Haulage and transport insurance: need to know

If you are working in the haulage, transport or logistics industries, there are a number of things you need to know about the scope and nature of haulage insurance.

Here is a brief checklist of some of the more critical aspects of the subject:

Your legal obligations

Just as with any other motor vehicle, those you use in any part of your business need motor insurance – that is the law;

The minimum level of cover is third party insurance (to safeguard other road users), but may also be upgraded to third party, fire and theft or comprehensive cover;

Your vehicles

  • although your basic legal obligations are met by arranging third party cover only, the investment you have made in acquiring the vehicles for your business is likely to make them an asset in need of more comprehensive haulage insurance;
  • that cover reflects not only the value of the vehicles, but also takes into account the extent to which any of them may have been modified or adapted for specialist tasks in your operations – the carriage of perishable goods in refrigerated wagons, for example, or vehicles adapted for the transport of hazardous goods;
  • keeping the goods you are producing – supplies and materials you are buying in or cargo you are transporting for others – on the move is critical to the success of your haulage operations;
  • to keep the wheels of your vehicles turning, therefore, your haulage insurance may also incorporate breakdown recovery, roadside assistance or windscreen replacement cover – so that any time the wagons need to be offroad is kept to the barest possible minimum;
  • similarly, equipment that is essential to the carriage of goods – such as tarpaulins, ropes and stays used to secure cargo – also benefits from insurance against theft, loss or damage;

Goods in Transit

  • whether you are transporting your own goods, supplies or equipment or providing haulage services to a customer, the loads may also benefit from the incorporation of Goods in Transit insurance into your haulage insurance plan;
  • the safekeeping and security of those cargoes depends on their being safeguarded against theft, loss, damage or late delivery, together with indemnity for any financial losses you may incur as a result;
  • that is the purpose of Goods in Transit insurance – which may be a specific condition expressed in the model Conditions of Carriage, adopted by the Road Haulage Association (RHA);

Your liabilities

  • haulage insurance may also incorporate essential indemnity against various liabilities you might incur;
  • public liability insurance, for instance, provides your indemnity against successful claims from third parties and members of the public who may be injured or have their property damaged during some activity (or failure to act) on your part;
  • if you are held liable, you may be ordered to pay substantial compensation – especially if someone has been injured;
  • employers’ liability insurance – not just for your drivers, but anyone you employ, in any capacity – is a legal requirement and one that calls for minimum indemnity of £5 million.

If you are in any way involved in the haulage, transport or logistics industries, therefore, suitable haulage insurance may offer the defences you need against a wide range of risks and perils.