Tipper insurance

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Do I need tipper truck insurance?

Whatever type of tipper truck you use – whether it’s a flatbed, three-way tipper, cage or dropside – you’ll know it’s not a straightforward van. These versatile vehicles are used mainly by construction workers and gardeners to transport all sorts of loose materials like sand, rubble, gravel and leaves. They’re designed to work on off-road areas such as construction sites, as well as on everyday roads. A tipper van is a specific piece of equipment, facing specific risks, and so needs a specific type of cover.

The tipper mechanism means that these types of vans tend to cost more than your average truck. The cost to replace or repair a tipper van that’s not properly insured could be extremely high. Tippers may also be at a greater risk of being stolen for their parts, which are often worth a lot of money. So, you’ll want to protect your tipper with good-value van insurance.

We compare prices from 30 trusted van insurance providers[2], including:

What level of insurance do I need for my tipper van?

You’ll need to insure your tipper van for business use. As with standard vehicle insurance, there are three main types of cover to choose from:

Third party only

This provides cover for injury to another person or damage to their vehicle. Third-party insurance won’t cover repairs to your own tipper van or your own medical expenses.

Third-party, fire and theft

This offers the same level of protection as above, plus cover if your van is stolen or damaged by fire. With van break-ins and tool theft all-too-common occurrences, it’s a worthwhile consideration. Make sure to check the policy details to see if tools and other contents are included. If not, consider adding extra cover.

Fully comprehensive

In addition to the above, this also covers you if your tipper is damaged – even if the accident was your fault.

You might also want to consider public liability insurance, which offers cover if you damage someone else’s property while loading or unloading, for example.

And if you employ anyone to drive your tipper van, you’re required by law to have employers’ liability insurance in place.

What do I need to get a quote?

To get a quote, simply give us a few details about your work, your tipper truck and the level of cover you’d like. We’ll also need some information about you and any named drivers you want to add to the policy, including age, claims history and details of any previous motoring convictions.

Once we have the information we need, we’ll give you a list of suitable quotes to compare. You’ll have the opportunity to add on any optional extras, so you can tailor your quote to suit your needs.

Start a quote

Frequently asked questions

What types of tipper van insurance are available?

If you drive your tipper truck for work, there are two types of commercial van insurance available:

  • Carriage of own goods: will cover the tools of your trade that you carry in your tipper van. Builders, for example, might carry work tools, equipment and materials.
  • Haulage (carriage of goods for hire and reward): offers cover if you use your tipper truck as a delivery van for someone else’s goods – for instance, to shift sand, aggregate, gravel or topsoil for another business. Before taking this out, though, it’s worth checking if the company you deliver for already has you covered.

If you carry tools in the back of your tipper truck, make sure you check the policy details. For example, your policy might say that you need to stay with your vehicle while it’s loaded to prevent theft or damage. You might also want to check if you’re covered for parts stolen from your vehicle.

How does weight affect tipper truck insurance?

There’s a divide in the truck world between vehicles with a gross vehicle weight of no more than 3.5 tonnes (also called Light Goods Vehicles or LGVs) and those that weigh more – up to 44 tonnes (also called Heavy Goods Vehicles or HGVs). You can drive a 3.5 tonne vehicle with your standard car driving licence – category ‘B’ entitlement. For weights above this, you need a special licence.

Here at Compare the Market, we can help you with quotes for vehicles weighing no more than 3.5 tonnes.

Can I get temporary cover for a tipper truck?

Yes, there may be instances when paying for a whole year of insurance isn’t necessary. For example, you might only need cover to move a truck you’ve just bought to a building site or warehouse. Or perhaps you want to insure a new employee so they can get up and running straight away.

Temporary van insurance can last from a few hours up to 28 days, and can be renewed if you want. But make sure you take out a policy that doesn’t prevent you from using your vehicle for business. Pay attention to any limitations or exclusions on the types of business use covered and make sure it suits your needs.

What extras might I need for my tipper?

Breakdown cover

A broken-down tipper truck could mean that you can’t work or that a site is left at an expensive standstill without the necessary materials or equipment. To avoid being stranded at the side of the road, it could be worth adding van breakdown cover to your policy.

Motor legal protection

If you find yourself in an accident that isn’t your fault, motor legal protection could cover your policy excess – the amount your pay towards a claim – as well as any loss of earnings and the costs of launching a compensation claim. It can also cover costs for legal disputes that may arise, such as when buying or selling your van.

How much does tipper van insurance cost?

The price you’ll pay for your tipper van cover depends on several factors, including:

  • The make and model of your tipper
  • The level of cover you need
  • How you’ll be using your tipper
  • Your estimated annual mileage
  • Your age and driving history
  • Where you drive your tipper
  • Any named drivers you’re adding to the policy.

How do I get a great deal on my tipper van insurance?

There’s a few ways to make sure you get a good-value deal on your insurance. Here are some of them:

Shop around

Prices vary among insurance providers, so it’s worth comparing costs for the level of insurance you need. Remember, the cheapest policy isn’t necessarily the best policy for you.

Keep your tipper van secure

Some insurance providers may offer you a discount if your tipper’s fitted with an immobiliser. Read our guide for more tips on improving your van’s security.

Pay a higher excess

The excess is the amount you have to pay if you make a claim on your insurance. Generally, the higher the voluntary excess you pay, the lower your premium. But make sure you set this at a level you can afford, as you’ll need to pay this and the compulsory excess should you make a claim.

Consider any named drivers carefully

Insuring inexperienced young drivers or drivers with past motoring convictions could bump up your premium, so carefully consider who you want to add to your policy as a named driver.

Pay annually

If you pay for your policy upfront, rather than in monthly instalments, you might find it’s cheaper as staggered payments often come with interest.

Author image Julie Daniels

What our expert says...

“Don’t automatically assume that comprehensive cover will be more expensive than third-party or third-party, fire and theft. Many insurance providers consider tipper trucks as high-risk and could charge more for basic cover than fully comprehensive. That’s why it’s a good idea to shop around and compare quotes, as you may be able to find a cheaper deal with a higher level of cover.”

- Julie Daniels, Insurance expert