What is Fleet Insurance?

Why go through the hassle of insuring each and every single one of your commercial vehicles separately, when you can instead get all the coverage you need under one fleet insurance policy?

If your business depends on a fleet of vehicles, fleet insurance ensures you’re fully covered with minimal hassle. But what is fleet insurance all about? What are the ins and outs you need to know before committing?

We’re here to take you through all the details.

What does Fleet Insurance mean?

Fleet insurance cover is a policy type that covers more than one business vehicle. (Howden will cover as few as two!

The major benefit of fleet insurance is that it gets rid of the inconvenience of managing several policies at once. You only have to deal with one contract, one renewal date, and one level of cover. Add that all up, and this comprehensive coverage type will likely save you money and bother.

You can register your fleet in your company’s name or in the name of the company’s director. 

Like other types of motor trade insurance policies, fleet insurance will cater to your coverage needs. These will be worked out based on the following:

  • The size of your fleet
  • Vehicle types
  • The number of drivers 
  • The degree of coverage you would like 

How does Fleet Insurance work?

Fleet insurance policies cover all the commercial vehicles and drivers that keep your business on the move. Other than that, fleet insurance works similarly to your personal car insurance policy. You pay a fee for your coverage (a premium) to keep your policy active and decide on how much you will have to pay in (excess) if you have to claim. These details will be determined with your provider when you negotiate your policy. 

Here are the steps to take to get your fleet protected:

Step 1: Decide what vehicles you’d like to cover

So, what is classed as a fleet vehicle? 

Fleet insurance covers the vehicles that are part of your business operations. Types of fleet insurance-covered vehicles include:

  • Commercial cars and trucks
  • Mobility and delivery vehicles
  • Construction and agricultural vehicles

These could be:

The higher the number of vehicles in your fleet, the higher the cost. More expensive, specialised vehicles will also increase your payments. 

Step 2: Choose your level of coverage

Depending on your budget and how much protection you want, you can decide between levels of coverage — just as you would if you were insuring a single vehicle.

You can choose:

  • Comprehensive fleet insurance, which provides complete cover on the roads. You’ll be protected regardless of who is at fault, who is hurt, and what vehicle damage is done.
  • Third-party only, which covers you against damage caused to other people’s vehicles or property
  • Third-party, fire and theft, which splits the difference, adding protection against damage caused by fire and for theft of one of your vehicles

Step 3: Consider how many drivers you would like to cover

Depending on the needs of your business, you can decide how many drivers you would like to insure under your policy. 

You can have all your company vehicles insured for any authorised drivers within your business or only extend your coverage to particular drivers for specific vehicles. Basically, you get to tailor-make the policy to suit the particular needs of your employees.

A pro tip here? Less experienced drivers and those whose driver histories deem them more of a risk may mean your policy increases in price. 

Step 4: Choose a professional insurance provider that understands your needs

Opting for an experienced insurance provider that will take the time to understand your unique circumstance and create a package that suits them is important. It can make managing your insurance, and claiming against it, so much easier. 

What to consider when choosing Fleet Insurance

Right! So, you’ve decided it’s time to cover all your vehicles. Now it’s time to get cracking with the details. 

Assess the risks involved

Risk factors include everything from your drivers’ level of experience, to how much your vehicles need to be on the road, to whether you’re transporting dangerous goods.

Determine the size of your fleet

Before you talk to your insurance provider, ensure you have a detailed inventory of the fleet you would like to cover. 

Work out the nature of your fleet

Some common fleets include:

  • Own goods fleet, where your vehicles are intended to move your operations’ supplies. Say you have a construction firm, for example. An important job of your fleet is to get your equipment from one location to another. 
  • Logistics, courier and transport fleet, where the focus of your company is on sorting out the transportation of goods and equipment for others. It’s important to speak to your insurance provider if your business transports hazardous goods or waste products.
  • Bus, coach, or taxi fleet, where your business specialises in ferrying people from one place to another.
  • Vehicle hire fleet, where your customers hire your vehicles for personal or commercial use. It’s crucial to ensure you are correctly insured to cover what could happen when someone outside your company is at the wheel.
  • Bluelight, where your vehicles are used in emergency services
  • Customise your fleet insurance policy: Decide on the kind of policy that best suits your business. Some options to choose from include:
    • Fixed fee, where you pay an annual lump sum for your fleet insurance.
    • Mileage-based insurance, where your premiums are worked out based on how much your fleet is used. This is typically a more cost-effective option.

Many insurance providers may also have programs in place that reward good driving behaviour and offer incentives for well-maintained vehicles. If you keep your fleet in stellar condition, you could reap the rewards!

How much does Fleet Insurance cost (UK)?

Unfortunately, we’re not going to give you an easy answer here. When it comes to fleet insurance premiums, the spectrum is broad. From the needs of the smallest two-motorcycle delivery service to the largest national logistics company, fleet insurance comes in all shapes, sizes and prices.

The factors that influence the cost of fleet insurance include:

  • How many vehicles you have
  • Types of vehicles 
  • Drivers’ age and histories
  • How much coverage you want (comprehensive, third-party, fire and theft or just third-party)
  • Business location

The best thing to do is chat with a professional insurance provider so that you can get an accurate quote.

The process of filing a Fleet Insurance claim

Insurance is one of the few things we pay for that we hope we never have to use — but life happens, and at some stage, you’ll be very thankful you put the time and energy into properly protecting your business.

When the time comes to claim, your fleet manager should contact your insurance provider. It’s important for the fleet manager to be the contact person here as they’re most likely to have the most up-to-date detailed information on your vehicles and drivers.

They can do so by:

  • Calling your insurance company. 
  • Making a claim online. Howden has a SMARTClaims Commercial Motor Claims service that allows you to claim directly through an easy-to-use portal.

To sum up

If your business needs multiple vehicles to be running at one, it’s worth considering fleet insurance coverage. By having your entire set of vehicles under one policy, you can save time, hassle and money. 

A fleet policy can be customised to the specific needs of your company. To figure out the most appropriate deal for you, your insurance provider will take several factors into account, such as:

  • The size of your entire fleet
  • The types of vehicles you need to cover
  • The levels of coverage you would like
  • How many drivers you would like to insure (or if you’d like to have insurance for any eligible driver)
  • The nature of your fleet and what you will be transiting
  • Whether you’d like to pay a fixed annual premium or mileage-based insurance

FAQs about fleet insurance

Can anyone drive on Fleet Insurance?

Fleet managers have the option to cover your whole team by stipulating in your policy that any authorised driver is eligible for cover. Alternatively, you have the choice to name specific vehicles to specific drivers. 

What is family fleet insurance?

Family fleet insurance is a policy that’s specifically designed to private cover that insurers two or more vehicles under one household. If you belong to a large family which has a lot of cars that need insuring, getting family fleet over could be handy, keeping your insurance well organised and simple under one policy.

Essentially, it enables you to get all the benefits of a regular car insurance policy whilst saving the time and effort of insuring ALL your vehicles under multiple policies.

How many vehicles do you need to be eligible for fleet insurance?

Many fleet insurance providers have differing views on how many vehicles constitute a fleet, with some asserting that a greater number of vehicles are necessary to qualify as a fleet compared to others.

However, while this criteria may vary, typically, many businesses can obtain fleet policies from an insurer if they possess two or more vehicles. Nevertheless, some providers may mandate a minimum of five vehicles for eligibility for fleet cover.

Furthermore, providers also vary in terms of the maximum number of vehicles they will cover under a fleet policy. Some mini fleet insurance providers cap coverage at fifteen vehicles, whereas others extend coverage to large fleets comprising hundreds of business vehicles.

Getting fleet insurance quotes doesn’t need to be complicated or stressful. Simply contact Howden, and we’ll put you in touch with a member of our specialist business vehicle team.

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