How to make a van insurance claim

If you’ve been in an accident or had your van stolen or broken into, you may be unsure what to do next. Our guide will take you through what you need to do.

If you’ve been in an accident or had your van stolen or broken into, you may be unsure what to do next. Our guide will take you through what you need to do.

Daniel Hutson
Head of Motor Insurance
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Posted 4 OCTOBER 2019

How do I make a claim?

If you need to make a claim on your van insurance then you’ll need to contact your provider and let them know what’s happened. Many providers will have dedicated claims lines.  

The time in which you can make a claim after an accident will be stated in your van insurance policy. Some providers may give you two weeks to notify them, others as little as two days. So it’s important to check your policy as soon as possible.

You’ll need to complete a claim form outlining what happened, attaching any evidence that will support your statement, such as photos of the damage.  

If you’ve been in an accident, your provider will need the name, address and vehicle registration number of anyone involved. It can also speed up the claims process, if you’re able to exchange insurance details and policy numbers.

If your van has been stolen, vandalised, or had your tools taken, you’ll need to give your insurance provider a  crime reference number from the police. 

When do I need to make a claim on my insurance?

If you’ve been involved in an accident or had your van broken into or vandalised, you might want to make a claim. However, it’s not compulsory.

Whether you make a claim or not, you’ll still need to make your provider aware of what’s happened, even if it wasn’t your fault. If you don’t let them know, it could invalidate your policy.

If you decide to make a claim, your insurer can try to recover costs from the other person’s provider. You should never try to negotiate a settlement on your own – always put the matter in the hands of your provider.  

If you’ve been in an accident, don’t apologise or admit fault as it could be used against you and invalidate your claim.  

If the repairs are likely to cost less than your compulsory and voluntary excess, you may find it more beneficial to cover the costs yourself. However, if you don’t want to make a claim you’ll need to make this clear and back it up in a letter or email, stating that you’re notifying them for information purposes only. 

How long does it take to settle a claim?

Under Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) rules, if liability has been admitted and there’s enough evidence to support the claim, a provider must give a reasonable offer of settlement within three months. If more evidence needs to be submitted, or there’s delays in finding out who’s at fault, it may take longer.

Will making a claim affect my no claims discount (NCD)?

If you make a claim on your insurance, your no claims discount is generally only affected if your insurance provider is unable to recoup the costs of the claim. If the accident wasn’t your fault, your insurance provider will try to recover the costs from the driver who was at fault. Therefore, your NCD should be unaffected.   

If your insurance provider has to pay out, your NCD is typically reduced by two years.  If no one was to blame for the accident, insurance providers may split the cost of the claims and both drivers’ NCD could be affected.

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