Why you should compare fleet insurance – FAQs

As regular readers of our blog will know, we’re keen to encourage questions from our customers and potential customers.

Here are some FAQs we’ve heard recently and more importantly, our best efforts at dealing with them!

Why is it necessary for you to compare fleet insurance regularly on our behalf?

Strictly speaking, it isn’t.

You can, of course, simply stay with your existing policy for as long as you wish but if you adopt that approach, you might be missing out on opportunities.

That’s because we know that the market is constantly evolving and we keep abreast of that for you. It means we offer products that are suitable for your needs.

That’s why you can have confidence in Alan Blunden Insurance Brokers to protect your interests.

Do you offer van fleet insurance?


With vans accounting for more than a fifth of all traffic on UK roads, there is little doubt that many will be fleet vans and that’s why there are a lot of policies to choose from.

Sometimes though, lots of choice also brings with it lots of potential confusion. That’s where we come in through our services associated with being able to compare fleet insurance.

Why have I seen mention of driver convictions?

Typically, insurance providers need to understand the risks they’re taking on. This allows them to price their policies accordingly.

Drivers that have certain types of motoring conviction (e.g. dangerous driving) may constitute a higher risk of accidents and subsequent claims. As such, some insurers may require a much higher premium to cover them whilst others may decline to do so altogether.

Please contact us to find out more on this subject.

Are there any vehicle types that fleet insurance won’t cover?

There may be if they’re highly unusual or non-standard (i.e. have been modified away from their original design or configuration). It’s hard to give a definitive statement here because so much would depend upon the specific circumstances.

Let’s consider a hypothetical situation. You have a fleet of flatbed lorries that are all modern apart from one that is a 1920s steam-powered vehicle you use for special PR-related deliveries.

In such circumstances, we might suggest that the vintage vehicle would be coverable under a special category of vintage commercial vehicle insurance.

Once again, we should be able to deal with almost any set of circumstances you have – just contact us for an initial discussion.

Can I use my fleet vehicles outside of the UK?


There may be different cover required if you’re using your fleet in the EU (including Norway and Switzerland) versus countries outside of the EU such as Belarus, Turkey and Russia.

Can I cover my haulage fleet for the Middle East?

The Middle East is a slightly open to interpretation geographic term.

Back in the 1970s, HGV’s would regularly run overland from the UK to Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Iran, Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, as part of normal commercial road haulage enterprise. It was almost routine.

Today, sadly, the world has changed and security is now a major issue in much of the region due largely due to war and/or terrorism. Although overland road haulage to the region still takes place, in the modern world it’s much rarer and far more specialist than it once was. It also often now includes transhipment.

For some countries in the area, the war risk for certain insurers might prove to be too high and they will typically decline cover.

However, we would once again ask you to speak with us about this sort of specialised policy. We could say more with authority once we knew exactly what you were considering. We might be able to assist.

Compare Fleet Insurance

Sometimes, it’s not necessarily easy to draw comparisons between one policy and another.

However, with vans accounting for more than a fifth of all traffic on UK roads, there is little doubt that many will be fleet vans and that means that there will be lots of polices out there. Therefore, it’s perhaps never been more important to be sure that you’re getting appropriate cover.

Why policies differ

It’s a fact that not all insurance providers and underwriters see life in the same way.

Some consider certain types of risk to be less acceptable than others. As such, they might not refuse to cover it (though they might!) but they’ll require a higher premium to do so.

As insurance is all about identifying and covering risk, this explains why policies can not only differ so much in terms of content but also in how much you’ll be expected to pay for them.

The typical differences

It’s very difficult to be specific about those differences in isolation. Clearly the issues for you and your policy will differ depending upon for example, if you have a mixed fleet of cars and trucks or a homogenous fleet of many different vans of the same type.

Here at Alan Blunden Insurance Brokers, we like to see and discuss matters with our clients before trying to compare fleet insurance policies. However, in our experience, some of the following general areas are those where policies may differ most:

  • restricted versus unlimited annual mileages;
  • young drivers, even those with appropriate licences (some policies simply won’t cover them);
  • drivers with motoring convictions – this is another area where there can be huge differences;
  • whether you can pay your premiums by monthly instalments to spread the cost;
  • mixed fleet provisions (some policies only offer exclusively commercial use cover);
  • as touched on above, whether they can support mixed vehicle type fleets;
  • predictably, price!

It’s a lot to take in and evaluate when trying to compare fleet insurance – which is where we operate of course.

Other factors

There are many other things that need to be considered when making a selection.

They might include:

  • how well the provider really knows the fleet insurance marketplace;
  • their claims handling process. Hopefully you’ll never need to put them to the test but if you are forced to at a future date, that won’t be the time to discover inefficiencies and poor service;
  • their track record. New entrant policy providers may have innovation and interesting new products to offer but that needs to be balanced against their lack of a track record;
  • the customer service ethos. This is intangible and no policy provider sets out to deliberately offer a poor customer service experience but for all sorts of reasons, this is an area some companies struggle in.


If you have lots and lots of spare time plus a burning hobby-like interest in the insurance industry then you could, theoretically, do most of the above evaluation yourself

On the other hand, if you have better things to do with your time then the above work is best left to someone like us. This is our specialist marketplace and nobody knows it better than we do.

Why not contact us on 01702 826060 and let us demonstrate the reality of that to you?

Small Business Fleet Insurance Tips

Over our many years’ experience of offering fleet cover, we’ve given countless individual tips to our clients.

From time to time, we at Alan Blunden Insurance Brokers like to share these with a wider audience. So, here goes!

Think “fleet” – however small your business is

It’s surprising how often we encounter companies who think that fleet insurance won’t apply to them because they’re not big enough.

Well, you don’t need a cast of thousands to qualify for the benefits of fleet cover! In fact, our fleet insurance policies can start with as few as three vehicles. That might prove to be a significant financial advantage for you over taking out an individual policy for each of your three vehicles.

The bottom line is very simple here – just contact us and we’ll talk you through why this type of policy might be advantageous.

Don’t doze off at annual renewal time

We’ve all done it – just letting an insurance auto-renewal drift through because it doesn’t seem worthwhile thinking about it. It’s easy to start believing that you’ve got other things that are more pressing.

Now this is one of our most frequently offered tips but it remains valid – talk to us in the runup to your fleet cover renewal. We might well be able to bring to your attention that new products and deals are available on the market and that can only be beneficial to you.

Of course, if you’re already with us then we’ll do all this automatically for you.

Look closely at mileage allowances on policies

Some people have been unpleasantly surprised by the fact that their fleet cover imposes strict annual mileage limits.

This is unnecessary because our policies offer unlimited mileage as well as mixed cover for vans, trucks and cars etc.

So, read your policy carefully on this subject if you’d like to avoid future shocks – or better still, talk to us.

Manage your cost drivers

A few things can drive up your premiums, subject to the nature of your fleet policy.

Typically, they might include:

There are some other things in this domain too. We can highlight those to you and if you can address them or even just some of them, you may see your premiums fall.

Cover personal and business use in your policy – if appropriate

This is important because for some companies, it’s not always possible to clearly distinguish between commercial and personal use.

It’s worth being clear that if, for example, you allow your colleagues the use of a vehicle at weekends then that will typically constitute personal not business use. If they then have an accident and your policy stipulates commercial use only, then you may have a problem with your claim.

To avoid such issues arising, look for a policy that can provide integrated cover for both.

Talk to someone who knows fleet insurance inside-out

Fleet insurance cover isn’t something that an insurance provider can do “a bit of now and then” whilst still offering rounded and appropriate in-depth advice.

It’s highly advisable to seek an insurance provider who really knows the domain and has worked in it for many years.

OK, that sounds like us – and it is!

Saving money on your van fleet insurance

Yes, we know that this title is likely to have caught your eye.

After all, who wouldn’t wish to save money on their van fleet insurance if possible?

The dimensions

The title though isn’t just an eye-catcher. In fact, it’s a very real possibility through Alan Blunden Insurance Brokers. Let’s see how saving money on your van fleet insurance might typically be achieved.

The first thing to consider is the fact that you may well have a fleet of vehicles without even thinking of it as such. With vans accounting for more than a fifth of all traffic on UK roads, there is little doubt that many will be fleet vans in the sense that they’re one of several owned by a single company.

Why does that matter?

In our experience, some businesses tend to associate the idea of having a van fleet with vast scale and major national or international corporate businesses. In reality, if you have three or more vans, then you have a fleet in potential insurance terms.

That in turn is important because you might be able to benefit from van fleet insurance policies.

Van fleet cover

There is one very good reason why you might be able to save money through this type of policy:-

  • just like any other business, insurers typically like to reward volume customers.

There’s no great secret or mystery. We might typically be able to source a van fleet insurance policy for you that is substantially more cost-effective than insuring each of your vehicles individually. It’s as simple as that!

Of course, there are other advantages too. Just to select one of those – imagine how much simpler it might be needing to deal with one policy, one insurer and one set of renewals instead of say three, five, eight and so on, as would be the case if you insured each of your vans separately.


There’s no need to worry that everything would be different if you switched to a fleet cover policy.

In fact, in most respects you’d see little other change. No claims discounts would still apply, you might be able to accept a higher optional excess if you wished and so on.

In our opinion, it’s not easy to see an argument for why a business with three or more commercial vehicles would not wish to change to fleet cover.

However, to find out more, why not give us a call for an entirely non-committal chat?

Let’s discuss the nature of your vehicles and just what we might be able to do to help you save money and perhaps also a lot of administrative effort.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Commercial Fleet Insurance: need to knows

We really enjoy the contact we have with our customers and potential customers.

It’s all about providing advice and guidance and on that basis, we’ve tried below to list a few important points you might need to be aware of in the domain of commercial fleet insurance.

We hope you find them useful!

Fleet policies exist

If you have three or more commercial vehicles in your fleet, then we may be able to offer a fleet insurance policy.

Why would this interest you? There are two main reasons:

  • as with just about any bulk purchasing, this might prove to be more cost-effective for you than taking out say three individual policies;
  • you should be able to save time, due to having only one policy to think about in admin terms – renewal dates being the most obvious example.

Any driver cover is typically available

This can be a big help because it means you don’t have to worry driver by driver.

Do please note though that this is based upon the concept of “suitably qualified driver”. It means that the policy will define certain minimum age and licence type qualifications that must be adhered to. It may also define special conditions or exclusions for drivers who have certain types of motoring conviction.

We can help you to understand the ins and outs of all that!

Wide range of vehicles covered

The policies we provide can typically cover just about any vehicle defined as being commercial.

Of course, there might be some very special and unusual vehicle exceptions. We’d discuss those with you on a case by case basis but such issues are rare in our experience.

Overall Claims Rated and variable excess available

You’ll no doubt be pleased to know that our commercial fleet insurance policies:

  • typically offer a variable excess. What that means is that you can opt to pay a higher amount towards the costs of any future claim in return for a reduced premium (price). There will usually be a compulsory minimum excess with the policy, as per normal practice;
  • you’ll also typically have your premiums determined on the total claims experience of the total number of vehicles insured rather than a no claims discount. This means that if you don’t make claims within a year, your premium for the next year typically will be reduced by a sliding-scale discount (up to a specified maximum amount). This rewards sensible and conservative driving.

Our expertise on tap

Please forgive us blowing our own trumpet but we at Alan Blunden Insurance Brokers have been providing insurance policies in this area of the market since 1946 or thereabouts. What that means is that we know commercial fleet insurance inside-out.

All that expertise will be brought to bear to find you a suitable and cost-effective solution. That experience is something that just can’t be obtained from reading a book and it’s all at your disposal!

So, why not contact us to discuss your commercial fleet insurance requirements?

Commercial fleet insurance

A recent survey conducted by the online magazine for the freight industry, Commercial Fleet, reveals that:

  • nearly 70% of respondents reported an increase in their insurance premiums;
  • 20% or so said that they had gone down; and,
  • the remainder believed they had stayed more or less the same.

At Alan Blunden Fleet Insurance Brokers our aim is to make sure that you get the most comprehensive fleet insurance protection for your business, whilst still being cost-effective.

Here’s how we help businesses save money on their fleet insurance costs …

Benefits of fleet insurance

Businesses who are running three or more vehicles as part of their day to day operations are already likely to know the cost savings to be made by arranging fleet insurance – a single policy that covers all of their vehicles – compared to separate insurance for each vehicle in turn.

Those savings are based on the fact that:

  • insurers are happy to grant discounts to customers buying cover for more than one vehicle at a time; and
  • there are administrative savings to be made if you no longer have to track renewal dates for each individual vehicle – dates which are likely to be spread throughout the year and might be all too easy, and expensive, to miss.

Chasing still greater savings

If you are looking to make savings on the cost of keeping your business vehicles properly insured, however, the story does not just end with fleet insurance – there are additional ways to cut costs too:

Specialist brokers

  • a specialist broker of fleet insurance – such as ourselves – is likely to understand that no two businesses are alike and to appreciate the specific needs and requirements of your particular operation;
  • not only that, but our knowledge and experience of the wider insurance market, also allows us to match your needs and requirements with the insurance products available – and especially those which represent especially good value for money, so saving you the cost of getting things wrong;


  • insurers are, of course, only prepared to cover drivers who hold the appropriate category of licence for the vehicle you have asked them to drive;
  • even where they are qualified to driver, however, some insurers attach restrictions – or increase premiums – for drivers below a certain age;
  • the policies we arrange here at Alan Blunden, however, extend cover to any suitably qualified driver, whatever their age – helping to ensure that you pay no more than is necessary for the insurance cover you need;


  • some insurers may also impose a total annual mileage limit on your vehicle fleet – with penalties to pay if you exceed that limit;
  • you may save further money, therefore, by purchasing your fleet insurance at Alan Blunden, where the policies we provide come with unlimited mileage allowances;


  • a conventional way of saving on the cost of insurance premiums is to shoulder more of the risks yourself by agreeing to an additional voluntary excess;
  • you may still make that decision with respect to fleet insurance, lowering the price you pay in premiums in return for agreeing to a greater excess.

No claims discounts

  • just as with other forms of motor insurance, business fleet insurance also earns you valuable discounts if you make no claims during the course of the year.

Whether or not you are one of those operators who has noticed an increase in your fleet insurance premiums this year, there are still further savings you may be able to make on those costs. Why not get in touch today?

Save money on your fleet insurance

According to a report by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) on the 5th of January 2017, the previous 12 months saw a record number – 2.69m – of new car registrations in the UK.

Perhaps more surprising than that raw total of new registrations, however, is the fact that well over half of that number were fleet vehicles – fleet vehicles claim 57.4% of the market, says the SMMT, whilst registrations of private vehicles accounted for only 38% of the total (the remaining 4.6% of new registrations were described as “business”).

What might be some of the reasons behind these statistics?


Practically every business relies upon at least one vehicle in the course of its operations – a car, say, for getting out and about to meet customers and seal deals, vans and trucks to collect supplies and materials and to make deliveries.

It is little wonder, therefore, that the majority of businesses have more than just a single vehicle – they run a vehicle fleet, which might comprise cars, vans, trucks or heavy goods vehicles (HGVs).

Just as in many another market, you often qualify for discounts on the prices of products the more that you buy. This holds true for vehicle fleet insurance, with discounts on a vehicle by vehicle basis when compared with insuring each one separately.

Indeed, if you compare the prices of fleet insurance we offer here at Alan Blunden Insurance Brokers, you may be work out for yourself just what savings you might make by insuring all of your vehicles under a single policy. If you are running a fleet of three or more vehicles, our policies are very flexible and may be tailored to suit the precise needs of your particular business.


But there is a further benefit in fleet insurance – and a benefit that combines both convenience and further cost savings.

If each of your vehicles is separately insured, you have the inconvenience – not to mention the administrative time, effort and expense – of carefully monitoring each policy to ensure that you renew it on time each year. Even though the renewal dates are likely to be spread out throughout the year, you face legal penalties and the financial risks of having any of the vehicles uninsured.

Fleet insurance avoids any such possibility by keeping every vehicle insured under the same, single insurance policy – thus saving on the time and expense of trying to keep track of several at the same time.

Save money on your fleet insurance

In this way, fleet insurance brings immediate cost savings, both in the discounts you gain through buying cover for multiple vehicles at the same time, from the same insurer, and in the savings you are almost certain to make in the administrative cost involved in keeping your eye on different policies, with different insurers, and renewal dates spread throughout the year.

If you are looking to cut your operating costs, and want an easy and straight forward way of boosting your bottom line profits of your business, therefore, you might want to contact us – we will be more than happy to help!

What you need when buying fleet insurance – FAQs

If you’re considering buying or getting a quote for fleet insurance, then the following FAQs and answers might prove to be useful.

Will I need full details on all vehicles and drivers to get a quotation?

Yes and no.

Most professional providers of fleet insurance solutions should be able to give you a broad-brush estimate for the cost of your fleet cover based upon a high-level overview from you. That might need to include how many vehicles and of what type.

Of course, they will require a certain minimum level of information to work with but it should be of the ‘in your head’ type.

However, in order to provide an exact policy proposition with final precise costings in due course, they will typically require more detailed information from you.

Do I need to offer details of previous claims?

Although your insurance provider may have access to their own sources for claim statistics, typically yes, you will be asked for the details of any claims made on your fleet policy within a specified period of time in the past.

Please don’t be tempted to ‘water-down’ any required declarations here. It may put your cover at risk and might be, in some circumstances, a reportable offence.

Is it possible to cover drivers with a history of motoring convictions?

Broadly speaking, yes, although you might have to accept the reality that such convictions would need to be declared and that might result in a higher premium.

Some insurance providers might decline to offer cover in cases where a given individual’s driving history was particularly bad. It’s difficult to generalise on this one – so please talk about the specifics to your fleet insurance provider.

When would I need to declare vehicle changes to the insurance provider?

Again, this is a very difficult one to give a specific answer to because in reality it just ‘depends’.

Clearly, some vehicle changes are so trivial and routine as to be of no direct interest to your insurance provider. For example, they probably won’t thank you for calling and notifying them every time you change a lucky charm in a cab or a phone number on the side of a van!

However, for example, if you’re changing an engine over or having major structural changes to the carrying capacity of a van then it will be worth informing your insurance provider.

On balance, it’s better to check with them anyway if in doubt – at least within reason!

I might or might not operate my vehicles in Europe. What do I do?

This should typically be no problem at all.

Some policies might automatically include cover for EU destinations (this is unlikely to change much post-BREXIT). On the other hand, many might not on the basis that there’s no point paying for cover you don’t need.

If you have a policy that is restricted to UK only and that’s fine by you today, then don’t worry if things change in the future. All you should need to do is to call your insurance provider and ask them to adjust the policy’s cover.

Make sure though this is done in advance. Calls to insurance companies along the lines of “I’ve just had a shunt in Rome – should I have taken out EU cover?” might cause alarm!

Is it possible to insure any type of car or goods vehicle on a fleet insurance policy?

Typically, yes but there might be some exceptions.

There may be very large variations here by policy and insurer but special arrangements might be required for:

  • low-loaders and other specialist outsize vehicles or those designed for carrying high-volume or overweight loads under ‘Convoi Exceptionnel’ auspices;
  • ex-military or vintage vehicles (e.g. steam-powered lorries);
  • certain types of public transport vehicles;
  • very high performance cars;
  • goods vehicles designed for the carriage of dangerous goods (and assuming they’re being used for that purpose) including radioactive materials, explosives, inflammables, bio-hazard and corrosives etc.

It is still typically possible to obtain cover for these types of vehicles but they may, in some cases, not come under a standard fleet car or truck policy. Your insurance provider should be able to advise further.

Commercial fleet insurance – FAQs

As all fleet managers know, running a commercial fleet can’t be described as being “easy”!

Here are some of the FAQs we regularly receive on this subject.

Do you offer fleet management insurance?

That’s easy – ‘yes’! Whether you have a large fleet or just three vehicles, we can find you cost-effective, comprehensive cover for your business cars and vans.

Can you find us cheap fleet insurance?

We’d strongly recommend that you approach this from the viewpoint of looking for suitable cover for your business fleet needs rather than just the cheapest policy on the market.

While we really do understand the cost-containment pressures associated with fleet management today, we can’t stress strongly enough how important it is to have suitable and cost-effective cover rather than just ‘cheap’.

Surely all fleet insurance only varies in terms of the price?

No, that’s typically not the case.

Policies can vary hugely and some may be far more suitable for one type of fleet operation than another. There isn’t space here to go into huge amounts of detail but suffice it to say, this is where Alan Blunden Insurance Brokers operate.

You don’t need to turn yourself into an insurance expert. Equally, you won’t want to start exploring those things your policy doesn’t cover only once you’re trying to make a claim!

We will analyse and match your business and commercial fleet insurance requirements against a range of options and then make recommendations relating to suitable policies. That’s our core business.

Isn’t it cheaper to do things vehicle by vehicle?

Typically, no, it isn’t and you might be missing opportunities in trying to do so.

There are two main areas you might benefit via savings if thinking about fleet versus individual vehicle policies:

  • economies of scale. It’s often more cost-effective to insure several vehicles on a fleet policy rather than individually because you’re maximising your purchasing power with a single insurer;
  • the administration overhead for you is likely to be easier. You have one policy to pay attention to and one insurance provider to manage a relationship with. It’s a lot easier than have a filing cabinet full of policy details and different renewal dates/insurers’ details!

What is the ‘excess’ mentioned on some policy advertisements? 

Almost all insurance policies, irrespective of their nature, carry what’s called ‘excess’. Sometimes that’s also described by some as the “first part of any claim”. This isn’t just an issue for fleet insurance – you’ll typically see the same thing on say household policies.

What it means is that it’s a sum of money that the policyholder will be expected to pay towards the cost of any future claim. This is sometimes best illustrated with some figures by way of example.

Let’s assume the excess is mandatory and set at £500:

  • if your claim value is £450, you’ll have to pay it all and the insurer will contribute nothing;
  • if your claim value is say £900, you will pay £500 of it and the insurer will pay £400.

Why does the excess exist?

Typically, most vehicle accidents are very minor and result in what might be called low-value damage. The excess is the insurance industry’s way of trying to keep a multitude of small claims ‘off the books’ for three reasons:

  • to reduce the overall claims values per annum, thereby helping them to keep premiums down;
  • to avoid hugely increasing their administrative overhead with tiny claims (thereby also keeping their costs and your premiums down);

In fact, you may be able to reduce your premium further by electing to accept a higher excess on your policy!

Comparing fleet insurance

It’s easy to say “make sure you compare fleet insurance policies before choosing” – but what does that mean?

Comparisons between policies

Let’s be perfectly frank. If it was easy to compare one fleet policy against another, then everyone would be doing it rather than just specialists like us.

To take a slightly tongue in cheek example; imagine going to see your doctor when unwell. In response to your symptoms, he or she responds by laying out a series of medications, saying “which of these do you think will cure your illness?”

You might, understandably, be less than amused.

Of course, if that is how your GP actually does practice, then it might be time for a change!

Now, we at Alan Blunden Insurance Brokers are certainly not trying to compare ourselves to doctors or our clients to patients. What we doing though is to point out that selecting fleet insurance can be complicated and work for a specialist.

That’s our mission – to help you find suitable and cost effective cover without you needing to turn yourself into an insurance broker in the process.

How we operate

We’ve sometimes encountered views to the effect that comparing fleet insurance is essentially all about finding the cheapest policy.

In fact, price alone is something that doesn’t feature at the top of our selection criteria and approach. What we do consider is the cost-effectiveness of a policy and to do that we need to carefully read the policy’s conditions and evaluate them against the premium.

We need to do that because the cover offered by different policies can vary quite significantly from one to another. That’s something we know from the past can surprise some of our clients. It’s important for you to be clear on that because finding out that your policy doesn’t cover ‘xyz’ is not something you’ll wish to discover for the first time if you’re trying to make a claim.

Sample factors

These are just a few of the things we’ll be looking at when evaluating a fleet policy and its fitness for purpose against your individual and unique situation:

  • whether there are vehicle age restrictions on certain components of cover – including replacement vehicles under qualifying circumstances;
  • unacceptably high mandatory excess levels or as a flipside to that, opportunities for reducing premiums by opting for higher voluntary excess levels;
  • restrictions on drivers that might be difficult or even sometimes near impossible to comply with;
  • whether the policy is designed with fleet sizes/natures that are similar to yours (not all are – some policies may be targeted at very large fleets, others at essentially owner-driver plus 1 scenarios);
  • the efficiency and reputation of the provider’s claims handling services;
  • their overall market reputation;

We understand the pressures that most private or commercial fleet managers operate under. Times are tough and finances tight.

That’s why we’re committed to deploying the full range of our skills to putting only credible and attractive fleet insurance propositions on the table in front of you.

That’s our job and we know we’re good at it. So, why not give us a call and find out for yourself?