Van Insurance Comparison Guide
It is a legal requirement to insure your van, but you shouldn’t always settle for a basic level of cover. Within this guide, we will be exploring the different levels of cover, how different factors such as car weight and performance, as well as optional add ons and important things to remember when taking out insurance on your van.
Who needs van insurance?
If you have a van, you need insurance. Whether you use it for personal use or for a business, just to pop down to the tip or to carry tools and supplies for your company, you need to make sure that you and your van are insured.
The different levels of cover for van insurance are usually the same as standard car policies. But with some additional questions about you and your vehicle, such as purpose of the van (commercial or personal), type of van, age of van, weight and load of van, to see which category your van fits best into.
Business vs personal van insurance
Often, standard van cover will not be enough for those using their van for business/commercial purposes. You will need to disclose what your van is being used for when quoting with insurers as costs and cover options will vary.
Most of those who own a van do so for a business. But 34% of van drivers actually use their vehicle for social purposes only, with the most common uses being moving house, camping while on holiday and also taking rubbish to the tip.
You must be honest about the purpose of your van, whether it is personal or commercial. If you need to make a claim it could put you in trouble if you said you use it for social only but are actually using it for your business.
What types of van insurance cover are available
There are three types of insurance levels available for your insurance, and, as mentioned, they are the same levels you have for cars.
- Third Party Only – this is the minimum level of cover available and you must at least hold third party insurance to legally drive. If you need to make a claim, then your insurers will only pay out to cover the damages to the third parties involved in any accidents. Your insurer will not pay out for any damages or losses you experience.
- Third Party, Fire and Theft – This level of cover builds on from Third party, with the addition of covering you against any damage to the vehicle caused by fire, theft, or attempted theft.
- Fully Comprehensive – This is the highest level of cover you can get and includes all that Third Party, Fire and Theft does, with the added bonus of covering you as well, meaning your insurer will pay out for the cost of any repairs to your vehicle caused by accidental or criminal damage.
What causes a more expensive van insurance premium?
There are a few factors which can impact the overall cost of your van premium. When you contact an insurer to get a quote for your van insurance, they will be following certain categories to determine the cost of your van insurance.
If you haven’t bought your van yet, then take a moment to consider the following, as they can give you a better idea of the different factors which will affect your insurance premium.
- Engine size – The bigger your engine, the more powerful the van is, the more expensive your premium will be. Take the time to consider the size of your van, could you opt for a smaller van with a smaller engine?
- Security – if you have additional security features installed on your van, this usually brings down the cost of your premium, as you are less likely to claim for theft.
- Performance – How fast can your van go? How powerful is your van? Faster vans are statistically more likely to be involved in a claim, so this can drive up the cost of your insurance.
- Weight – The heavier the van, the more expensive your premium will be.
- Repairs – The cost of spare parts to repair your van can impact the cost of your insurance, as if you are in an accident, then your insurer may be required to cover these repair costs… including those costly parts.
Optional add ons
When taking out insurance on your van, you should be sure to consider those optional add ons. They are at an additional cost, but they could help you out when you need it most.
Different insurers will offer different add ons for your insurance. The most include: legal cover, breakdown cover, optional courtesy vehicle, employers liability cover, contents cover (tools, and goods in transit), windscreen cover, additional driver cover, and also public liability cover.
It’s important to consider these add ons, as ones like contents cover can help out tradespeople if your tools or goods are stolen from your vehicle. If you use your van for personal use, then a courtesy vehicle can help you out in a pinch if you are without you van.
Remember to check the terms of these optional add ons as they can all vary significantly with each insurer.
Van Insurance comparison
Van insurance premiums can vary depending on a variety of factors, including optional add ons, tool cover, and they also take into consideration your personal driving history too. It is impossible to find a cost for each type of van insurance, so instead, we are looking at different insurers, what type of cover levels they offer and their optional add ons, including tools and goods cover.
|Third Party||Third Party, Fire and Theft||Fully Comprehensive||Optional Extras||Goods in transit cover?||Tool cover?|
|Axa||Yes||Yes||Yes||Protected no claims discount, motor legal cover, breakdown cover & trailer cover||No||No|
|Post Office Money||Yes||Yes||Yes||RAC Breakdown cover, motor legal cover, keycare cover, tools and van contents cover||Yes, as an optional extra||Yes, as an optional extra|
|Direct Line||No||Yes||Yes||Protected no claims discount, breakdown cover, replacement vehicle & motor legal cover||No||Included only within comprehensive cover (up to £500), not as an optional add on|
|Admiral||Yes||Yes||Yes||Hire vehicle cover, personal injury, motor legal protection, breakdown cover, and goods and tools cover||Yes, as an optional extra||Yes, as an optional extra|
|Aviva||No||Yes||Yes||Motor legal cover, breakdown cover, no claims discount protection, courtesy car, driving in foreign countries and motor injury protection plus||No||Included only with comprehensive cover (up to £500)|
|LV||No||Yes||Yes||Motor legal cover, hire car, increased person accident cover,breakdown cover, and protected no claims discount||No||No|
|Churchill||No||Yes||Yes||Motor legal expenses cover cover, vehicle replacement cover, tools in transit cover, RAC recovery, excess protection and key care||No||Yes, as an optional extra (two cover options available up to £2,500 and also up to £5,000)|
|A Plan||Yes||Yes||Yes||Tools insurance, goods in transit, breakdown cover||Yes, as an optional extra||Yes, as an optional extra|
|RAC||Yes||Yes||Yes||RAC breakdown cover, tools in transit cover, replacement van cover||No.||Yes, an optional extra (up to £1,000, £2,500, £5,000 – tools only)|
Most standard van insurance covers will not include cover for contents, goods in transit or tools. They may include these under a separate cover, or even public liability or business insurance. If you are looking to cover the goods or tools in your van, whether personal or business, it is worth considering insuring these just in case of theft or damage. Be sure to check each individual insurers terms and conditions when relating to goods or tool cover, as they may have certain stipulations in place, such as they will not cover you if the goods or tools are left in the van overnight, or if your van is not parked on a drive overnight.
If you currently have insurance on your van, you can check with your insurer to see what is currently covered in terms of goods in transit and also tools. If they aren’t covered, then enquire to see how much it would cost to insure and their terms, such as hours that they cover you for, as some insurers will only cover you during certain parts of the day and demand you remove your tools overnight.
Goods in transit cover
If you are delivering or handling any goods or materials and want them protected at all costs, you will need goods in transit insurance. By having this additional cover, it means that if you make a claim, insurers will pay out to cover the contents of the van if it is stolen or damaged.
Remember to check the terms of the goods in transit insurance, as some insurers will only cover the goods during the day and demand that goods are removed over night. Read carefully over the terms to make sure you understand exactly what is and isn’t covered.
Many tradespeople leave their tools and equipment in the van overnight, although it isn’t always the safest option, it still doesn’t stop people from doing it. It is risky to do if your tools are uninsured, as theft numbers have skyrocketed over the years, with 23,859 incidents of tool theft from commercial vehicles occurring in 2017/18, and if you are uninsured, then you won’t get a pay out to cover your stolen tools.
Tradespeople spend years building up their tool kit, picking up various tools over their career, and they can be worth thousands of pounds. Do not risk it – insure your tools today. You can include this as an optional add-on with most insurers, but it is not included in your standard insurance. To help understand tool cover better, take a look at our Tool Insurance Comparison Guide.
Other things to remember
As part of any insurance application process, it’s important that you are honest and as accurate as possible with your quote, including disclosing the sole purpose of the vehicle. If you are dishonest, then it could affect your ability to make a claim.
We all know that a higher excess means a cheaper insurance cost. But it should also be a realistic and affordable cost, as this is what you will need to pay out per claim you make. If you commonly make claims, it’s best to keep this as low as possible, so that you avoid paying out more money than your insurance is actually worth.
If you are moving from a car to a van, remember to check about your no claims bonus, as sometimes this can be transferred to a van. Having a no claims bonus can make a massive difference to the cost of your insurance premium.
If you are keeping your car and buying a van, some insurers will also honour the no claims discount on both your car and your van. It is always worth checking with your existing car insurance provider to see if they will offer this to you.
When estimating your annual mileage for your insurance quote, you should try and quote as close to your actual mileage as possible, and also allow for some extra miles. The fewer miles you spend on the road, the cheaper your insurance will be, because there is less of a chance of you being involved in a crash and ultimately claiming. You could unknowingly be overestimating your mileage and paying more for that in your insurance premium. Look back over your MOT report as these will state your annual recorded mileage.
How big is your van? Does it need to be that big? How much will you be carrying around with you? If you’re buying a van, now is the time to consider the amount of items you will be carrying in the back. A larger van will ultimately cost more to insure as it means a bigger accident risk. If you’re only doing small jobs, then maybe consider a car-van as an alternative. To help you decide, take a look at our guide to choosing the right van for your business.
Increasing your van security can also play a big part in reducing your insurance premium. If you make any security alterations to your van, such as additional locks or alarms, then let your insurer know and be sure to include this in your quote.