Motor Trade Insurance FAQs

At Road Runner Motor Trade Insurance, there’s nothing we like better than helping our clients.

So, that’s why we’ve put together here the answers to some of the frequently asked questions we encounter on and around the subject of motor trade insurance.

Is my business too small to need cover?

However you look at this, the answer must be an emphatic “no”.

To give three examples:

  • if you have even one employee, the law will typically require you to take out employers’ liability cover. You won’t have a choice in that and the penalties for transgression can be severe;
  • you might be a sole trader but if a customer comes onto your premises and is accidentally injured, they might still sue you for compensation. The court might award tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds against you;
  • thieves are unlikely to ignore the possibilities offered by your workshop just because you’re a small business.

What is the excess?

Most (though not necessarily all) insurance policies carry a mandatory “excess”. It’s a measure to help keep prices down.

It’s the amount of money the insurer will expect you to pay towards the cost of a successful claim out of your own finances.

For example, if the excess is £250 and the claim £1,000 then the final settlement figure paid to you would typically be £750 (£1,000-£250).

Very broadly speaking, the higher the excess, the more cost-attractive the premium of the policy might be. Some policies might give you the chance to increase the amount of the excess you agree to pay, and in return, you should see a lower premium.

All this typically applies to all forms of insurance cover and not just motor trade insurance.

Can I get discounts?

It’s often possible to bring your motor trade insurance premium (the price) down by taking specific actions.

They might be to do with taking a higher voluntary excess (as mentioned above) or using enhanced security measures on your premises etc. However, it’s difficult to say anything specific without knowing your exact position.

Why not contact us to discuss further?

Am I responsible for the actions of my employees?

That’s a big question and legally complex.

You’re not responsible for what your employees do in their own time. If they commit a crime one evening you typically can’t be held legally accountable or liable for it in insurance terms.

When they’re working for you and carrying out duties on your behalf then within some limits, yes you may be responsible under what’s called “vicarious liability”.

To take an undramatic example, if one of your employees accidentally damages a customer’s car through their negligence, then it will be you and not the employee who is held accountable by the customer. That is why having sales and service insurance as part of your motor trade insurance cover might be highly advisable.

Will I need safety inspections as part of my insurance?

This is complicated again but typically “no” – however, that needs to be clarified.

Your insurance provider might be unlikely to require a specific site survey before offering cover. They may, however, have conditions in their policy that oblige you to be in full compliance with all prevailing laws and local regulations as well as health and safety legislation. Some may require sight of copies of your various certificates etc.

In the event of a claim, if you were found to be operating outside of the law and appropriate health and safety requirements, then your claim might be at risk in part or full.