Get the right cover for your vehicle so you can keep on truckin'.
If you’re a lorry driver, your vehicle is your livelihood, so you need to make sure you’ve got it properly insured.
Like with any other vehicle, you need insurance to drive your lorry on UK roads. Find out how to get your lorry insured, what to look for and compare insurance policies below.
What is truck insurance?
Lorry, or truck, insurance covers vehicles that are considered heavy-goods vehicles (HGV), that is, those with a gross weight above 3.5 tonnes.
While it works similar to car insurance, lorry insurance is slightly different, as it’s intended to cover the commercial use of the vehicle, whether that’s haulage or carriage of goods.
Do I need truck insurance?
Yes. You need at least third party insurance in order to legally drive your lorry in the UK. If you’re employed by a freight or shipping company, it will generally cover your insurance, but you should always check that this is the case.
If you’re self-employed, or own your own lorry or freight company, you are required to insure your vehicles and drivers.
What does truck insurance cover?
This depends on the type of policy you get, but all lorry insurance will protect you in the event you were to cause an accident. More comprehensive policies will also cover you from theft, fire and other types of damage.
Types of truck insurance
There are three levels of insurance for lorry drivers. These are:
- Third-party only (TPO) insurance. This is the most basic level of coverage, and is a legal requirement for driving your lorry on UK roads. This type of insurance only covers you against any damage caused to another vehicle or driver in the event of an accident.
- Third-party, fire and theft (TPFT) insurance. This protects you against fire damage or theft, as well as any damage or injury to the other party in case you cause an accident. You are not covered for any damage caused to your own vehicle.
- Comprehensive insurance. Unlike TPFT insurance, comprehensive lorry insurance also protects you against damage caused to your own vehicle. It can also cover towing and other costs, and some policies will let you choose your repairer.
Telematics truck insurance
A special type of lorry insurance, a telematics policy uses a black box to see how well you drive. The device records your general driving performance, such as braking, turning and acceleration, as well as your driving experience and location.
This information is then used to give you a tailored insurance policy, as opposed to one based on the general population. In simple terms, the better your driving, the less you’ll likely pay for insurance.
This is also a popular choice for freight or fleet companies, as it allows them to track the performance of their drivers.
If you run a freight or shipping company or own multiple lorries, you may want to consider fleet insurance. This allows you to insure all your vehicles under one policy, which can help you save money and simplify your insurance administration.
Commercial truck insurance
If you use your lorry for business or commercial purposes, you will not be covered by basic personal car insurance. Commercial insurance may be more expensive than regular car insurance but is necessary if your lorry is used for haulage or carriage of goods.
You should always confirm that a commercial insurance policy covers the specific use of your vehicle before agreeing to it.
What are the typical exclusions on truck cover?
Like regular vehicle insurance, there are a number of exclusions that will not be covered under your policy, or cause your insurance claim to be refused.
- Using the lorry for a purpose not covered under your policy. For example, if you have an accident overseas and your policy is only for the UK, you would not be covered.
- Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Your claim will likely be refused if you are intoxicated at the time of the incident.
- Unlisted or unregistered driver. If the driver at the time of the accident is not listed on your policy, or is otherwise prohibited from driving, your claim will be refused. This includes drivers under a certain age, if your policy specifies a driver age limit.
- War, terrorism and radiation. Like most types of insurance, you will not be covered in the event of war, a terrorist attack or if the damage is caused by radioactive materials.
How much does truck insurance cost?
This depends on a number of factors, including:
- The type of cover you need. Comprehensive cover will be more expensive than basic TPO or TPFT cover.
- Your location and experience. Like any other vehicle insurance, the cost is determined by things like your age and experience, and where you will use the vehicle. If you also drive your lorry overseas, you may have to pay more.
- The number of lorries you want to insure. You’ll likely receive a discount if you insure multiple vehicles on the same policy.
As each driver’s situation is different, it can be hard to get an exact figure, but you’re likely to pay anywhere from £2,000 to £7,500 for commercial lorry insurance each year.
To get a better idea of the amount you will need to pay, it is worth contacting a range of insurers and asking for a quote.
How to get cheap truck insurance
There are a couple of things you can do to help reduce the cost of your lorry insurance. These include:
- Use a telematics black box. You can reduce your insurance costs by opting for a telematics insurance policy, provided your driving is considered good.
- Increase the size of your excess. You can reduce the cost of your insurance premium by increasing your excess. This can help save you money if you don’t make a claim, but will lead to you paying more if you ever need to file a claim in the future.
- Compare a range of policies and providers. Always shop around to find the insurance policy that offers the best value for money. If you already have insurance, make sure to compare other policies each time you need to renew.
- Keep an eye out for discounts. Insurers may offer occasional deals on certain types of insurance or offer special rates to new customers.
- Don’t make a claim unless necessary. If you don’t file a claim, you can get a no claim bonus, which lowers the cost of your insurance premium.
Frequently asked questions
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