Van Insurance – Protecting Yourself And Your Business

July 11, 2017 · Posted in General 

Operating a company vehicle means a completely different approach to insurance. For van drivers, a van insurance policy that protects themselves, their vehicle and their business means searching for specialist insurers who understand the specific needs of van drivers.

The definition of van insurance.
Like any other road-going vehicle, you need insurance to be able to operate your van on the highways of the UK. The first thing to remember is that van insurance is specifically designed to insure vehicles that are designed to carry goods and less than four passengers. Some van insurance companies also specify the van’s weight capacity (sometimes no more than 3.5 tones GVW) or may exclude what are known as ‘lifestyle’ vehicles that can also double up as utility or leisure vehicles. So the first thing to look for is a van insurance provider who will cover your vehicle.

Van insurance also may have more restrictions on who can drive the vehicle, such as only the insured driver or drivers who are over the age of 21. So if you have a young driver on your fleet, it may be worth looking for an insurance provider who will cater for drivers under 21. Also remember that van insurance has some fairly strict definitions as to what the van can be used for. If you also use your van for private use such as commuting to and from your place of work or for personal use outside working hours, you will need to make sure that your van insurance policy also allows you to use the vehicle for social, domestic and pleasure use. If it doesn’t have this addition and you have an accident outside your normal working routine, your insurance may not cover you for damage to either your own vehicle or to a third party.

What about my tools?
One of the biggest worries for drivers looking for van insurance is whether their tools will also be covered in the event of the theft of the vehicle, for example. Many van insurance providers do not cover the contents of a vehicle, particularly if your trade is classified as ‘manual’, so you may need to consider separate insurance to protect your tools. Some insurers are now including contents insurance on vans, so it’s worth checking around to find a deal that has this as an optional extra. Be prepared to pay more, though, for your overall van insurance if you do include this.

Because of the high mileage that van drivers do in the course of their business, there is more chance statistically of being involved in some kind of road traffic incident. This is why van insurance is usually comprehensive, and costs a little more than an average car insurance policy. There are also often restrictions as to what type of business you can use the van for. Commonly, industries such as entertainment are excluded from van insurance policies, so it pays to check the small print, otherwise you could find that your occupation negates your insurance policy and you are, in fact, driving while uninsured. This is a criminal offence and could result in a hefty fine or even the van being impounded by the Police.

Finally, as with the vast majority of motor insurance policies, the better your vehicle security arrangements, the lower your premium. For van drivers, garaging a vehicle may be impractical or even impossible. To reduce your van insurance premiums, it may be a good idea to fit your company vehicles with a tracking device. Insurers consider this to be an excellent deterrent to thieves, and consequently reward drivers who have their vehicles ‘low-jacked’ or fitted with tracking devices. It also enables you to know exactly where your van is at all times, and can help the Police to recover your vehicle much more quickly in the event of it being stolen.

 

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