What do I need to know about van insurance?
Getting insurance for your van is compulsory and, failing to do so will lead to a fine. This is the case even if your van is not being used. The only time you're not required to have insurance is if the vehicle is registered as off road with a Statutory Off Road Notice (SORN) under 2011's Continuous Insurance Enforcement Act. You could face a significant fine if you don't have the right insurance. It is no longer allowed to insure your van for only part of the year.
What types of van insurance are there?
There are four main types of van insurance cover and selecting the right one will ensure you’re safe and legal to drive.
Third party only (TPO)
This level of insurance covers:
- Damage to property
- Liability for injury to others (including passengers) where applicable, confirm with insurer
It does not cover:
- Accidental damage to your own vehicle
- Personal medical fees
TPO is the minimum level of cover required in the UK.
Third party, fire and theft (TPFT)
This level of insurance covers:
- Damage to property
- Liability for injury to others (including passengers)
- Damage caused by fire and theft, or attempted theft
This level of insurance is the most comprehensive on the market and covers everything offered by TPFT including:
- Accidental damage
- Medical expenses
- Loss or damage to your vehicle
- Windscreen cover
- Personal effects
A black box or mobile phone app is used to calculate your premium based on your individual driving habits. Telematics is a growing area of van insurance that is considered by some to be fairer, safer and cheaper. However, it is worth considering whether you are required to pay extra for the policy and whether you are restricted from driving at certain times of the day, telematics can also restrict you’re the amount of mileage you are insured to drive.
Whichever policy you choose, you must always check your policy documents to know exactly what you’re covered for
Things to consider when choosing van insurance:
How do I decide which type of van insurance policy to choose?
Whilst it may be tempting to go straight for the cheapest policy, it is crucial to ensure that your insurance covers you in all situations.
- Is your van for private or business use?
- Are you insuring more than one person on your van?
- Will you be commuting to work in your van?
- Do you transport valuable tools or equipment?
- What is the current condition of your van?
The type of cover, cost and conditions will differ depending on these different factors.
There are a variety of Optional Additional Products you might want to consider when choosing the right package to protect your van.
Van breakdown cover
Depending on the number of miles you cover and the condition of your vehicle this can prove invaluable to some businesses who can’t afford to waste time on the roadside.
Goods or tools cover
You must not assume that your policy automatically covers goods or tools that you may transport in your van. In many cases this is an additional cost that you need to request from your insurer.
There are two types of optional additional cover:
Goods in transit
This cover is necessary if you are delivering any goods, tools or equipment. This can be personalised to the needs of your business and some insurers may request that the goods are removed from the vehicle at night. Insurers will pay out if the contents of your van are damaged or stolen in transit within the conditions of your policy.
If you use tools worth thousands of pounds, then it could be a major blow to your business if they were to be stolen or damaged in a road accident. Equipment and stock that’s in any van on the policy is usually covered by tool insurance and will sometimes include optional additional cover for personal effects and materials.
Guaranteed van hire
If your vehicle is in for repair or you are awaiting a settlement following an accident, a hire vehicle will be arranged for you to use.
This safeguards you against the cost of your motor insurance excess in the event of you are claiming because of an accident.
The amount that you are required to pay towards any claim that you make is called the excess.
There are two types of excess:
- Dependent on details you gave to your insurer when you took out the policy.
- Set by the insurance company
- Policies with young drivers and/ or high value vehicles are more likely to have higher excesses.
- You can choose to pay more on top of the claim.
- It can help to reduce the price of your premium.
- If there is a claim this must be paid on top of the compulsory excess.
Setting up van insurance in 5 easy steps:
Arranging your van insurance need not be complicated. Here is a comprehensive guide to insuring your van.
Choose a reputable company and make sure they cover your van insurance needs. Using a price comparison site can help you in this process.
Decide whether you need a commercial, business, or private policy.
Choose the class of insurance you require, taking into consideration uses of your van, any extra insurance needs you may have and the number of drivers who require cover.
Provide your details to the insurance company. It's your responsibility to answer questions relating to your insurance application truthfully. If information is found to be incorrect then any claims that you make could be invalid and the insurer may not pay out.
Review your quotes. When you have selected your insurance company, you may be required to complete payment information before a policy is confirmed to you.
There are lots of factors which may affect your van insurance premium, these include…
- Claims history
- Use of vehicle
- Van modifications
What documentation will I be given?
After taking out a policy your van insurance provider will distribute:
A policy document setting out terms and conditions.
A policy booklet with details of what is covered.