Hauliers’ Insurance – Overview
Whether you are an owner operator or managing an entire fleet, your haulage business is at risk whenever your vehicles are off the road. Stagnancy is alarming for the transport industry—every second that any of your vehicles are sidelined threatens your earning potential. To ensure maximum profit and efficiency, your employees and vehicles need to be perpetually in motion. Keep them on the move with a hauliers’ insurance policy.
Hauliers’ insurance policies protect you from any loss or damage to goods that you are transporting. Without a hauliers’ policy, you could be liable for loss or damage, which can translate to substantial compensation claims that stop you in your tracks. Clear the road of any obstacles and ensure your own peace of mind with a reliable hauliers’ insurance policy.
Hauliers operate according to trade contract conditions that clarify each party’s responsibilities and liability. Typical conditions of carriage include the Road Haulage Association (RHA) conditions or the Freight Transport Association (FTA) conditions. You must be a member of these trade organisations in order to use their conditions of carriage.
Both RHA and FTA conditions of carriage allow hauliers to limit their liability to a certain amount per tonne, but this amount will never exceed the actual goods’ value. Hauliers’ insurance only covers the hauliers’ liability specified in the trade contract, not the actual goods they transport.
Make sure your contract wording also covers liability incurred under the Convention Relative au Contrat de Transport International de Marchandises par Route (CMR), ratified in the United Kingdom by the Carriage of Goods by Road Act 1965. The CMR is a United Nations convention that designates responsibility in the road movement of goods between two participating countries. The CMR facilitates easier travel across national boundaries by establishing standard trading practices and assigning liability, such as making the haulier responsible for shipment delays. Extra CMR liability should be addressed in your hauliers’ policy.
Insurers rely on underwriters to assess your risks and calculate your premium depending on several factors, including what goods are typically transported. Tanker operators, household removal specialists and hauliers that transport refrigerated goods are all subject to increased underwriter scrutiny due to the sensitivity of their cargo. Policies generally exclude specialist goods like livestock or explosives. It is possible to find policies which insure such specialist goods, though they are likely to have extra restrictions.
Because hauliers may transport a wide variety of goods, insurers can include an equally wide breadth of cover in their policies.
Hauliers’ insurance policies are diverse. They can be based on a limited contractual liability basis or an all risks liability basis. Depending on your specific policy, it could include the following types of liability covers:
- Contractual liability cover protects against liability from standard conditions of carriage from the RHA or FTA, or bespoke haulier contracts.
- CMR liability covers liability generated from shipments which fall under the CMR agreement.
- Liability at common law provides extra cover, sometimes with a separate indemnity limit.
- Extended liability offers increased protection for increased liability.
Other possible covers include goods in transit, employers’ liability, public/products liability and business interruption.
Insurers echo the array of different hauliers’ policies with a wide range of possible extensions, some of which are enumerated below:
- Legal costs
- Hauliers’ property
- Debris removal
- Legal liability for consequential loss
- Drivers’ personal effects
- Commercial considerations
- Frozen food
The exclusions to the average hauliers’ insurance policy can be as numerous as the extensions. Common exclusions include the following:
- Inner limits are applied to most goods deemed very attractive to thieves, such as precious stones or metals, bottle spirits, tobacco, computers, non-ferrous metals and mobile phones.
- Theft restrictions designate when a haulier is liable for damage or loss of goods due to theft, such as failing to leave a trailer in an enclosed premises overnight.
- Claims conditions specify that the haulier must not make any admission, offer, promise or payment without the insurer’s prior consent.
- Loss or damage while someone other than the haulier is driving the haulier’s vehicle will not be covered.
Bespoke is Best
Consult with the insurance professionals at Business Insurance Service by calling 01273 789979. We can write a bespoke policy that helps avoid any extraneous haulier liability and ensures a smooth path for your business to keep delivering goods on schedule well into the future.