’t get commercial vehicle insurance?
If you don’t take out adequate insurance, the penalties are severe. Due to the fact that driving without the insurance is illegal, you could face fines, points on your driving license, vehicle impounding or even time in prison. Also, not being insured means that you aren’t covered for anything that happens to third parties – your van warranties and maintenance packages won’t cover the expenses you could incur in an accident. And, it’s actually against the law to not have a minimum of third party insurance – it’s the bare minimum level you’re expected to have.
Unfortunately, not understanding or knowing the rules is not an excuse. Many people wrongly assume that vehicles driven for business comes with insurance automatically included, particularly if they’re paying for a fleet of vehicles on finance or have a package of extra maintenance benefits and warranties. However, commercial insurance isn’t included, and the responsibility lies entirely with you to sort it out.
So, as you can see, whether you’re hiring a van for your own self-employed business or are in charge of getting your team of sales reps on the road safely, there’s a great deal to consider. Make sure you shop around for a good deal, but beware of anything that seems too cheap as you might not be covered to the necessary extent! If in doubt, telephone insurance companies for extra information, and be sure to read the small print too.