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Commercial van insurance

Commercial van insurance

If you rely on your van for work, you’ll want to take out commercial vehicle insurance. This will help make sure your business continues to run smoothly if you have an accident, or your van is stolen.

Daniel Hutson
From the Motor team
minute read
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Posted 19 AUGUST 2020

Do I need commercial van insurance?

Whether or not you need commercial vehicle insurance depends on how you use your van. If you use it for business, including commuting to and from your place of work, you’ll need commercial van insurance (also known as van insurance for business use). But if you only use your vehicle at weekends or for visiting friends and driving to the shops, you’ll need social, domestic and pleasure cover. 

What types of commercial van insurance are available?

There are two key types of commercial van insurance: 

  • Carriage of own goods. This covers you if you use your van to carry business goods. For example, the tools of 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). This type of insurance covers you if you use your van to carry someone else’s goods for payment. For example, if you’re a delivery driver. Again, you’ll be covered for social, domestic and pleasure use.

Always check your policy to see if it covers the contents of your van in the event they’re stolen, or damaged in an accident. If it doesn’t, you may need additional goods-in-transit insurance. Also, it’s worth checking whether the company you’re delivering for already has you covered. 

These types of insurance don’t cover you for carrying paying passengers. For that you’ll need specific  taxi insurance.

What level of van insurance should I choose?

As with  car insurance, there’s three levels of van cover. The type of cover you’ll need depends on how you use your van:

  • Third party only. The minimum legal requirement. Third party insurance covers you for any damage you cause to other people and their vehicles. But it won’t cover repairs to your own van, your own medical expenses, or theft from your van.
  • Third party, fire and theft. Offers the same level of protection as above, but third party fire and theft also may cover you if your van is stolen or damaged by fire.
  • Comprehensive. This includes all the benefits of third party fire and theft, but  comprehensive insurance could also protect you as a driver and pay out for any damage to your van, even if the accident was your fault.

Does my van insurance cover my tools and equipment?

Van insurance doesn’t usually include standard cover for tools and equipment stolen from your vehicle or damaged in an accident. But most insurance providers will let you insure them either as an add-on, or under a separate policy. This is worth investigating as van thefts are all too common.  

Just be aware that some policies won’t cover your tools if you leave them in your van overnight. You’ll find more information on this in our guide, Does my van insurance cover tools?

What optional extras are available?

Depending on what’s important to you, you might want to consider the following optional extras: 

  • Windscreen cover. Some insurance providers include windscreen cover as standard, others can add it for you as an optional extra.
  • Misfuelling cover. Filling your van with the wrong type of fuel can be an expensive mistake. Misfuelling cover is typically available as an optional add-on. It can cover you for the cost of emptying the tank, disposing of the fuel and refilling your vehicle.
  • Trailer cover. This can cover you for loss or damage to a trailer.
  • Breakdown cover. If you rely on your van for work, breaking down on the way to a job could mean your business loses money. Breakdown cover could help you get back to the job in hand.
  • Courtesy van. This could be invaluable if your vehicle ends up out of action for any reason.

What makes and models of van are covered?

Commercial vehicle insurance should cover most makes and models of van. However, the price can vary considerably. Larger vans, and those with more powerful engines, are considered higher risk, which means they could be costlier to insure. The same goes for heavier vans, which can be hard to control.

When insurance providers are deciding how much to charge you for your premium, they’ll weigh up the accident stats for your model of van, and how much it costs to repair. We can help you compare quotes for any van that weighs less than 3.5 tonnes.

Like cars, vans belong to different insurance groups. The higher your van’s insurance group, the more expensive your premium is likely to be.

Can I add extra drivers to my commercial van insurance policy? 

If other members of your team need to drive your commercial van, you’ll need any driver van insurance. Any driver insurance doesn’t cover you for literally any driver. It covers you for your list of named drivers. It’s likely to cost you more, but it could give you the flexibility you need to run your business.

Typically, the fewer drivers you name on your policy, the lower your premiums will be.

What if I want to add extra vehicles to my commercial van insurance policy?

If your company has more than one van, you’ll want to look into fleet van insurance. This is designed to cover businesses with two or more vehicles. It doesn’t matter if these are different makes and models, just so long as you let your insurance provider know the full details.

Can I take a commercial van abroad?

Yes, ordinarily you could take a commercial van abroad. Your UK van insurance would give you third-party cover if you were travelling within the EU, but this would only offer the most basic level of protection. If you wanted to be protected against damage or theft, you might need to add extra cover. However, people are being advised against all non-essential international travel by the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office for an unspecified amount of time, due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

Should you decide to journey overseas during this period when the FCO is advising people not to embark on non-essential travel, your insurance policy will be invalid. That means any claim you make will probably be turned down.

What should I look for in commercial van insurance?  

When you’re buying commercial van insurance, always read the small print. Check if there’s any age restrictions on drivers, especially if you employ young apprentices. It’s also worth seeing if you can lower the cost of your premiums by, for example, installing industry-approved security measures.

How much does commercial van insurance cost?

How much you pay for your commercial van insurance will depend on a number of factors. These can include your age and how much driving experience you have. Insurance providers will also consider where you live, how you use your van and what kind of vehicle you drive. If you’re looking for an exact quote, it won’t take you long to get one. Just give us a few details about yourself and your van, and we’ll do the rest.

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What do I need to get a quote? 

To compare quotes, you’ll need your vehicle details and recent insurance documents. If you have any driving convictions, you’ll need to give details of these, too.

  • Vehicle details – make sure you know the details of your van and any modifications. Check your V5C document if you’re not sure.
  • Recent insurance documents – these should contain all the details you need, as well as any information about claims that may affect your quote.
  • Driver details – if you’re insuring a team of drivers, you’ll need to know their details including ages and addresses, and whether they have any driving convictions or speeding penalties.

Why use Compare the Market

You could achieve a quote of £673 per year for your van insurance** Get a van insurance quote in 6 minutes*** 10% of customers could save up to £1,506****

**50% of people could achieve a quote of £673.00 per year for their van insurance based on Compare the Market data in May 2020.
***On average, it can take less than 6 minutes to complete a van insurance quote through Compare the Market based on data in May 2020.
****Based on Online independent research by Consumer Intelligence during May 2020, 50% of customers could save up to £1,506.07 on their van insurance premium.

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