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Van Insurance – all you need to know

What is van insurance?

Van insurance is a type of insurance that covers you against a number of different risks relating to your van in a similar way that car insurance covers cars. It can be useful as vans aren’t generally covered by car insurance policies, especially if you use your van for commercial or business reasons.

Van insurance will cover third-party costs if you cause an accident and could help you pay for repairs to your van. It might also pay out if you top up with the wrong fuel, or even if you lose your keys, depending on the policies you take out.

What type of van insurance do I need?

The type of van insurance you should take out will depend on the type of van you have, what you use it for, and what you need from your policy. For example, when you choose your level of cover you can pick:

  • Comprehensive cover: comprehensive insurance covers your van for any accidental damage, and it also covers third parties and their vehicle or property in case you get into an accident. It also offers cover for any fire damage to your van, and can help to cover all or some of the cost of your van if it’s stolen
  • Third party only cover: third party only van insurance covers the cost of any damage to another person, their vehicle or their property that’s caused by you driving your van – but it won’t cover the cost of any damage to your own vehicle
  • Third party, fire and theft (TPFT) cover: third party, fire and theft offers the same level of cover as third party only cover and it also covers loss or damage to your own van if it’s caused by fire, lightning, self-ignition, explosion, theft or attempted theft. It won’t cover any accidental damage to your own van that’s not caused by fire or theft

How to save money on your car insurance illustration

How to save money on your car insurance illustration

Once you’ve decided this, then you should consider what you use the van for:

Standard cover

Standard van insurance generally provides basic cover for your van, however it can also include contents cover for belongings you keep in the van.

Courier cover

Courier cover is for vans used to carry and deliver other peoples’ goods. The policy reflects the extended amount of time the van is on the road, but doesn’t usually cover the goods themselves

Goods cover

A goods-in-transit policy will cover the items or cargo you’re transporting. However, you’ll be required to tell your insurer about the items, especially if they’re valuable or dangerous. You can only carry the type of goods your insurer has agreed to cover.

You can insurer your own goods or tools (carriage of own goods) or delivering for someone else (a haulage or hire and reward policy), providing you have explained that to your insurer. Get more information on business van insurance.

Pick-up cover

Pick-up trucks aren’t covered by car insurance, but they can come under van insurance with pick-up truck cover.

How to reduce the cost of van insurance?

There are a few things you should keep an eye out for when taking out a van insurance policy so you can save some money, such as:

  1. Over-covering yourself: van insurance can come with additional policies such as personal liability or breakdown cover, but you should always check if you’re already getting this cover from somewhere else. For example, some banks offer breakdown cover as an incentive for taking out a current account with them
  2. Securing your vehicle: you may be able to get a reduced premium on your van insurance if you can tell your insurer about the security and safety measures you’ve taken, such as installing anti-theft devices or parking your van in a garage
  3. Limiting your van usage: some insurers may give you a reduced quote if you offer to cap the amount of time you’ll be driving your van, as the less time you spend driving your van the less likely you are to be involved in an accident
  4. Paying more excess: another way you can save money on your van insurance is by paying a higher voluntary excess. The higher the excess you choose to pay, the lower your premiums are likely to be. Just make sure the excess is affordable
  5. Shopping around: the best way to get a better deal is by comparing your options. Insurers can often keep their best prices for new customers, and if you auto-renew with the same provider you may be charged more for the renewed deal

How to save money on your car insurance illustration

How to get a cheap van insurance quote

Getting a cheaper quote for van insurance is easy when you compare deals on MoneySuperMarket. All you need to do is answer a few questions about your van, what you’ll be using it for, and the type of cover you need, and you’ll be given a selection of quotes tailored specifically to you.

You’ll be able to browse the different deals available until you find one that offers the best value, then you can click through to the provider and finalise the deal.

However, you should remember that the cheapest quote isn’t always the right one – ideally you want to aim for a good balance between the level of cover you get and the price you pay for it.

This way you can avoid under-insuring yourself just to save extra money as well as over-insuring yourself and paying for policies you don’t really need.

Why compare quotes with us

In just a few clicks, MoneySuperMarket can compare a range of quotes from some of the UK’s leading insurers.

It’s not just about finding the cheapest van insurance quotes, it’s also about finding the right level of cover to match your requirements.

Our comparison service allows you to tailor your cover to suit your specific needs. For instance, if you keep tools in your van you’ll need to cover them under the terms of your policy, or you may need additional cover that insures goods in transit if you operate a courier service.

You can add or remove optional extras at any time, but getting the right level of cover is more important than simply finding the cheapest van insurance quote.

So compare van insurance quotes now to get the perfect policy at the right price.

Do I need van insurance?

Insuring your vehicle is a legal requirement no matter what kind of vehicle you have, as long as you use it on the road. As vans won’t generally be covered by car insurance, you’ll probably need to take out a van insurance policy to get cover.

Cover must be in place all year round under the continuous insurance enforcement regulations. Even if your van is idle in a yard for weeks or even months on end, it must be insured. The only exception is if you get a statutory off-road notice (SORN) from the DVLA.

What is commercial and private van insurance?

Commercial van insurance is cover you can take out if you use your van for any business-related reasons, while private van insurance is designed more for social or domestic reasons. If your van is used for commercial purposes, a private van insurance policy won’t be enough to cover you, even if you only use it for commuting to and from your work place.

Commercial van insurance comes in different forms, depending on how you use it. You’ll be able to choose from:

  • Own goods: A ‘carriage of own goods’ policy covers you for carrying certain items, such as tools for your business or stock you buy from a wholesaler
  • Hire and reward: ‘Hire and reward’ cover is a legal requirement if you carry goods or people that aren’t yours in exchange for payment – usually for one-off jobs, such as furniture removal
  • Courier and haulage: If you use your van to make deliveries within a specific location, usually directly to the recipient of the goods, you’ll need a ‘courier’ policy. However if you’re making commercial deliveries to one specific location, often over distances, a ‘haulage’ policy will be more suitable

How do I make a claim?

If you need to make a claim on your van insurance, you should call your insurer as soon as possible and let them know. You should also have a claim form, though you can request one from your insurer if not, which you fill in with the details of your claim.

Can I drive my van abroad?

Some van insurance providers offer policies that give you cover when you’re abroad, though the list of countries covered is likely to vary between providers. It might be a good idea to consider European breakdown cover if you’re driving abroad – you can either take it out separately or as part of your van insurance policy.

Can I get more than one van on my insurance policy?

Many insurers offer multi-van policies that let you add cover for more vehicles, which is often a cheaper option than insuring each van under its own policy. Learn more with our guide to multi-van insurance.

Can I add other drivers to my van insurance policy?

You’ll also be able to include additional drivers in your policy, though the specific details of the cover you can get will depend on the provider you use.

Can I take my van abroad for business?

Many commercial van insurance policies also include cover for business abroad, though you should check whether this comes as standard or as an additional policy. You should also make sure which countries are covered, as you may require an extra level of cover for countries outside of the EU.

Can I get my company van insured under my business’s name?

If the van is owned by your business then it can be insured under your business’s name.

What is a no-claims bonus or discount?

A no-claims discount (NCD) or bonus is a reduced premium your insurer gives you when you haven’t claimed over a set period. It normally applies to one vehicle, so if you replace your car with a van you might be able to transfer your NCD.

If your van is an additional vehicle you’re unlikely to be able to transfer a no-claims discount from your car insurance.

If I don’t want to claim after an accident, do I still have to tell the insurer?

Yes. If you get into an accident and you decide not to claim on your insurance, it’s a good idea to let them know what happened so they can keep their records in line with yours.

Why do I need legal cover?

Legal cover can be an important part of any policy, and with motor insurance it can be useful to have the legal support if you get into a car accident or incident. However if you’re driving your van for commercial reasons then you might also want to consider legal cover as part of a business insurance policy.

For example you might be liable for any goods you’re carrying if they get damaged as a result of your driving. Having legal cover as part of a commercial van policy means you might be able to claim for legal costs and damages.

Can I get a courtesy car?

Depending on your provider and level of cover, you may be able to get a courtesy car if your van is out of action – thought the replacement is more likely to be a small hatchback.

You may be able to get replacement vehicle cover, meaning a van suitable for your needs, while yours is repaired. However you may only qualify for a replacement if the accident wasn’t your fault.

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But you might have other questions. Do we provide access to all the companies operating in a given market? Do we have commercial relationships or ownership ties that might make us feature one company above another?

We commit to providing you with clear and informative answers on all points such as this, so we have gathered the relevant information on this page.

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