Fleet policy: understanding the different levels of cover

A motor fleet policy is a form of insurance that protects a number of vehicles belonging to the same owner, business or family. We explore a range of coverage options and some of the main factors that affect policy premiums.

What does fleet policy insurance cover?

A policy will cover multiple vehicles in a single cost-effective insurance plan. This might include a variety of types such as cars, trucks, vans, taxis, minibuses, farming vehicles, Heavy Goods Vehicles and buses. Both commercial and private vehicles can be covered against road accidents and unforeseen events. The advantage to customers is an easy-to-manage plan with a single premium and renewal date, thereby saving on the hassle of paperwork and administration.

Numbers of vehicles insured can range from two to hundreds or even thousands for large companies. Quotes will vary according to the quantity and type of vehicles, their cost, the ages of the drivers, the value and type of contents, and the level of cover chosen. The greater the number of vehicles, the bigger the discount. Trailers and horse boxes can also be covered, and business owners can list their personal vehicles under the fleet policy.

Flexible levels of cover

It is important to get the right type of cover so that you can have peace of mind knowing that you are adequately protected. Levels of insurance can often be tailor-made to each customer.

Third party only is the legal minimum, third party fire and theft is more costly, while comprehensive is the highest level of cover.

Cover may be on a ‘named driver’ basis or ‘any driver’ basis, often with an age restriction. (Age limits are usually 21, 25 or 30 years old). It can be possible to name a younger driver under an age-restriction policy, which can be cost-effective since you are still benefiting from the age limit applying to the rest of the drivers. The same exception can apply to a driver with claims or convictions.

Depending on the nature of your business, you may be eligible for additional types of insurance which protect your goods and services, including accidents to company property. These include public liability insurance, employer’s liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance, commercial property insurance, business equipment insurance and goods in transit insurance.

Vehicles should be fitted with central locking and alarms where possible, since this will help to mitigate the cost of your fleet policy.

Extras

When considering the coverage for your fleet, you might want to think about extra insurance such as windscreen cover, breakdown cover, foreign driving cover, protection for personal effects and in-car technology, accidental damage, medical expenses, replacement locks if the keys are stolen, help with legal fees, and loss or damage to your vehicles.

Taxi and minicab fleets

Specialist taxi insurance can cover a range of vehicles such as black cabs, mini cabs, people carriers and minibuses. Taxi fleet policy holders need to factor in public and private hire insurance, replacement vehicles for non-fault accidents, breakdown cover, legal assistance, public liability cover and courtesy cars.

Family fleets

It is now usual for households to have more than one car. Two is the minimum number for a family fleet package (commercial vehicles and company cars are not allowed).

Usually, this policy covers parents and children insuring themselves together under the same roof. However, named drivers can include those at the same address who are not related, and some policies cover members living at different locations, such as a student in a university residence.

Each person may be given a No Claims Discount provided that they are above the minimum age limit (usually 21). It may be possible to assign different excesses or have varying levels of cover for individual vehicles. Typically, the costs for less experienced (and more expensive) drivers are mitigated by the lower-risk drivers within a policy.