LGV Vehicle Insurance and CMR
We’ve already established that a vehicle user must have at least third party vehicle insurance, but consideration should also be given to the level of insurance required to cover loads carried.
It is also worth noting that passengers, whether employees or non employees are also covered by a vehicle’s third party insurance.
Insurance policies can only legally be issued by companies who are members of the Motor Insurers’ Bureau (M.I.B.). This provides a safeguard should an insurance company not be able to meet its financial obligations.
Subject to certain conditions, the M.I.B. will compensate third party claimants who have been injured by uninsured vehicles in a road traffic accident. However, they will not necessarily compensate for damage.
Vehicle Insurance Policy
An insurance policy becomes effective once a cover note or certificate has been issued. The certificate gives details concerning the terms under which the policy is issued. When the policy is cancelled, the certificate must be returned to the insurer within 7 days.
Any insurance policy should be checked carefully. Its contents, along with the terms and conditions should be fully understood for validation purposes.
A policy may be invalid if, for example:
• The vehicle is not maintained in a safe and roadworthy condition
• The driver does not have the correct licence
• The driver is under a certain age
• The conditions of the policy are not observed
• An unspecified vehicle is used
Insurance policies issued in the UK will also provide minimum third party cover on international journeys to all EU countries plus Norway and Switzerland. However, the operator may be well advised to seek further insurance cover.
All UK insurance policies must cover the minimum legal requirements of the EC Directive 72/166. This directive abolished routine checks at border controls when entering member states, although drivers may still be subject to random checks.
The Green Card is proof of minimum insurance cover and is also accepted in most European countries. It contains an accident report form and gives names and addresses of the various insurance organisations abroad.
Points to Remember in the Event of an Accident:
If the police have been called, a vehicle should not be moved until they arrive. In Turkey, Serbia and Montenegro it is an offence to move a vehicle which has been involved in an accident.
The driver should also complete an accident report form at the scene of the accident, and present it to the insurance company as soon as possible.
The accident report form summarises an agreed statement of facts and identifies the parties concerned. It is completed in duplicate, with each driver signing both copies.
The Convention Marchandises Routieres (CMR), ratified in the UK by the International Carriage of Goods by Road Act 1965, standardises the conditions of carriage and liabilities of the sender, carrier and consignee on an international journey for hire and reward.
A UK haulier engaged on international journeys would be advised to take out CMR insurance cover as the liabilities are greater than UK goods in transit insurance (e.g. RHA Conditions of Carriage).
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Eire, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Russian Federation, Spain, Switzerland, UK and Yugoslavia are all members of the convention. It is worth noting that journeys between the UK and Eire are not covered by the CMR convention.
Scope of the Convention
The terms of the convention apply when at least one of the countries involved in the journey is a party to the convention, with the exception of journeys between the UK and Eire.
The CMR convention does not apply to:
• Household removals
• Funeral consignments
• Postal services
• Own account operations
• Journeys between UK and Eire (Irish Republic)
The contract of carriage is confirmed by the completion of a CMR note. The note must be made out in all cases, but the loss or irregularity of the note does not invalidate the contract.
The CMR note is an ‘aligned’ document which must conform to the International Road Transport Union (IRU) model. A carrier can complete the CMR note on behalf of the sender, but the sender will be responsible for any mistakes within the CMR note.
The consignment note must be signed by both the sender and first carrier and made out as an original with three colour coded copies:
Copy 1 (red) – sender’s copy (the original)
Copy 2 (blue) – consignee’s copy (which accompanies the goods)
Copy 3 (green) – carrier’s copy
Copy 4 (black) – carrier’s file copy
When goods are loaded in different vehicles, the sender or carrier may require separate CMR notes for each vehicle. A separate note may also be required for each consignment in groupage on one vehicle.
What does a CMR note Contain?
1. Date and place consignment note was made out
2. Name and address of the sender
3. Name and address of the carrier
4. Place and date of taking over the goods
5. Name and address of the consignee
6. Description of the goods, such as the number of packages, the gross weight, etc
7. Instructions relating to the carriage
8. A statement that the carriage is subject to the CMR convention
Depending upon the nature of the goods and the contract, the following information may be required:
• Special details of the goods (dangerous substances, perishable food stuffs)
• Instructions (customs clearance)
• Special arrangements beyond the CMR conditions
• Observations by the carrier, such as damage to the goods
• Agreed time limits within which the carriage is to be carried out