So how do you pick the right business van insurance policy for your needs, and what should you know before you start looking?
Abiding by the law
Rules have been set down which make this cover essential. The Continuous Insurance Enforcement (CIE) policy makes it against the law for registered vehicle keepers to be without insurance, and this applies even if the van isn’t going on the road. It could be parked in your yard gathering dust, but no matter – it still needs van insurance.
So to make sure your business vehicles are legal, you need to get this cover in place. If you don’t have this because your van is actually ‘off-road’ then you’ll need to have notified the DVLA and applied for a Statutory Off Road Notice (SORN), just as you would with any other vehicle that isn’t being driven.
Business van insurance can make a dent in your business bank balance, so comparing cheap van insurance policies for business use is essential to make sure you get the right cover for your needs, don’t pay for anything unnecessary, and get the lowest possible price.
How to compare the cost of business van insurance
As a first step, consider what aspects of a policy will have greatest impact on your business van insurance premium. This will include the type of van your business uses, any security features, who is named on the policy – including any additional drivers – along with their driving history, how far it’s driven every year, and where it will be kept overnight.
The factors that will affect cost are essentially the same as for any type of motor insurance. Although if your van carries expensive items or you leave tools inside overnight, you might need to take extra security measures or cough up a hefty premium.
Business van insurance policies will vary, so check the fine details. You may find, for instance, that van breakdown cover doesn’t form part of the policy, which is likely to be essential for many business owners. Or, say, legal cover might not be provided unless you specifically request it.
What about a courtesy van if you find yourself involved in an accident or broken down on the road and waiting for your vehicle to be fixed? You could be left high and dry without your van for days in this event, which could have a direct impact on your ability to service your customers.
These are all important considerations, as they can severely compromise your business success – and they make the cost of buying sufficient cover worthwhile given the size of the hole that lacking this protection could punch in your annual profits. So check the small print to make sure the business van insurance policy fits your needs.
The simplest way to make sure you get the right business van insurance policy for you is to compare a range on the market carefully, using a comparison site. This will help you find the best chance of finding a cheap van insurance policy which matches your needs.
Reducing the cost business van insurance
There are methods to slash the cost of business van insurance. For example, by increasing the voluntary excess – or sum you are liable for in the event of a claim – you can chop the price of your annual premium. However, there will be a compulsory excess stacked on top of any you opt to pay voluntarily, so make sure you can afford this.
Also, consider how big a van you need, as the bigger the vehicle, the higher the premium. Of course, for business success it’ll have to be the right size for your needs, but don’t go overboard.
Where you keep your van is an important consideration, so if you can park it off street or, preferably, in a garage overnight, this will shave some money off the price of business van insurance.
If you can afford additional security, such as locks and immobilisers, these will also bring down your premium, as with standard policies for any private vehicle.
There may also be additional add-ons that hike up the cost of cover, such as legal expenses. So check if you need these, and if it’s possible to remove any that aren’t worth having to lower the cost of the policy.
For example, this may include avoiding the cost of cover abroad, if you don’t plan for the vans to be driven outside the UK.