A motor trade business can change considerably over a year, so it’s important that when it comes to policy renewal, you know which aspects of your company can have a significant impact on your motor trade insurance premiums. As a business owner, trying to keep premiums down as much as possible is a primary goal and this may be possible through a careful review process.
A few weeks before renewal, you should receive an offer letter from your current insurance company, writing to you with an overview of your new policy, outlining your current level of insurance and the cost of the premium. This gives you a little time to review the policy to see how it matches your current business needs and areas of cover you may need to adjust in the renewal process.
Motor trade insurance can cover a comprehensive range of requirements and policies across the industry. Here are some tips from Tradex on what to consider when deciding on your motor trade insurance needs at its annual renewal.
Overview of your current policy. Check which extras are added to your policy, do you still need them? Do you need to add others? Is it sufficient for your needs or does it need reducing? Do you need to add motor trade liability or premises insurance? Public and employer’s liability insurance could be important cover if an employee or member of the public were to make a claim.
Change of address. This may seem obvious, but many clients overlook informing their insurance company of a change in business premises, new telephone numbers and other contact details.
Update of business type. Have you added any new business services in the past year, such as breakdown recovery, MOTs, valeting or tyre checking? New services could attract different insurance coverage depending on the level of risk or hazards involved.
Vehicle types. As with the business type, changing the type of vehicles you work with can change your premium or the value of cover needed (indemnity), especially if you are including a greater number of high-performance, vintage or classic cars.
Changing employees. Make sure you do not have any employees still covered on the policy that has left the company. Do you have the right policy for each new driver or person employed? Also, have any of your employees’ circumstances changed in the past year that may lower or increase your premiums?
Vehicle values. As vehicle values depreciate year on year and insurance claims are reimbursed at the trade price of the vehicle, it’s important your motor trade insurer has the correct value for each one to avoid any shortfall should the vehicle be written off.
Start-up motor trade or part-time employment. If you are self-employed but have more than one job or business, see if there is one overall policy that will cover you rather than having different ones for each job.
Driving convictions. An insurance company needs to be made aware of any driving convictions employees have received in the past five years. It is illegal to withhold any such information, if this has not already been passed onto the insurers, this must be updated in the pre-renewal. This may push up your renewal premium, but it is preferential to finding out at a later date that you aren’t able to make a motoring claim. The amount of type of convictions of all employees will determine the overall premium and someone with excessive driving convictions is unlikely to be insured.
Safe driving. On the bright side, a company with a track record of safe driving should be able to check with their insurers about reducing their premium.
Renew without a break in cover. Having any kind of break in your insurance coverage could leave you in breach of the Continuous Insurance Enforcement regulations and liable for a fine, court proceedings or even the vehicle being clamped, impounded or destroyed. All vehicles used on roads and in public places must have valid motor insurance or the vehicle needs to be registered with the DVLA as off the road (Statutory Off-Road Notification or SORN).
Review your need for excess. Whether a sole trader or larger business owner, if you have had few vehicle incidents over the past year, it may be worth discussing a higher excess with your motor trade insurer to lower your premiums.
If you would like to find out more about the renewal process or want to update your policy, we will be pleased to advise you on the next steps. Call us on 0333 313 1111.
If it’s time for you to invest in a larger or more modern van for your small business, you will need a clear idea of what to look out for when upgrading.
With the Brexit transition period deadline of December 31st looming and still no firm decisions on travel and customs arrangements with the rest of the EU.