We refer to our truck drivers as our “Highway Heroes”. They keep our economy on the move and do so notwithstanding the numerous challenges on the roads.

The past failures to adequately maintain and manage our rail system, leading to the road transport of hazardous goods, like fuel and chemicals, add to these challenges.

Insurance is an important component in the supply chain management of goods transport and logistics. It is important to recognize that insurance is not merely a “one size fits all”.

The fleet manager must start by managing and maintaining the fleet to optimize insurability. The next step is to find ways to reduce the risks and cost of fleet insurance.

A delayed, reduced or rejected insurance claim could seriously impact on the survival of your trucking business.


The Challenges and Need for Truck Insurance in South Africa

An understanding of the different types of trucking insurance coverage is hard, even for the most experienced trucker. A few aspects to consider in South Africa:

  • We are not an island – Many truckers and trucks are venturing cross-border now and carrying goods up into Africa.
  • It is not only our dismal road safety record and reckless drivers we need to share the roads with that pose a threat.
  • With the state of the economy and large numbers of unemployed people, crime is real, and many revert to criminality.
  • There is a continuous battle between highly skilled telematics/insurance and private investigation professionals versus very well organised crime.
  • Hijacking syndicates have become quite professional in the way they operate.
  • They use jamming devices and are well-informed of the locations for stopping and offloading.
  • Hijackers often find a way to infiltrate the inner circles of the trucking community, targeting driver honesty and gathering intelligence from truckers
  • We have witnessed an increase in reports on incidents of vandalism, looting and theft.
  • Trucks are regarded as rather rapidly depreciating assets – for example, a new truck will lose up to 20% of its original value in 12 months, which means every step must be taken to help retain as much release value as possible with all fleet vehicles.

What is Insured with Truck Insurance?

Truck insurance can be personalized to the individual needs of the truck and fleet owner. It could include the following:

  • A specially designed trucking policy enables a choice between limited third-party cover to comprehensive cover, to somewhere in between.
  • Public liability cover
  • Vehicles include trucks, trailers and special types of vehicles.
  • Towing and recovery
  • Lost or damaged keys or remotes
  • Roadside assistance and emergency repairs
  • Loss of fuel
  • Environmental impairment liability
  • Windscreen cover
  • Wreckage removal and fuel tank spillage clean-up
  • Ability to nominate one driver, multiple named drivers, or pool drivers
  • Credit shortfall insurance

Truck Insurance typically covers light commercial vehicles including light delivery vehicles with a maximum gross vehicle mass (GVM) of up to 3500kg as well as Medium and heavy commercial vehicles.

When looking for truck insurance there are various perils which you can be covered for including:

  • Accidental and intentional damage.
  • Theft- and hijack-related incidents.
  • Damage to glass.
  • Acts of nature which include hail, wind, storms, floods, earthquakes and lightning.
  • Fire and explosion-related incidents.
  • Third-party liability Insurance

At an additional premium, you can also specify all non-standard sound equipment and vehicle accessories to be covered comprehensively. For instance: cooling/refrigeration units, canopies, drop-sides, branding, gutter machines and so forth.

Goods in Transit / Cargo in Transit Insurance

  • This insurance could cover not the vehicle but the freight that you are carrying.
  • Goods are easily targeted. they are easily moved and so easy to get rid of – you only see about a 50% recovery on goods, but about a 90 to 93% recovery of the vehicles nowadays.
  • The goods-in-transit cover could be for various commodities ranging from high to low risk.
  • This offers both the transport company and the client the guarantee that the items will get to where they must be, or their loss will be compensated.
  • A transport owner may require the mover of freight to carry this type of insurance, to a specific quantity.
  • Types of cargo in transit cover include a reference to
    • Territorial limits
    • Fidelity cover – total loss
    • Included in sum insured – containers, tarpaulins etc.
    • Settlement – the market value of load plus transport charges
    • Recovery and protection of loads
    • Cover on non-specified basis

Measures to Reduce the Cost of Truck Insurance

The fleet owner should continuously look for the best, real and tangible value in exchange for his insurance premiums:

  • Acquiring and implementing high-level fleet management solutions.
  • Benefitting from a vehicle monitoring and consulted bureau service.
  • Industry accredited driver training and awareness of driver fitness among fleet drivers.
  • Partnerships between logistic companies and insurers to improve the wellness of drivers.
  • Additional defensive driver training.
  • Adhering to the service and maintenance schedules as specified by the vehicle dealer.
  • Ensuring vehicles remain roadworthy.
  • Escorting trucks with high-priority loads in high-risk areas with unmarked vehicles.

The heavy commercial vehicle and transport sectors are under tremendous pressure in terms of costs and achieving operational efficiencies, while also having to balance the risks faced in safeguarding people, high-value vehicles and high-risk cargo through insurance solutions.

Effective research, analysis and investigation will assist truck owners and fleet managers in making well-informed decisions on how to best protect their assets!

Also View:

Fleet Insurance and Truck Insurance for Commercial Vehicles

Truck Hijackings, Crime and Road Safety

Trailer Insurance in South Africa

Road Freight and Environmental Liability Insurance