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If you have a van or commercial vehicle that is in use on public roads, you’ll need to take out van insurance. Third-party insurance is a legal requirement to protect other road users.
There are three levels of van insurance cover:
Third-party only (TPO) van insurance will cover you for the cost of damage to third-party property and for any third-party injuries you cause in an accident. It will not cover any damage to your own van or property.
Third party, fire and theft (TPFT) cover will also pay out if your van is stolen, vandalised or catches fire.
Comprehensive insurance will repair or replace your van even if the damage is your fault.
You will need:
Your van registration number and details, including model, year of purchase, usage and any security devices that have been fitted
Your driving history, including details of any claims or convictions
Your estimated annual mileage, including an estimated split if your van will be used for personal and business miles
Your policy requirements
Details of your business, including your cargo
If you don't provide accurate and truthful information, your van insurance provider may refuse or reduce any claim you make on your policy.
The quotes will differ depending which type of cover you choose, the type of work you do, and how much of your driving will be for work.
To decide your level of cover, you will first need to decide if you want to insure your van for:
Leisure only (called social domestic and pleasure)
Work (called business, or commercial, use)
A mixture of business and leisure use
Just like car insurance, van insurance cover comes in three different levels:
Third party only
Third party fire and theft
Some van insurance policies will come with extras or you can add them for an additional fee. These can include:
Replacement van cover
Like car insurance, there is no set price for a van insurance policy. The cost of cover will depend on the type of van, its value, your driving history and how the van will be used.
However, you should bear in mind that many vans will be used much more frequently and cover much more mileage than the average family car and can also carry more high-value equipment. This may mean that your van insurance costs more than insurance for a small run-around car. There are specialist van insurers that provide tailored cover for a reasonable price.
The best van insurance will be the van insurance policy that is best for your needs. It will depend on what level of cover you need and what you use your van for.
Check the registration document. Vehicles in category M1 are classed as cars, while those in categories N1 and N2 are vans.
Getting the right business use - or commercial use for those carrying cargo - is vital. You're only insured for what you tell your insurer you will carry.
Even if your van is just for personal use - carrying your hobby in the back - you need to have van insurance for social, domestic and pleasure use.
Whether you commute, work at several locations or visit clients in their offices or homes, you need the right level of van insurance.
Shop around – use comparison tools to compare quotes. Only insure what you need – additional extras you don’t need will increase the cost of cover.
Have a no-claims discount – providers offer a no-claims bonus based on the number of years you’ve been driving without making a claim.
Pay a larger voluntary excess – the larger you pay upfront then the cheaper your premiums are but premiums, but check you can afford the total amount.
Fit safety features – an alarm, locks and immobilisers fitted to your van can reduce your premium but check with your insurer first.
Pay upfront – paying in monthly instalments means you end up paying interest on your insurance. Paying a lump sum annually can save you money.
There are different levels of van insurance for business.
The most popular is standard business van insurance, which covers you for:
Commuting to work
Driving between different locations for work
Driving to see clients or customers
Travelling to the bank for work purposes
Driving other employees or business contacts
Attending company events
Business van insurance comes in four levels:
Class 1: provides cover for driving between a number of different places of work or to visit clients and customers. You won’t be covered for door-to-door sales. This is typically the cheapest class of cover.
Class 2: provides the same cover as class 1 van insurance but also allows you to add a named driver – most policies specify this must be a colleague. Again, door-to-door sales are not usually covered.
Class 3: provides cover for long-distance driving, which makes it the most suitable option if you make door-to-door sales. However, you will only be covered to deliver samples, so if you are delivering commercial merchandise, you will need commercial van insurance.
Class 4 or commercial van insurance: you must tell your insurer the type of goods you will be carrying and for what type of business. You will only be insured for carrying the goods you have named for the purpose you have stated – you cannot do a second job, help out a mate, transport items, or for a purpose, you have not declared to your insurer.
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