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. A tipper van is a specific piece of equipment and needs a specific type of cover.

The tipper mechanism means that these types of vans tend to cost more than your average truck. Tippers are also 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.


What kind of cover do I need for my tipper?

It’s unlikely you’re using your tipper truck mainly for leisure purposes like shopping trips and days out at the beach, so you’ll need to insure it for business use. Without that, your policy could be invalid if you come to make a claim.

You’ll also need to decide what level of cover you need. As with standard vehicle insurance, the main types of cover to choose from are:

Third party
This provides cover for injury to another person or damage to their vehicle. You might assume this is the cheapest kind of insurance, but that’s not always the case. Insurance providers sometimes charge more for this than fully comprehensive cover, since drivers who opt for third party-only are sometimes considered a higher risk.

Third-party insurance won’t cover repairs to your own tipper van, so think about what effect that could have on your business. If you’d be stuck with a hefty bill that you couldn’t afford, you may want to look for a higher level of cover.

Third party, fire and theft
This includes third party cover, 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.

Fully comprehensive
In addition to the above, this also covers you if your tipper suffers accidental damage.

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

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 - this will cover the tools of your trade that you carry in your tipper van. Builders, for example, might carry work tools and equipment.
  • Haulage (carriage of goods for hire and reward) – this 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 and those that weigh more – up to 44 tonnes. 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 single day to a whole month 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.

What extras might I need for my tipper?

Breakdown cover
Being left stranded on your way to an urgent job or with a load to deliver would ruin anyone’s day. 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 – after all, you wouldn’t want to miss a job because your tipper’s let you down.

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 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. You may also find that leaving it in a locked garage overnight reduces your premium.

Pay a higher excess
An 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.

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.

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.

You’ll also have the opportunity to add any optional extras, so you can tailor your quote to suit your needs.

Once we have the information we need, we’ll give you a list of suitable quotes to compare.

Start a quote

Dan Hutson

From the Motor team

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.”