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Van Insurance Guide
What level of cover should I opt for when I’m insuring a van?
As with car insurance, van drivers have three levels of insurance cover to choose from:
Third Party, Fire and Theft Fully
Comprehensive Van Insurance
Third party van insurance is the minimum level of cover required under UK law, and as such it’s sometimes slightly cheaper than the other two options. So if the premiums you’re being quoted for fully-comprehensive van insurance are particularly high (because you’re a young van driver, for instance, or because you require specialist van insurance), then it might be worth looking into third party van insurance, which in some cases could reduce your premium a little.
However, it is important to bear in mind that if you’re involved in an accident that was your own fault third party van insurance will only cover the cost of damage to the other driver’s vehicle, which would mean you’d have to pay to repair or replace your own van yourself.
In addition, the price difference between third party and fully-comp van insurance can sometimes be close to zero, since many insurance providers do take into account the fact that third-party cover has historically been favoured by drivers with weaker driving records. That’s why it’s a good idea to compare quotes for all three levels of cover and then opt for the policy that offers the most comprehensive coverage at the most competitive price.
Will my van insurance be cheaper if I’m using the van for private use?
Yes, private van insurance is usually cheaper than business van insurance, because when your van’s class of use is ‘social, domestic and pleasure’ you’re likely to spend less time on the road and clock up fewer miles than a van that is being driven all day long for business purposes.
However, it’s important to bear in mind that if you do opt for the ‘social, domestic and pleasure’ van insurance class of use you won’t be able to use your van for any type of commercial or business use – doing so could risk invalidating your policy, even if you only use it for commercial purposes very occasionally.
Does it cost more to insure a van that has been modified?
Yes, modified van insurance usually costs more than insuring a van that hasn’t been modified, either because the vehicle modification increases the risk of the van being involved in an accident or because they increase the risk of theft.
For instance, engine upgrades, performance enhancements or tinted windows could increase the chance of the driver being involved in a road traffic accident, while adding signage to your Transit van or Renault Trafic could increase the risk of the vehicle being targeted by thieves because it could lead them to believe there might be valuable tools inside.
In addition, some aesthetic modifications, such as specialist paintwork, can result in a higher insurance claim if the vehicle is ever involved in an accident.
Finally, commercial modifications such as the installation of roof bars or a tail lift, could increase the cost of your modified van insurance by adding enough weight to the van to push it into one of the higher van insurance groups.
Is it possible to take out black box van insurance?
Yes, some van insurance companies are beginning to offer black box van insurance, which could potentially reduce the premium for younger van drivers – provided they are safe drivers that obey the rules of the road, never speed and always comply with any curfews or other restrictions the policy imposes, of course.
Most commercial van drivers still tend to favour standard van insurance policies over black box policies, though, possibly because of the curfews, restrictions and limitations that some telematics insurance policies impose.
How can I find cheaper van insurance?
Firstly, don’t automatically accept your insurance provider’s renewal quote without using an insurance comparison website like BreakdownClub to compare quotes from a range of insurance companies, because you’ll often be able to find a much cheaper van insurance quote than your renewal price.
In addition, the following steps could also help to reduce the cost of insuring your van:
Making use of off-road parking: Vans that are parked off-road when they’re not in use have a lower risk of being damaged by a passing vehicle or targeted by thieves, so if you’re able to park your van in a garage or on a driveway this could result in cheaper commercial van insurance quotes.
Installing an alarm or engine immobiliser: If your van didn’t come with a manufacturer-installed alarm or engine immobiliser then installing these security features could lower the cost of your van insurance.
Avoiding other vehicle modifications: Apart from an immobiliser or alarm, most other van modifications run the risk of pushing your van insurance premium upwards.
Paying for the full year upfront: If you opt for a monthly payment plan you’ll usually pay more overall for your van insurance.
Agreeing to a higher excess: Agreeing to a higher voluntary excess could result in a slightly lower van insurance premium… although it’s important to bear in mind that this does mean you’ll have to cover a larger portion of the cost yourself if you ever have to claim on your insurance.