Drivers all know that every vehicle on the road must have insurance. If you’re a van driver then this requirement applies to you too – but do you need a special policy if you are going to be using your van for work purposes? In many cases, a commercial policy is essential, so here’s our guide to getting the best deal for you and your business.
If you are a van owner who is using their vehicle for social, domestic and pleasure only, then a standard car or van policy is perfectly adequate. But most van owners have a van precisely because they need it in connection for their job or business. Special Commercial Insurance or Business Insurance will cover you for all of those situations where you are using your van in the course of your work, such as making deliveries as a courier, driving to customers’ houses, or transporting goods back to a shop from the wholesaler.
Remember – having the right sort of insurance is a legal requirement. Even if your van is parked up and off the road for a substantial amount of time, unless you have formally declared it as off-road with the DVLA, it still needs insurance. If you opt for the often-cheaper standard policy and are involved in an accident while using your van on business, you won’t be covered and could be charged with driving without insurance too.
There isn’t just one type of business insurance for vans and other commercial vehicles. It’s your responsibility to make sure you have the right insurance for your vehicle, and for the activities you are using it for. The main categories of business van insurance are:
It’s also important to bear in mind that whatever type of insurance you take, you’re covering the vehicle only. You’re covered for the cost of repair if you have an accident. However, the goods being transported are generally not covered and you will have to arrange a separate goods in transit cover for that risk.
A commercial van policy will cover the risks to other road users and if you take out a fully comprehensive policy, also the costs of fixing your van too. Most insurers also offer additional extras which you can choose to take or not. The most common add-ons offered are:
Insurance companies set prices based on risk, and your commercial policy is no different. Some of the things your insurer will look at when coming up with your quote price are:
Despite the recent court ruling making it illegal for insurers to offer better prices to attract new customers, it’s always good advice to shop around for a better deal when it comes to renewing your commercial vehicle policy. Internet sites are generally pitched at the domestic car user, but some of the bigger insurers and the comparison sites will let you compare prices for vans too. Alternatively, go through a local broker who can access prices from an even wider range of insurers. Although keeping costs down is obviously a concern, remember that the cheapest policy isn’t always the best value.