What is business van insurance?
Business van insurance, also known as commercial van insurance, is specifically for commercial vehicles used for business purposes. Commercial van insurance offers the same cover as personal van insurance, but will also cover you for accidents while using the van as part of your business, when you’re delivering or hauling goods, or travelling between work sites.
How does commercial van insurance work?
If you’re a business owner, or self-employed, and you use your van for work, you’ll need a commercial van insurance policy. Private van insurance won’t cover you while you’re using your van for business purposes.
Your business could include delivering goods, haulage or using your van as part of your trade. So, whether you’re a florist using your van to deliver flowers to customers, a plumber transporting your tools between jobs or a courier driver for hire, transporting goods for other companies, you’ll need business van insurance.
If you’re a business owner who has multiple vans and drivers working for you, you should consider fleet van insurance to cover them under one policy.
What does business van insurance cover?
It depends on the level of cover you take out. There are three main levels of cover:
- Third-party only – the minimum legal requirement. Third-party insurance can cover any damage you cause to another vehicle and any injuries you cause to other people. It won’t cover repairs to your own van, theft from your van or your own medical expenses.
- Third-party, fire and theft – offers the same level of protection as above, but also covers you if your van is stolen or damaged by fire.
- Comprehensive cover – includes all the benefits of third-party, fire and theft, and can also protect you as a driver and pay out for any damage to your van, whether or not the accident was your fault.
With the right business van insurance policy, you’ll be covered for using your van for work and for social and domestic reasons outside of work hours.
Business van insurance: do I need it and what types are there?
If you use your van for work, including commuting to or from more than one job site, you’ll need commercial van insurance (also known as business van insurance). But if you only use your van for social, domestic or pleasure reasons – for example, to transport personal items like bulky shopping bags or sports equipment – private van insurance will cover you.
You can compare quotes with us for two types of commercial van insurance for vehicles up to 3.5 tonnes:
Carriage of own goods: offers cover if you use your van to carry business goods: for example, equipment related to your trade if you’re a builder, plumber, gardener or carpenter. You’ll also be covered for social, domestic and pleasure use.
Haulage (carriage of goods for hire and reward): cover if you use your van to carry someone else’s goods for payment: for example, if you’re a delivery driver. You’ll also be covered for social, domestic and pleasure use.
Check your van insurance policy to see if it covers the contents of your van if they’re stolen or if you have an accident. If it doesn’t, you may need additional goods-in-transit insurance. If you’re delivering for a company, check whether their insurance covers you before adding extra cover.
Neither carriage of own goods or haulage insurance cover the carriage of passengers. For that, you’ll need taxi insurance.
If you don’t have business van insurance and you’re involved in an accident or your van is stolen, you won’t be able to claim. You also risk being charged with driving uninsured, and face six penalty points on your licence and a fine of £300 from the police. If you get taken to court, you could face disqualification from driving and an unlimited fine. The police could also choose to seize and even destroy your vehicle.
Frequently asked questions
Does my business van insurance cover my tools and equipment?
Van insurance doesn’t usually include as standard any cover for tools and equipment stolen from your van or damaged in an accident. But most insurance providers will let you insure them either as an add-on or under a separate policy.
Just be aware that some policies won’t cover your tools if you leave them in your van overnight. You’ll find more information in our guide Does my van insurance cover tools?
What should I look for in business van insurance?
You might want to consider the following when comparing business van insurance:
- Windscreen cover – some insurance providers include windscreen cover as standard, while others add it as an optional extra.
- Misfuelling cover – filling your van with the wrong type of fuel can be a costly mistake. You’ll have to pay for the tank to be emptied and the fuel properly disposed of, then you’ll need to refill the tank. Misfuelling cover is typically available as an add-on to business van insurance.
- Trailer cover – this covers you for loss of, or damage to, a trailer.
- Breakdown cover – if you rely on your van for work and it breaks down, this type of cover could help you get back to the job in-hand as fast as possible.
- European cover – all UK van insurance policies must include the minimum third-party cover for driving in Europe, but cover may be limited to a certain number of days. Check your policy to be sure. You may also want to consider European breakdown cover.
- Courtesy van – this could prove invaluable if your van is out of action.
- Lost key cover can pay for replacing lost keys.
- Motor legal expenses – to cover the cost of pursuing or defending an insurance claim that’s not covered by your commercial van policy.
Can I insure other people to drive my van?
Your insurance provider will typically let you add one or more additional drivers to your policy – sometimes up to four. Anyone added as a named driver will be covered to drive your van under the same terms as you.
If you want to add more named drivers to your policy, for example if you have a large workforce who all need to use the van, you may need to look at any driver van insurance instead.
Bear in mind that adding named drivers to your commercial van policy will affect the price you pay. Your insurance provider will consider the age, profession, claims history and any driving convictions of all named drivers when calculating your premium.
If you want to insure another driver on your van for a short period of time, you may be better off with temporary van insurance. But make sure you choose a policy that covers you for business use.
Can I insure more than one van for my business?
Yes, if you own more than one van that you use for commercial purposes, you can insure them with a multi-van insurance policy – also known as fleet van insurance.
Unfortunately, you can’t currently compare fleet van insurance with Compare the Market.
Am I covered for driving in Europe with business van insurance?
By law, all UK vehicle insurance must provide the minimum third-party cover to drive in the EU and most other European countries, including Ireland, Norway and Switzerland. Check your policy to see exactly what cover you have and for how long. Read our guide to vehicle insurance for driving in Europe.
Is business van insurance more expensive than regular van insurance?
Business van insurance could be more expensive than regular van insurance if you’re using your van to deliver valuable goods. This makes your van more attractive to potential thieves, increasing the risk of you having to make a claim.
How old do I need to be to get commercial van insurance?
You’ll need to be over 21 and have held a driving licence for over a year to get business van insurance.
How much does business van insurance cost?
The cost of business van insurance depends on a range of factors, including:
The size of your van
A larger van will probably cost more to insure than a smaller one.
The type of business you run
Insurance providers consider some businesses as riskier than others.
Where you keep your van overnight
Secure off-street parking can help lower your premiums.
Your annual mileage and the amount of voluntary excess you choose to pay will also influence the cost of your premium. As will the age, profession, claims and driving history of any named drivers you add to your policy.
For tips on saving on your business van insurance read our guide to getting cheaper van insurance.Start a quote
We compare prices from 30 trusted van insurance providers, including:
What do I need to get a business van insurance quote?
Getting a quote is quick and easy. You’ll need to give us the following details:
- Information about your van, including the registration number
- How you use your van
- What type of cover you’re looking for: carriage of own goods or haulage
- The level of cover you’re looking for
- Your estimated annual mileage
- Details about you and any named drivers you want to add to the policy.