Van Insurance Guide

Why do I need van insurance?

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Insuring your van is a legal requirement, but a standard policy might not always be enough – here’s what you should know about taking out van insurance

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What is van insurance?

Van insurance is a type of insurance you take out to cover yourself and the van(s) you’re driving against a number of risks, similar to how car insurance works.  

Do I need van insurance?

It’s a legal requirement to insure your vehicle, whether it’s a van, car, or motorcycle – if it’s with the minimum level of cover available.

What does van insurance cover?

The coverage you’ll get with your van insurance policy will depend on the type of policy you take out. Van insurance works in a similar way to car insurance in that you’ll usually be able to choose from three levels of cover:

  1. Third party: A third party only policy means you’ll be covered for any damage you cause to another person, their vehicle, or their property as a result of your driving. It won’t cover any damage to your own van
  2. Third party, fire, and theft: Third party, fire, and theft cover includes everything in third party, as well as any damage caused to your van resulting from fire or theft
  3. Fully comprehensive: Fully comprehensive van insurance will cover you for everything mentioned above, as well as insuring you for the cost of repairing any accidental damage

Fully comprehensive is on average the cheapest van insurance policy at £949 a year

What extras can you get with van insurance?

When you take out van insurance, you’ll be able to add a number of extra policies to boost your level of cover:

  • Breakdown cover: If your van breaks down on the road, having breakdown cover means you’ll be able to get help to continue your journey and get your van repaired
  • Courtesy vehicle: Often included as part of breakdown cover as well as vehicle insurance policies, this will give you access to a replacement vehicle while yours is being repaired
  • Legal cover: This can cover any legal costs that arise after an accident that wasn’t your fault
  • Public liability cover: Public liability cover can cover you for any costs if a member of the public is injured as a result of your actions
  • Employers’ liability cover: Similar to public liability cover, employers’ liability insurance can cover you against claims of negligence by your employees – this can be useful if you use your van for business and employ other people
  • Tool cover: this can also be especially useful if you use your van for work, as it can cover you for the cost of replacing your tools if they are damaged or stolen
  • Windows and windscreen cover: some insurers offer specific policies for window and windscreen damage, while others may include it as standard
  • Personal belonging cover: Adding a personal belonging policy can cover you if any of your possessions are stolen or damaged while in your van, but it’s best to keep an eye out for exclusions such as security requirements
  • Wrong fuel cover: This can cover you for repair costs if you accidentally top up using the wrong type of fuel
  • Lost keys cover: This can help you pay for the cost of getting a new set of keys if you lose yours
  • Multi-van cover: Many providers offer multi-van cover, which lets you cover two or more vans under a single policy
  • Additional drivers: Most providers will also let you add extra drivers to your van insurance policy so they can drive any vans you’ve insured

How much does van insurance cost?

When you take out a van insurance policy, your insurer will usually calculate your premiums using the following:

  • Your van: Some details about your van will influence your premium costs, including the make and model, size, age, and any modifications you’ve made
  • Your driving history: If you have a history of convictions, driving or otherwise, or you’ve made a number of previous claims on automobile insurance, this can cause your premiums to go up
  • Your policy: Providers will charge different amounts for third party, fire, and theft, and fully comprehensive policies, while adding extras to your cover is also likely to increase the cost of cover
  • Your age: Younger or inexperienced drivers are seen as higher risks of claiming on insurance policies, therefore insurers usually charge more in premiums

Van insurance can cost over £2,500 a year for drivers under 20

How can I reduce the cost of van insurance?

You might be able to reduce the cost of your van insurance policy by:

  1. Paying more excess: An excess payment is the amount you contribute towards your claim before your insurer covers the rest. Paying more voluntarily can help reduce your premiums
  2. Choosing a smaller van: Bigger vans with more powerful engines are usually seen as a higher risk of being involved in an accident as they are generally harder to drive, so opting for a smaller van could help you cut costs
  3. Getting telematics: Taking out a telematics or black box insurance policy means your insurer will install a black box in your van. This monitors your driving habits, and many telematics policies will offer cheaper premiums as a reward for sensible driving habits
  4. Don’t drive so much: Providers will often ask for an estimate of how much you’ll be driving your van, as the longer you spend on the road the higher your chances of having to claim. The lower your estimated mileage, the lower your premiums are likely to be as a result
  5. Install better security: Installing immobilisers on your van as an extra anti-theft measure can reduce the risk of it being stolen, and insurers might therefore reduce your premiums as a result
  6. Park in a garage: Keeping your van in a locked garage can also help prevent theft, leading to lower insurance premiums due to the reduced risk of you having to claim
  7. Pay annually: Some insurance companies offer lower premiums if you pay annually for cover – though this isn’t always the case so it’s best to check first
  8. Take a driving course: In some instances you might be able to get a discount on some van insurance policies if you take a driving course, but this is not often the case. It’s best to ask your insurer if there are any courses they recommend that could help

Van drivers over 36 usually pay less in excess fees than those younger

Do I need specialist van insurance?

You might find a standard van insurance policy won’t offer enough coverage, or might not be affordable in certain circumstances:

  • Young drivers: It can be harder for young drivers – drivers under 25 – to find affordable van insurance. This is because insurers generally see younger or inexperienced drivers as more likely to get into an accident, and therefore a higher risk of claiming on a policy
  • Convicted drivers: Likewise for drivers with convictions on their record, whether they’re for driving or not, premiums can be quite high. Some insurers offer specialised policies for drivers with convictions, and some may offer affordable cover as long as you stick to certain guidelines
  • Temporary van owners: If you need to insure your van for less than a year, you might benefit from short term or temporary van insurance. It can be useful if you’re renting a van for a short time, such as moving furniture to a new home
  • Business van owners: A standard van insurance policy won’t cover you if you use the van for business, whether it’s for haulage or courier services or for carrying your own business-related goods. You’ll need to take out a specialised business van insurance policy to be insured to drive the van for business – depending on the exact nature of your work, you can choose from:
  • Haulage and courier: A haulage or courier policy is for transporting items over long distances – think of branded delivery trucks
  • Hire and reward: Hire and reward policies are more suited to one-off jobs such as furniture removal
  • Own goods: A carriage of own goods policy insures you to drive your van while carrying your own work-related goods

Unusual van owners: If your van has been modified or falls into the category of an unusual van – for example a pick-up truck or an ice-cream van – it might not be covered under a standard insurance policy

Pick-up truck insurance costs on average £976 a year

What are van insurance groups?

Van insurance groups are how insurers categorise different vans, which they use to help determine how much your van insurance premiums will be. They work in a similar way to car and motorcycle insurance groups – you can read more about them with our guide.

Compare cheap van insurance quotes

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

You can browse through the different deals and compare them by price, level of cover, excess fees and any additional policies available. Once you’ve found the right quote, just click through to the provider to finalise your purchase.

Remember as with all insurance, the cheapest policy isn’t always the best. We recommend that you go for a balance between cost and coverage, so you know you’re paying the right price for the right insurance policy.

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