Whether it is for personal or business use, the right van insurance policy will cover you for accidents and damage, as well as make sure you adhere to all UK legal requirements.
That being said, insuring a van can be more complex than insuring a car because there are so many choices depending on what it is used for.
This van insurance guide will look at the types of van insurance that are available if you need long-term or temporary insurance and the things that need to be considered when looking for a new policy.
What Does Van Insurance Cover?
Depending on the level of cover you take out on your van, it might include protection against theft, vandalism, damage, accidents, or personal injury.
Insurance will differ depending on your van use, whether for personal use, private business, or commercial use.
What Classifies A Van?
The first thing you might be wondering is what vehicles are classified as vans. This might seem obvious, but some insurers will have specific definitions that might impact the policies on offer.
Typically, the following specifications would classify a vehicle as a van:
- Vehicles with double cabs separate the driver and passengers from the car’s rear section
- Vehicles with pick-up beds
- Vehicles with no rear panel windows
- Modified vehicles that were previously vans
- Vehicles are designed for commercial purposes
- Vehicles that weigh over 1,000kg when carrying their maximum load
The following vehicles would typically be classed as vans for insurance purposes:
- Box vans
- Light vans
- Double cabin vans
- Single cabin vans
- Dumper trucks
- Pick-up trucks
Van Insurance Cover
As with all types of vehicle insurance, you will have to decide on the level of cover you want for your van. The van’s usage and purpose will often dictate the level of cover that would be advisable.
Fully comprehensive insurance
A fully comprehensive policy offers the driver the highest level of cover. This would include cover for any repairs, damage to property, or personal injury claims for the driver and any third party involved.
Third-party, fire, and theft
This level of cover would cover damage sustained by a third party and the theft of the vehicle or fire damage. It would not cover damage to the policy holder’s vehicle in an accident.
Third-party cover is the cheapest option and would only cover damage sustained by a third party.
Some options might be suitable for van drivers, including additional coverage for tools, contents, or breakdown cover when the vehicle is needed for work.
Van insurance types
As well as choosing the level of cover you will need for your van, the van’s intended use will dictate what type of cover is needed.
Business van insurance or commercial van insurance is a legal requirement for vehicles used for commercial purposes.
Any use of a van for work will require this type of cover, whether commuting or transporting equipment.
Your insurance provider will be able to advise further when you let them know about the commercial use. There will be different policies for different business uses, such as courier van insurance or trade.
Fleet van insurance or multi van insurance is an option for businesses with more than one vehicle used for commercial purposes.
Fleet van insurance will consider the van uses and the different models to provide a policy that is easier to manage than a number of individual policies.
Named driver policies are suitable for businesses with a smaller number of vehicles, and this will allow you to say exactly who will be driving the van.
Alternatively, businesses can opt for the more expensive ‘any driver’ policy to insure multiple drivers under the policy.
A private van insurance policy is an option for individuals that don’t use their van for commercial purposes. Many people drive vans for leisure, social, or domestic purposes, and this kind of policy will suit their needs.
Any commercial use will be prohibited, including carrying equipment or commuting to and from work.
If you rarely use your van or plan on renting or loaning one, temporary van insurance is a great option.
Temporary van insurance works in the same way that temporary car insurance does. Allowing the driver to fulfil their legal obligations without the expense of paying for a full annual policy.
Short-term van insurance is ideal for those moving houses or one-off trips requiring a larger vehicle to move something.
A classic van insurance policy will cover a vehicle that is 20 years or older, and this is often used for old or rare vans. If this is the case, agreeing to the van’s value before agreeing on a policy is advised.
What Is A Van Insurance Group?
Like with car insurance, van insurance providers consider several factors before providing a quote. For instance, the intended vehicle use, the driver’s details and history, and the van itself.
To make it easier for providers, vans are split into twenty insurance groups depending on their value, weight, size, performance, and the potential cost of repair or parts.
Things To Consider When Getting Van Insurance
It always makes sense to compare van insurance quotes to find the best deal for you. Van insurance costs will differ depending on a number of factors, including;
More secure vehicles reduce the risk of vandalism or theft. Steering locks, alarms, dashcams, and improved security systems can help you save money when getting private or business van insurance quotes.
One of the main factors that determine van insurance costs is the driver. Having a clean driving history will make a difference, as will the driver’s age.
Insurance providers will offer lower premiums to more experienced drivers. Drivers over the age of 25 should start to see this when receiving van insurance quotes.
Reducing your mileage can help to minimise van insurance prices. Getting a black box installed will help to prove to the insurance company how far you are driving, as well as show them that you are a safe driver that adheres to speed limits.
Voluntary excess is a great way to reduce van insurance premiums. Remember, if an accident occurs, you will have to pay this before the insurance is covered.
If you are able to store your van at night safely, this will help reduce van insurance premiums. Using a garage or lockup should help keep your van safe and make a difference.
Always stick to the maximum loads your van is equipped for, or it may invalidate a policy or make the vehicle dangerous to drive.
Ensure the licence you have allows you to drive the vehicle you are getting insured. A standard UK driving licence will enable you to drive a 3.5-tonne, rigid-axle van.
Always disclose any modifications the van has to the provider. Failure to do this could lead to the policy being voided and the driver receiving penalties for driving without valid insurance.
If you are travelling overseas, make sure your insurance policy covers you outside the UK.
Providers will have a list of prohibited van uses for their policy. GoShorty does not offer policies covering the transportation of hazardous goods, vans used as a minibus, or as a horsebox.