Business breakdown cover

Learn what commercial breakdown cover includes, what policies are available and how to get the best cover for your business vehicles.

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If you operate vehicles as part of your business, or provide vehicles to your employees, commercial breakdown cover can be a business lifeline if you’re facing a deadline and a car or van develops a problem.

What is business breakdown cover?

Business breakdown cover is breakdown insurance designed for commercial vehicles. You can choose between vehicle cover, which means that any driver is covered to drive your business vehicles; or personal cover, which means your drivers are covered to drive any of your business vehicles.

What factors are taken into account when determining the cost and eligibility of business breakdown cover?

Eligibility criteria and cost will vary by insurer, but can include the following:

  • Passenger. Vehicles must only carry the manufacturer’s recommended number of people, and no more than nine people.
  • Weight. Vehicles must weigh less than 4,000kg, including load.
  • Dimensions. Vehicle dimensions must not exceed: 7m long, 3m tall and 2.55m wide.
  • Maintenance. Vehicles must be regularly serviced and used appropriately, as well as having a valid MOT when required.

What cover options are available?

Policy specifications will vary by provider, but usually include the following options:

  • Roadside assistance. This is the most basic form of breakdown cover and should be included within all breakdown policies. Roadside assistance ensures that if your car breaks down further than a quarter of a mile from your work, someone will be sent to assist you on the road. If your car cannot be fixed on the roadside, it will typically be towed to a nearby garage.
  • National recovery (relay). Also known as vehicle recovery, this type of cover is the level up from roadside assistance. National recovery means that, if your car can’t be fixed on the roadside, it can be towed to any location of your choice within the UK.
  • At work. This is the business equivalent of home start insurance. At work cover provides you with cover should your vehicle break down at your place of work or very near to it (usually within a quarter of a mile to a mile radius of your work).
  • European cover. This protects you on the roads when you’re driving in Continental Europe.
  • Accident care. This is usually an add-on to a national recovery policy, and means that you’ll get assistance with vehicle recovery, repairs and processing insurance claims after accidents or vandalism.
  • Onward travel. If your car can’t be fixed on the side of the road, having onward travel cover means that you will be offered a way to continue your journey. Some companies offer to reimburse you for public transport costs, pay for an overnight hotel stay or offer a replacement car hire while yours is being repaired.

How to find the right level of cover for my business

When trying to decide how much cover to take, you should consider the following elements:

  • How many cars your business operates
  • The size and type of vehicles you operate
  • Which employees usually drive your car (and if this changes)
  • Whether you want to cover the cars or the drivers
  • Whether your drivers have to drive to Europe often

There may be other considerations, depending on the type of business you operate. One thing to remember is to shop around and compare policies to find the best value deal for you.

Frequently asked questions about business breakdown cover

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