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Why you need van insurance?
If you drive a van – regardless of whether it’s for work, pleasure or a third party – then you’ll need insurance. Just as it’s illegal for a car, motorhome and riders of motorbikes to go out on the road without insurance, the same applies for van drivers.
And, similar to the car and other drivers, van drivers also have the choice of whether they want to take-out third-party insurance, third party fire and theft or fully comprehensive. Choosing the latter means you’ll be covered for repairs to both your own van and that of another vehicle should you be responsible for an accident. It also covers court costs and compensation. The other two policies only cover costs for the other vehicle and that driver’s injuries (although fire and theft will also cover your vehicle in the event it suffers fire damage or is stolen).
The type of van insurance you take out depends, of course, on how the van is used i.e. for social or business use etc.
Different types of van insurance
Carriage of own goods – Self-employed or contract builders, plumbers and other workmen who use tools and materials in their everyday lives at work would certainly require this type of policy.
Carriage of goods for hire or reward – Delivery drivers such as parcel delivery vans, fast food deliveries, florists etc would require this since it means that the goods, as well as the van, would be covered should you be in an accident.
Haulage – This form of commercial van insurance applies to truckers i.e. long-distance lorry drivers delivering goods from abroad or one end of the country to the other, such as supermarket foods, furniture etc.
Temporary van insurance – If you only use the van now and again such as for taking items to the tip or helping a friend move home, then it will be far less costly to take out temporary cover rather than insurance for a whole year.
Employers liability insurance – This is necessary if you are an employer with your own business and have courier drivers working either permanently on the payroll, or a contract basis.
Tips on getting the best value van insurance
- Always shop online and compare quotes between different companies. You may be amazed by how much the price can vary
- Read the small print to make sure that you don’t buy ‘add-ons’ which you don’t actually need since they may already be covered in your main policy
- If you don’t use the van a lot then capping the average miles you do can result in lower premiums. This is because the insurance company deems you less of a risk (i.e. someone who does five times as many miles is five times more likely to get into an accident)
- Get a van which is in a lower insurance grouping. The larger and heavier the van then the higher the insurance group and the more expensive it’ll be for cover.
- Get the best security systems that you can possibly afford for your vehicle. This will pay for itself over time in reduced premiums
- Try and park your van in a locked garage overnight, or at least in an enclosed driveway (rather than out in the street)
- If you can wait until you reach the age of 25 before you drive a van. That’s because insurance is always higher for younger drivers (regardless of the vehicle type); age 25 is the cut-off point. Insurance gets less expensive after this milestone birthday.
- If you need breakdown cover too then it can pay to take it out at the same time as your insurance policy in order to benefit from a discount from the insurer.
- Don’t ask for named drivers to be put on the insurance policy as this will increase the cost of your monthly premiums considerably (especially if they are under 21).
- If you can afford it, try and pay off your insurance in one annual payment. That way you’ll save paying admin costs for monthly direct debits.
- Concentrate on building up a good no claims bonus. For every year that passes without you making a claim, that bonus should increase.
- Pay as high a voluntary excess as you believe you can afford should you be unfortunate enough to get involved in an accident.
Van insurance FAQs
Q – I have been told my pick-up truck comes under van insurance. Is that correct?
A – Yes. Just enter your vehicle registration, model and make etc under van insurance online.
Q – Why is a pick up a van for insurance purposes?
A – Simply because of the truck’s weight and longer wheelbase. Some 4x4 vehicles also have to be classed as vans because of this.
Q – I have a no claims bonus for my car. Can I use it for my van?
A – Unfortunately it’s not transferable. You may get a discount on your good driving record depending on who your insurance company is so it’s always worth asking.
Q – What do you mean by Telematics insurance?
A – The insurance company works out your premium based on how you drive. They can tell this by installing a black box device in your car which will record not just how often you drive but how well. It can, for instance, record when a sudden movement is made.
Q – What is considered an uninsured loss?
A – Depending on your policy, this could be anything from the cost of a hire van, the policy excess and medical expenses for yourself. It could also include legal costs.
Q – Will I still be insured if I drive my van in Europe?
A – It depends on your policy but most will give you a grace period of 30 days. After that, you’ll have to speak to your insurance company.
Q – What if I change my mind or find a better van insurance policy elsewhere?
A – Most insurance companies will allow you to cancel without charge provided you do so within their ‘cooling off’ period. This is usually around a fortnight.