Van Insurance Guide

Why do I need van insurance?

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Van insurance premiums have increased as providers endeavor to recover the costs of uninsured drivers. According to the Motor Insurers Bureau (MIB), findings have shown that uninsured drivers are costing the UK insurance companies around £500 million each year.

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This coupled with record fuel prices means it is definitely worth shopping around to compare van insurance quotes to ensure you don’t pay more than you need.

It is illegal not to have van insurance

You will be liable for a penalty fine if you do not insure your van with a minimum of a third party insurance policy. Under the new CIE legislation, is a list of van insurance regulations that the government introduced which means that it is illegal to own a van that is not protected by a van insurance policy.

Unless you have made a Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN) that has been sent to the DVLA which declares your van as off-road then you will be liable for a fine. Exceptions to this new law are if the vehicle has been recorded as sold, stolen and not recovered, scrapped or in between registered owners.

Levels of van insurance cover

The level of van insurance will depend on the how much you are willing to pay. There are three types of policy: third party; third party, fire and theft and fully comprehensive.

Fully comprehensive: Fully comprehensive van insurance tends to be the most expensive level of insurance policy as it provides protection for damage to the van, property and yourself even if the liability for damage lies with you. Even though it offers a higher level of protection, it may not cover you for every eventuality which can include if your van breaks down. For this you may need to arrange for a separate van breakdown cover policy.

Third party: Third party van insurance is the least expensive of the three levels of insurance and is the basic minimum cover allowed by UK law. Third party van insurance is available at a cheap cost which can be useful if you don’t have the cash to pay for a greater level of cover or if the van which you choose to insure is not worth a lot of money.

In comparison to fully comprehensive van insurance, this policy will pay out for any damage to the victim who is involved in the accident. However, you will be liable for the costs of replacing or fixing your van in the event of damage to your van in an accident or theft of your vehicle.

As this level of cover only provides the absolute basic minimum of protection, it tends to be the cheapest van insurance policy available. However, it could be advisable to opt for a higher level of van insurance such as fully comprehensive or third party, fire and theft to minimise your risk.

Third party, fire and theft: Third party, fire and theft van insurance is the next policy level up from third party levels and offers you protection if your van is stolen or damaged in a fire.

This type of van insurance covers you in the event of an accident that was your responsibility. You will be covered for the damage you caused to another vehicle, their property, or if they are injured as a result and need to pay for medical treatment. For peace of mind when leaving your van unattended, this level of cover will also protect you from theft.

With this level of van insurance, it is worth noting that if your van is stolen then the insurer will expect you to pay out the first amount of any claim you place. This is known as your excess and if the present value of your van is nearly the same amount as your excess then you may not need to pay for the extra cover. As with all levels of van insurance you will be expected to pay out for the initial part of your claim.

Finding the best deal

When you are shopping around for your van insurance it is important that you consider there are different types of van insurances available on the market.

Our team at MoneySupermarket.com acknowledges that you may need an individual policy to suit your particular needs and we therefore offer specialist comparison pages for van insurance policies. These include young van insurance, van insurance for convicted drivers, courier van insurance and temporary van insurance.

Van insurance for young drivers

Research shows that as a younger driver, you are more likely to be involved in an accident which will result in a claim. Van insurance for young drivers’ under the of 25 therefore tend to be higher than older, experienced drivers and it pays to compare specialist insurance companies and quotes where you could pick up a cheap deal to ensure your personal safety on the roads.

However, there are a number of things that young drivers can do to cut the costs of their premiums. For more information visit our young driver van insurance page.

Van insurance for convicted drivers

When applying for a van insurance policy, providers will ask you to disclose any previous motoring convictions including any history of driving offences which you may have incurred.

If you have any previous motoring offences or convictions then by using a specialist van insurance company for convicted drivers you could reduce the costs of your premiums in comparison to taking out a policy with a standard insurance company.

It could pay to shop around for quotes from van insurance companies who specialise in this area to reduce your premiums. Visit our van insurance for convicted drivers page for more guidance on this area.

Courier van insurance

For courier van insurance, extra cover is important such as goods in transit protection plus employer’s liability cover which your company may need to operate. Obtaining the correct cover is vital to your business and courier van insurance premiums can prove costly.

It therefore makes sense to take the time to compare courier van insurance policies in order to make sure you are getting the right cover for your business.

Temporary van insurance

Temporary van insurance can be used whether you are moving home, offloading at your recycling tip or ferrying your children to University as not everyone needs a 12 month insurance policy which can work out as an expensive outlay.

Whether you are using the cover for one day or one month, for personal or commercial use then temporary policies may suit your needs.

As a business owner, temporary van insurance can save you money because you can use the cover when you need rather than paying for an annual policy. However, with temporary van insurance you cannot build up a no-claims discount although you will accumulate savings through the short term period you pay for.

Be aware that you must not exceed the allocated time period of your temporary van insurance which has been issued.

At MoneySupermarket.com, we aim to help you find a tailored and cheap deal to match your individual requirements. You can compare short term van insurance quotes online with our price comparison service.

Business and commercial van insurance

Business or commercial van insurance policies differ from personal cover and it is a necessity to choose the correct cover when transporting your products or tools. This type of cover is essential for all commercial drivers of trucks, heavy goods vehicles, coaches or minibuses. It will protect your business financially in the event of an accident or damage.

Commercial van insurance policies vary from provider to provider so it is worth tailoring your van insurance cover to suit your business needs and model.

Consider the commercial mileage you require, any additional named drivers and if you are parking your van at different locations as all these factors will be weighed up by the van insurance company before they provide you with a quote.

By using MoneySupermarket.com, you could find a cheap deal that will meet your company’s individual requirements at a reasonable price.

Before you shop around for cover...

Prior to obtaining your quote, you must decide what your van is to be used for when applying for an insurance policy.

Van insurance providers will factor in many key elements when supplying a quote such as the value and size of the van plus the costs of repair.

There are three different categories that you can choose from, when stating your van’s usage to the insurance company. Firstly there is carriage of own goods which means that your company will be using the commercial van to carry goods you own or other people’s goods in your area of business such as construction equipment or cleaning supplies and so forth. The van may also be used for personal use which could be to take a trip to the recycling tip over a weekend.

Haulage involves carrying materials or goods for a third party that will be paying you for that specific service. Premiums for this service tend to be higher and courier van services require this type of protection. It pays to compare quotes on a comparison site so you can ensure you get the best value deal.

Social domestic and pleasure only is a category for those whose usage does not include any work and generally is the cheapest type of van insurance but is limited in protection so before you decide on this category you have to make certain that you never intent to do any type of work with your van.

Optional extras

On all levels of cover, there are a number of additional van insurance add-ons that you can pay for to include in your policy and ensure you are fully protected. You should be aware that some of these may be included by your chosen insurer at no extra cost, so it is worth re-checking your policy for any duplication. It is essential to note that exclusions within your van insurance can sometimes prevent you from placing an insurance claim.

If you choose to buy van insurance add-ons then you should be aware that these will increase the price of your premiums.

Legal expenses: Optional legal expenses can be worth considering if as an insured van driver you are involved in an accident that is the fault of another driver as a standard insurance policy may not cover your losses. You can then pursue compensation from the third party for loss or damage to your insured van, damage to your personal property such as laptops or mobile phones and death or personal injury to yourself or your passenger. Also it will cover you for any other uninsured loss as a result of the accident, such as the recovery of your policy excess. 

Breakdown cover: Van breakdown cover can be considered an essential add-on when you weigh up the impact it could have on your business if you are relying on your vehicle for your commercial transport needs. This type of cover offers roadside assistance in the event of a breakdown so you can continue on with your intended journey although the premiums will be higher according to the type of assistance provided within the policy. It is advisable to check with your insurer if your van is eligible as some vehicles over a certain length, height or weight are not covered.

Cover options can vary from van insurance companies such as rescue, rescue and recovery, caravan or trailer cover plus European cover. There are also the options of rescue recovery and at home plus a level of cover that includes onward travel as well.

Once you have decided upon the add-ons you require then at MoneySupermarket.com we provide you with easy tools to compare cheap quotes for the type of extras on your van insurance you think you may need.

Insurance groups

The van insurance group which your vehicle is placed under by your van insurance provider can have an impact on your premiums. Van insurance groups are defined by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and when a new van model is on the market then it will be categorised under a number between 1 being the lowest insurance risk and 20 being the highest.

The groups are defined by the weight and size of the van as a larger, heavier vehicle is considered harder to drive and the repair costs will be more expensive. This type of van insurance group will inevitably have higher insurance premiums as it is a greater risk for van insurance companies to insure.

Value is another key factor that insurers consider when placing your van into a category, as the repair or replacement costs will be higher.

The security of your van will be assessed and if your van has alarms or an immobiliser fitted then it will be placed in a lower van insurance group. It is recommended that you buy an alarm system with an accredited company to ensure a higher level of security.

When choosing cheap van insurance if you are a younger driver or you have built up driving convictions then it makes sense to choose a lower van insurance group so you can benefit from reduced premiums.

Excesses explained

The compulsory excess you pay on your van insurance policy is the cash you will pay out in the event of making or having a claim made against you. Voluntary excess can be added onto your compulsory excess if you choose and can lower your premiums. However, you will have to pay out more money if a claim is made.

At MoneySupermarket.com you can set the level of compulsory and voluntary excess you wish to pay on your policy before comparing the deals available to you.

No claims discount

No Claims Discount (NCD) is a discount that your van insurance company will provide you with after a claim free continuous full year of insurance. This discount is only offered to the main policyholder and not to named drivers.

After each claim-free year, your van insurance provider will send you written confirmation of the number of years’ NCD you have accrued. This discount will then be applied to your premiums the next year and reduce the cost of cover.

How to minimise the cost of cover

In order to get cheap quotes from your van insurance insurer, there are a several essential tips and advice which Moneysupermarket.com offers to help you secure the best value deal. You can reduce the cost of your insurance premiums by shopping online on our comparison site to compare the best quotes for the type of individual cover you need.

Other ways to lower your premiums from your van insurance provider are to consider the level of cover you consider a necessity to suit your needs as cheap deals do not always pay. If you are a business owner then it is worth comparing fully comprehensive van insurance deals to protect and cover your business. Third party is the lowest minimum level of cover available on the van insurance market but will not protect your vehicle or yourself.

It is highly advisable to pay only for the van insurance cover you need and before you choose add-ons it is worth reading the policy’s small print to see if you are covered rather than wasting money on duplicate insurance products.

Securing your van with fitted anti-theft accredited devices is another route you can take to lower your van insurance premiums. You should also be aware of where you park your vehicle and choose a secure locked garage or private location to lower your risk for insurance premiums.

Capping the annual mileage can also help bring the cost down and is definitely worth doing if you don’t drive many miles each year. The reason for this is the more miles you clock up then the higher the risk you present to an insurer because you are more likely to be involved in an accident.

MoneySupermarket.com offers valuable guidance, tools and advice to help you compare competitive van insurance deals. Whether you need specialist insurance, commercial van insurance or temporary van insurance you can easily research the leading insurers online for cheap quotes on our comparison site. We will take the stress out of the minefield of van insurance providers to ensure you get the best policy to suit your particular needs.

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