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Better Truck Insurance are a General Insurance Broker specialising in Insurance to the Transport Industry.

We are a division of Berkrey Insurance Consultants Pty Ltd Licensed with the Australian Securities Investment Commission, Australian Financial Services Licence No. 235366.

Our insurance services include Heavy Motor, Mobile Plant & Equipment, Commercial, Construction and Engineering and General Motor Vehicle along with a range of Professional Insurances to protect you and your business against third party claims.

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Why truck crashes are down but premiums are rising

The past five years have seen enormous progress in reducing fatal truck accidents, with deaths from heavy vehicle crashes down 20%. But the good news for truck operators has not translated into lower premiums for heavy vehicles, and further increases in premiums are expected.

Crashes involving both articulated and rigid trucks have fallen by 13% in the past five years, according to data from the Bureau of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Economics.

Its latest bulletin of fatal heavy vehicle crashes for the 2011/12 financial year shows that 225 people died in 200 crashes during the period.

National Transport Insurance (NTI) CEO Tony Clark says the industry has done significant work on improving safety systems and driver behaviour, and the official figures are supported by NTI’s own research into major accidents, which will be released next month.

But he says although the ratio of heavy vehicle claims to vehicles is near an all-time low, the average annual costs of accidents has risen by 20% in the past three years.

“Larger vehicles can be involved in very large claims,” Mr Clark told

He says premiums will almost certainly continue increasing.

Claims from very large vehicle accidents can include the cost of cleaning-up fuel spills, and often involves damage to other parties’ property as well as such infrastructure as roads.

Mr Clark says the cost of the damage to the trucks has risen as well.

He says claims for accidents involving smaller, short-haul trucks are increasing, although the average claims cost is rising by a lesser amount.

Recent accident trends include an increase in truck fires related to maintenance rather than collisions. The incidence of this has almost doubled since 2009, and research indicates it is a result of vehicles being driven longer distances without a corresponding increase in maintenance.

Mr Clark says the rate of crashes on Queensland’s Bruce Highway and the Great Northern Highway in WA is concerning, with traffic on these routes growing because of the mining industry.

The Great Northern Highway was closed for periods earlier this month after a 350-tonne piece of mining equipment fell off a truck. The Australian Automobile Association rates sections of the Bruce Highway as among the highest risk of the country’s roads.

Work is underway to nationalise many of the state-based regulations for trucking companies, and the Federal Government expects this to improve safety by reducing some of the pressure on businesses that regularly cross state borders.

Parliamentary Secretary for Infrastructure and Transport Catherine King says the Government is establishing a national heavy vehicle regulator to administer one Australia-wide set of rules.

“The National Heavy Vehicle Regulator will for the first full-time administrator of one national set of rules, streamlining the laws and regulations that govern this sector – reducing costs, improving safety and enhancing efficiency,” Ms King said.

Mr Clark says this will be a tough job, because the states will have to agree on the regulations. But it will mean truck drivers will not risk breaking the law when they cross borders.

“It needs to be easier for them to comply with the law without compromising safety,” he said.