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Updated 20 Jun 2018

The fundamental importance of the right insurance for growing transporters

When it comes to shifting your trucking company into overdrive, don’t forget that your insurance needs will evolve. Ensure that your cover evolves with you. 

Pritesh Ruthun, 05 May 2017  Share  0 comments  Print

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Locally, companies are feeling the effects of missing cargo. Ctrack says that South African companies lose billions of rands each year to cargo theft. As you aim to move more goods for clients, you’ll need to ensure that you have suitable insurance in place to protect more than just your truck and trailer.


Stemming from recent updates to Road Traffic Legislation, local haulers must provide written evidence that both vehicles and goods that they are moving on a public road are insured ‘for damages that can occur as the result of an accident’. If a transporter cannot produce evidence of insurance, he or she can be held liable for breaking the rules of the road. Are you prepared to accept fines for non-compliance, or have your trucks impounded by traffic authorities?

Move beyond truck and trailer cover

When starting up and managing the business for a few years, you probably made do with standard comprehensive cover for just your vehicles. However, as you look to move more goods, possibly with higher values attached to them, you’ll need to consider more comprehensive insurance – even goods-in-transit cover.

There are two reasons why you need holistic insurance cover and it starts with hijackings:

1. Mitigate losses from hijackings

Ctrack’s Hein Jordt says that criminals are skilled at finding insider information about the types of goods being transported and routes travelled. This means that they’re actively targeting you as a potential ‘big score’. If you aren’t adequately covered, you might be in for a loss of truck, trailer and your client’s cargo.

2. Mitigate losses from accidents

Unfortunate incidents on the road are a reality, and your drivers can’t avoid every obstacle they encounter. Chances are they’re going to have a fender bender, but what happens if truck, trailer and cargo exit the roadway for a quick vertical path down Van Reenen’s Pass? You’ll be held responsible for the loss of your client’s cargo as well as your rig.

Related: 4 Reasons why you should have already shifted your transport business to 4.0

The cover you actually need when growing

Standard Bank’s transport sector experts can package the ideal insurance cover for your transport business. Depending on the types of goods you’re moving, the types of trucks and trailers you’re using and the routes you frequently travel, there’s cost-effective cover available.

Here are five factors you need to keep in mind when choosing insurance:

  1. If your vehicles weigh more than 3500kg, you need commercial vehicle insurance. (Regular automotive insurance won’t work anymore)
  2. You’ll also need cover for medical costs, third-party damages and liability cover.
  3. Towing and recovery cover is also a necessity when moving more, heavier goods.
  4. Insurance for spillage cleaning and damage from hazardous materials should also be considered.
  5. Goods-in-transit (GIT) cover must be taken out to ensure that your client’s cargo is covered for loss, theft or damage.

More on GIT

To set yourself apart from competitors, offering to arrange insurance for goods-in-transit on behalf of your clients would certainly add-value. But, to ensure that your insurer pays out your claim in the event of a loss of or damage to cargo, take note of the next two points:

  1.  If a transporter does not get a written request for insurance to be arranged from the cargo owner, an insurer might opt not to honour any pay-out.
  2. If a transporter causes the loss, legal liability cover is used to reimburse the cargo owner for the full value of the cargo.

Responsible, successful transporters understand the need for adequate insurance, and you should follow suite as you grow your company further. Taking on larger, more expensive loads is a good way to earn more revenue, but it you’re having to cover the full cost for rig repairs from accidents, and losses of cargo on a regular basis, your profitability won’t be where you’d like it to be.

Related: Protecting the transport industry from cyber crime


Contact Standard Bank’s transport sector specialists for solutions to meet your growth path. Tailored cover can be packaged for your business’s needs, ensuring uncompromised cash flow and genuine peace of mind – regardless of whether you’re covering Jo’burg to Cape Town or Kempton Park to City Deep.


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About the author

Pritesh Ruthun

Introducing the owner-driver responsibilities & risks

Bryan Verpoort, Head of Corporate & Business Insurance at Standard Bank advises smaller businesses on the risks and considerations when contracting to transport goods for a large company.

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