Vehicle breakdowns can prove expensive, particularly if you are travelling abroad at the time. Whether you need to travel to other countries occasionally or as an integral part of your business, it is important to ensure that you are appropriately protected so that the impact on your business is kept to a minimum.
Even if you already have European breakdown cover in place, it is a good ideas to check that your policy still meets your needs. It is all too easy to simply renew your cover on a rolling basis when in fact your business activities may have changed over time or there may be other products available that provide better protection.
Types of Vehicle Covered
There are breakdown policies on the market that cater for many different business needs. Whether you have a single vehicle that travels abroad or a whole fleet, operate HGVs or taxis, you will be able to find a policy that is geared towards the type of company that you have.
It is worth remembering that the cover provided under a European breakdown policy differs in some respects from one used for travelling in the UK. The various providers do not usually have the patrol capacity that they have in the UK and therefore rely on local recovery agents and garages who may not be able to provide a 24-hour service.
Policies usually provide cover for roadside assistance and emergency repairs if your vehicle breaks down. There will be a maximum amount that will be paid out and there will also be a number of exclusions, such as the cost of the part itself or costs arising from a vehicle in poor repair.
There is also usually cover for alternate travel arrangements that you may have to make if your vehicle is seriously damaged. The policy will state when this cover will apply – for example, if repairs are likely to take more than eight hours to complete – and also what type of travel will be allowed, such as second-class rail fares or economy air fares.
In addition to onward travel cover, it is common to have emergency accommodation included. This will provide some financial compensation for accommodation costs over and above those that you would have incurred anyway, up to the policy limit. Costs for items such as food would not be covered.
European breakdown cover policies also usually cover the cost for returning your vehicle to the UK if it cannot be repaired before you need to return home. This would be subject to the condition that the cost is not more than the vehicle is worth.
It is important to remember that breakdown cover is not a motor-insurance policy and you will still need to ensure that you have adequate insurance in place for the countries that you are visiting. A breakdown policy can, however, be invaluable in the event that your vehicle needs repairs not arising from an accident and can go some way to mitigating the financial consequences of this happening.