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Do I need van insurance?
Anyone who drives a vehicle is legally obliged to have insurance against the risk of causing damage or injury to another driver, when using that vehicle. Insurance also covers the driver themselves. Anyone caught without insurance runs the risk of court action, a criminal prosecution and a ban from the road.
Therefore, if you’re driving a vehicle you need insurance, and if you’re driving a van then it might benefit you to go for specific van insurance. If you use a van only for social reasons, then private van insurance might suffice. This would cover taking the vehicle on holiday, doing shopping, and hobbies.
However, if you drive a van to work but do not use it for work purposes, you might still need business van insurance, as there is no specific social, domestic, leisure and commuting policy for vans.
What are the different types of van insurance?
As with cars, there are the more general types of specific insurance, such as:
- Third party: covering liability for injury to others, property damage, and liability while towing a trailer – but not damage to your own van. This insurance is the bare minimum that you are legally required to have.
- Third party fire and theft: same as above, but also covering fire and theft including any damage to your van inflicted while the theft took place.
- Comprehensive: same as above, but also covering loss or damage to your van and its windscreen, and other things such as medical expenses.
One of the growing trends in van insurance is telematics,; whereupon drivers are traced on their journeys via a black box or mobile phone app that provides a detailed analysis of their driving habits. This is then relayed back to the insurer and can then be used to calculate premiums for the rest of the insurance term. It therefore encourages careful driving as an incentive for lower prices.
Car drivers do not generally have a specific insurance bracket that covers the contents of their vehicles, while this could be vital for a van driver. There are generally four types of specific van insurance that cover this to varying degrees: standard (business), goods in transit (see below), courier and pickup truck.
Standard van insurance can cover anyone who uses a van as part of their day-to-day job, such as a tradesperson or delivery driver, as well as the contents of the van.
Does it matter what I’m carrying in my van?
Yes. Anyone carrying anything precious, dangerous or hazardous should opt for ‘goods in transit’ cover, as it offers assistance if such objects are damaged or lost in transit. Alternatively, if these products are being delivered to someone else such as a customer, a courier insurance will cover those contents – and of course the driver themselves.
Do I need business van insurance?
Not if the only driving you do is commuting to and from work.
There are various business use classes, to cover anything from driving to multiple places of work and also covering your spouse, to delivery of light goods, through to occupations such as taxi driving or courier services.
Van Insurance FAQs
Third party and comprehensive insurance generally covers any passengers in your vehicle.
As with cars and motorbikes, premiums will be higher for drivers who are less experienced and have a poor driving record regarding accidents and traffic crimes. Health, age, profession and other factors could also play a part.
However, there are more specific issues to van insurance. Generally, cars are only driven by one or two people, but a van at an SME (small and medium sized enterprises) could be driven by several people, each with different experiences and driving histories. They might be using the same vehicle for very different types of jobs. The type of vehicle itself and its dimensions and engine size, as well as its age, could also be a factor.
Mileage should also be taken into account: a delivery driver, rep, or construction worker might travel tens of thousands of miles a year, and a vehicle might be parked in different depots, driveways and garages across the country or Europe.
Therefore, it can therefore be very complex to work out an insurance premium for an SME – and in that regard contacting the insurer themselves to make sure they are fully covered would be a wise option for the driver/HR department. Using price comparison sites can give you a good starting point.
- When taking out insurance make sure you check the conditions to establish that there are no specific omissions that will affect your type of usage. For example, if you visit the continent.
- Immobilisers, alarms and other security measures will drive down prices.
- Before buying a van and investigating insurance make sure that your licence covers you to drive your intended vehicle. Vans weighing less than 3,500kg with a maximum of nine seats are covered by a standard driving licence, but to drive anything bigger you would need a C1 licence.
- Advanced van driving courses can help drive down insurance costs.
From running a simple business errand to going to multiple meetings in different locations, there are a number of common work situations where you need business car insurance to be adequately covered. Read on to find out what business car insurance is and whether you need it.
Leasing a car can be a flexible way to drive a car and upgrade to different models every few years. However, you won’t ever be the owner of the car, unlike if you buy it outright. Read on to see if leasing or buying a car is most suitable for you.
Personal contract hire (PCH), also known as leasing, is one option for someone looking to get a new car. You make monthly payments to use the vehicle but have to give it back at the end of the term.