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Mini fleet insurance
If you or your business own more than one car, motorbike or van then mini-fleet insurance could potentially save you both time and money. Here’s what you need to know.
What is mini fleet insurance?
Mini-fleet insurance is a type of fleet insurance for anyone with two or more vehicles. These vehicles can be used for private or commercial reasons but your premiums and policy details will naturally be adjusted to meet the use of your fleet. Fleets used for commercial purposes are naturally more expensive to insure.
Insurers set their own rules about how many vehicles make up a small fleet. Some providers set the minimum at just two vehicles, while others class a fleet as three or four.
Maximums also vary, with some insurers setting the limit at five for a mini fleet, while others will let you insure up to 20 vehicles on one policy.
Can I have different types of vehicle on one mini fleet policy?
In short – yes. Most insurers are flexible when it comes to vehicle types, and in many cases you should be able to add any combination of vehicles to a single policy. The only exception is if you have an unusual vehicle like a heavy goods lorry, which will need specialist HGV fleet cover.
Why do I need mini fleet insurance?
Like other types of multi-vehicle fleet insurance policies, mini-fleet cover can save you valuable time because you only have to deal with one insurer and remember one renewal date.
It can also save you money compared to buying an individual policy for each vehicle. Exactly how much you save will depend on a number of factors, though, including how many vehicles you have and the nature of your business.
Can I buy a mini fleet insurance policy for private use?
Yes – mini fleet policies aren’t just for businesses. Households with more than one car can take out family fleet insurance (sometimes known as a multi-car policy).
However, if you’ve got business fleet insurance it’s worth bearing in mind that not all business policies automatically include private use. So, if you or your employees use work vehicles for personal use too (like doing the school run or weekly shop) then you’ll need to make sure ‘domestic use’ is part of your plan.
What levels of cover are available?
There are three levels of cover to choose from when you’re taking out mini fleet insurance:
- Third party only (TPO) – This covers the cost of injury or damage done to other people and their property but it won’t pay to fix your car or belongings in an at-fault accident. This is usually the cheapest coverage option and the minimum you need by law to drive on UK roads.
- Third party, fire and theft (TPFT) – This coverage gives you everything TPO offers and will also pay out if your car is stolen or damaged by fire under insurable circumstances.
- Fully comprehensive – Provides TPFT and will also pay to repair or replace your car if it’s damaged in a road accident or because of another insured event (for example, if a tree fell on it). As you’d expect, this is usually the most expensive level of cover you can buy.
It’s up to you which level of cover you choose, but it’s worth remembering that while a comprehensive policy may be more expensive it could actually work out as better value in the long term, especially if your fleet of vehicles are an integral part of your business’s operations.
What other features should I think about adding to my policy?
Your insurer will have a range of extra features that you can bolt on to your fleet policy for an additional cost, for example:
- Breakdown cover – This can be essential if any of your fleet breaks down on their way to a job. Being caught without breakdown cover can be a major headache so It is usually recommended by most insurance experts if you operate a fleet for commercial purposes.
- European cover – This covers your fleet in mainland Europe. Always check the country you’re going to is included however as there may be some exceptions, confirm this with the lender.
- Goods in transit (GIT) – This covers any goods you carry while you’re out and about making deliveries. For example if an insurable event results in the damage or loss of your goods, you’ll be covered from these costs.
- Carriage of own goods – This covers tools or equipment in your car or van that belong to you. It’s a type of GIT cover but isn’t always included as standard, so you need it check that it’s included in your policy directly with your insurer.
- Hire and reward – This covers you to transport people or goods in return for money (for instance if you own a taxi firm or wedding fleet). Like carriage of own goods, it’s an extension of GIT cover but isn’t always included as standard.
- Employers’ liability – Pays out if an employee becomes ill or is injured because of work. You’ll need this by law if you have any staff, even part time or casual workers.
- Public liability – Pays legal fees and compensation costs if a member of the public blames your business for injury or damage to their property.
Does vehicle mini fleet insurance come with exclusions?
Insurance policies almost always come with some limitations and exclusions, although exactly what’s included and excluded can vary from one provider to the next. However there are some standard exclusions which exist across most insurance types covering vehicles, not just fleet insurance. These include typical wear and tear of the vehicles as they age and are continuously used, illegal use of vehicles, intentional damages and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol. These exclusions are fairly common sense and more or less universal regardless of your type of insurance.
Some of the more specific, yet common, fleet insurance exclusions include:
- No claims discount (NCD) – Unlike individual car insurance, motorbike insurance or van insurance policies, if you insure a fleet of vehicles under a single fleet policy you usually won’t earn a no claims bonus for those vehicles.
- Theft from unattended vehicles – if a van or car in your fleet is left unattended you could find that your insurer won’t pay to replace tools, goods or belongings stolen from that vehicle.
- Theft by deception – this is a typical exclusion for many insurance policies, not just fleet insurance. It includes situations like handing over your keys to a valeter who later turns out to be a car thief.
Can anyone drive my vehicles on mini-fleet insurance?
Many fleet insurance policies operate on a ‘any authorised driver’ basis, this means that if a driver has the permission of the company or its directors they are insured under the policy.
This can naturally be more expensive than insuring individual drivers for certain vehicles however but can allow for greater flexibility with your business operations. Many businesses opt for a ‘any driver’ as this can help to simplify the process of managing a fleet, as if one driver is sick or needs to be swapped out with another, it is no longer a challenge for admin to do so due to insurance purposes. It eliminates the need to update your policy each time a driver changes or a new driver is added to the fleet. This naturally reduces the admin time your business will spend trying to organise your fleet insurance policy.
How can I lower the cost of my small fleet insurance policy?
It’s vital that whatever policy you choose covers you for the risks you face, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take steps to reduce your premium. Here are a few ideas on how you might be able to do just that:
- Pay for mini fleet insurance on an annual basis rather than monthly
- Agree to a higher voluntary excess
- Make sure drivers are over the age of 25 and have clean driving records
- Keep your fleet of vehicles and your business premises locked and secure at all times
- Build up your no claims discount.
Do modifications impact my fleet insurance?
Quotezone.co.uk has found that modifying your fleet vehicles can push up your premiums considerably. For example many people are unaware that simple cosmetic changes to your vehicles can push up premiums by changing the risk profile. This is largely due to signage and branding serving as an enticement for theft so insurers prefer unbranded vans and vehicles. For more info on how branding and signage can impact your insurance, please refer to our guide.
Some modifications are not covered by insurers however, for example any illegal modifications such as tinted windows, certain engine modifications and noisy exhausts. You should always confirm which modifications are actually covered under your policy before making and changes to your vehicle. Making a modification to your vehicle, even if legal, and failing to declare it to your insurance can also invalidate your policy.
What should I think about when I compare fleet insurance?
The policy you choose for your fleet should tick all the boxes when it comes to essentials (for instance employers’ liability or goods in transit if you are using your fleet for commercial purposes).
You’ll need to weigh up cost vs convenience also as your requirements may differ from that of other fleets and so are unique to you. For instance, ‘any driver, any vehicle’ means any employee (assuming they meet the conditions in your policy, of course) can drive any vehicle you have covered by your fleet policy. They would again need to meet the minimum requirements for operating the vehicle of course. For example even under ‘any driver, any vehicle’ you won’t be able to assign a motorbike driver to a truck. These policies give you a lot of flexibility by helping avoid juggling cars and drivers, but they’re also likely to be much pricier.
You can also find policies that let you add or remove vehicles as and when you need to, which can prove invaluable if you’re a growing business.
Can Quotezone.co.uk help me get cheaper fleet insurance?
At Quotezone.co.uk, we are insurance comparison experts. We help motorists find cheaper insurance by connecting them to quotes from a large panel of UK based specialist providers. This increases your chances of finding the cheapest fleet insurance policies, as you will have a greater selection of fleet insurance quotes to compare simply by filling in one quick form. By filling in a quick form with your fleet details we can offer you quotes from top UK based insurance providers so you can start comparing in moments.