Business van insurance

Do I need business van insurance?

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Insuring your vehicle is a legal requirement, but standard cover might not be enough if you use your van for commercial reasons – here’s how a business van insurance policy can help

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So how do you pick the right business van insurance policy for your needs, and what should you know before you start looking?

What is business van insurance?

Business van insurance is a type of insurance policy you can take out for your van if you use it for commercial or business reasons. It generally covers you for everything a standard policy would, but business van insurance can also offer cover where a standard policy wouldn’t apply – for example, if you’re delivering goods as a courier.

Do I need business van insurance?

Insuring your vehicle is a legal requirement in the UK, whether it’s a car, a motorbike, or a van. This is true even if you don’t use your vehicle, unless you’ve registered and declared it as ‘off-road’.

However, a standard van insurance policy won’t cover you if you use your van for business. This means you won’t be covered if you have an accident or if your van is stolen as you won’t be insured for using the van for business purposes.

What types of business van insurance can I get?

The type of business van insurance you’ll need to take out will depend on the commercial reasons for which you use your van. For example:

  • Own goods: carriage of own goods covers you for driving your van for business reasons while carrying goods such as tools for your own trade, your own goods that you intend to deliver, or even stock from a wholesaler
  • Hire and reward: a hire and reward business van policy is legally required if you use your van to carry goods, or people, that don’t belong to you, in return for a payment. This kind of policy is generally suited for single jobs, such as furniture removal, rather than frequent deliveries
  • Courier and haulage: courier and haulage business van policies cover you for transporting one or more items over long distances – for example, branded delivery trucks you see on motorways

Keep in mind that not all commercial van insurance policies will cover the actual goods you are transporting – instead, they may cover you for driving the van that contains these goods. This means you and your van will be covered if you have an accident, but the goods you’re transporting may not be if they become damaged.

It’s best to always ask your insurer what the cover applies to, as you may need a goods-in-transit policy to cover the items in your van.  

What does business van insurance cover?

The extent to which your business van insurance policy will protect you depends on the level of cover you take out. As with car insurance, van insurance offers:

  • Third party: this is the minimum legal requirement to be able to drive. It covers the cost of any damage you cause to another person, their vehicle, or their property as a result of your driving, but it won’t pay out for repairs for your own vehicle
  • Third party, fire, and theft: this includes everything covered in a third party policy, as well as fire damage to your vehicle, theft of your vehicle, and theft of non-business items from your vehicle
  • Fully comprehensive: this covers everything in third party, fire, and theft, as well as any other damage done to your vehicle – whether it was your fault or not

What optional extras can I get with business van insurance?

Business van insurance policies can offer some or all of the following extras:

  • Tools in transit: covering the cost of any tools you keep in your van if they’re lost, damaged or stolen
  • No claim discount protection: preventing your premiums from going up if you make a claim on your policy
  • Breakdown cover: your insurer will pay for roadside assistance if your van breaks down (not always included as standard) – read more with our guide to breakdown cover
  • Courtesy van: you’ll be given a temporary replacement vehicle while yours is in for repairs
  • Legal cover: ensuring that you’ll be covered for any legal costs that arise as a result of your driving
  • Wrong fuel: covering the cost of repairs if you top up your van with the wrong type of fuel
  • Personal belongings: your insurer will pay out if any of your belongings kept in your van are lost, damaged, or stolen – though this may exclude items used for business, unless you have a commercial policy
  • Windows and windscreens: covering the cost of window and windscreen repair (not always included as standard)
  • Lost keys: if you lose your keys your insurer will pay out for the cost of replacing them
  • Sat nav and entertainment: cover for sat navs and entertainment systems is not always included as standard due to limits on the value of items you can claim for – it is usually available at an added cost
  • Use abroad: cover for using your van abroad can be useful if you conduct some or all of your business overseas. Keep in mind that in the case of a no-deal Brexit, you’ll need to carry a ‘green card’ with you to prove you’re insured when you drive in Europe – read more about how Brexit might affect your motor insurance

How much does a business van insurance policy cost?

The premiums you’ll pay for a business van insurance policy will depend on a number of factors, including:

  • Voluntary excess: when you make a claim on your insurance, you’ll usually have to pay an excess – this is the amount you’re expected to pay towards a claim before your insurer will cover the rest. While part of the excess is compulsory, you may also have the option of voluntarily paying more – and the more you choose to pay, the lower your premiums are likely to be (just make sure you could afford the excess if you had to claim)
  • Type of van: the bigger your van, the more you can expect to pay for business van insurance
  • Type of business: some industries or areas of business may carry higher risks than others, so you may have to pay more for cover if your work is seen as dangerous
  • Additional drivers: you’ll generally be able to add people onto your business van insurance policy, however your premiums will almost certainly rise for each driver you add
  • Claims history: the more claims you’ve made on motor insurance policies in the past, the higher your premiums are likely to be – this is because insurers will judge you as a higher risk
  • Driving habits: you’ll need to tell your insurer how much you expect to drive your van, including details about mileage and possibly even where you’ll take your van
  • Storage: where you store your van overnight will also influence the cost of your business van insurance policy. For example, keeping your van in a garage is likely to be safer than on the street, so this would reduce your risk of claiming and cut your premium costs
  • Security features: adding extra security features to your van can lower your premiums as it reduces the risk of your vehicle or its contents being stolen

Compare business van insurance policies

Comparing quotes on MoneySuperMarket is the easiest way to find a better deal on your business van insurance. All you need to do is tell us a little about yourself, your van, your business, and your driving history, and we’ll show you a list of quotes tailored to your needs.

You’ll be able to compare deals by key factors such as cost, level of cover and the excess you’ll pay if you claim. Once you’ve found the deal you want, just click through to the provider to finalise your purchase.

Keep in mind that the cheapest policy isn’t always the best – it’s better to look for a balance between price and the level of cover you need. This way you won’t end up paying too much for cover you don’t need, or being stuck without the cover you do need just to save a few pounds.

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