For many people, their van is their livelihood and a great asset that needs protecting with van insurance. Just like cars, vans need to be legally insured too and van insurance comes with four main types of cover: third party, third party, fire and theft, comprehensive and telematics. What type of cover you need will depend on what you use your van for – private or commercial purposes. It is a legal requirement to have adequate insurance in place and not adhering to this could be costly in terms of fines or even a driving ban. So, what do you need to consider before opting for a van insurance policy?
Type of Cover
Third party cover is the minimum level of insurance cover and will compensate for any damage caused by you to another vehicle but not the cost of repairs to your van. Third party, fire and theft includes the previous cover and protection from fire damage and if your van is stolen. Comprehensive comes with the most benefits but of course, comes at a higher premium.
Make and Model
The make and age of your van will also affect how much you pay for insurance. If you have a higher performance engine then expect to pay more as any repairs will clearly cost more. A brand-new van is much more attractive to thieves so expect to see your premium increase to cover this risk.
What will it be used for?
Your occupation will also play a part in determining your premium. Some jobs are considered riskier than others and insurance companies will also need to know how many people will have access to the vehicle and be driving it on a regular basis. Whether you are transporting your own goods, offering haulage for others goods or transporting goods for hire will have an impact on insurance decisions. Think carefully about whether you need private or business van insurance. There are different policies available for the carriage or haulage industries.
Adding security features can often prove beneficial in terms of lowering premiums as you are committed to making the van a lesser target for would-be thieves. Additional security features could include lockable toolboxes, upgraded deadlocks and slamlocks. Alarms and immobilisers should come as standard in newer vans but you can upgrade these. Advanced alarm and tracking systems are also available with the top of the range options featuring GPS tracking and multiple other systems to locate a stolen vehicle. They will even alert the police for you.
If you have a clear history with no claims then you’ll pay less than someone with a history of claims and accidents. Obviously, somebody who has shown previous recklessness or lives in a high theft area will be a riskier proposition for the insurance companies.
So, now you’ve decided exactly what type of policy you need, you’ll want to know how to get the best deals and where to look. Here are some tips on how to find the best possible deal for your specific van insurance requirements:
Buying insurance is never going to be fun and many of us simply lose the will to live so settle for the first one that seems reasonable. It’s easy to accept our present company’s renewal quote, however, with premiums on the rise, it might just pay to make the extra effort. Nobody wants to pay more when they don’t have to so do your comparisons and shop around because those who don’t can often end up paying hundreds more than they need to.
There are loads of online comparison sites that usually only require you to fill in one form and they will do the searching for you. Try to be as accurate as possible and then wait for the quotes to appear on screen and in your inbox. Not all insurance companies appear on the comparison sites so be sure to check out their websites too.
Increase your excess
By agreeing to pay a higher contribution to any repairs should the need arise, the insurance company can offer you a reduction in the cost of the premium. This will only work in your favour with newer vans as a lesser value van might not be worth the repair costs.
This is a small black box, a bit like a flight recorder, which monitors your driving habits. If you’re a careful driver, you will be rewarded with a discount on your insurance premium. Telematics check speed, how hard you brake and accelerate and the times of day that you drive the most. If you don’t mind the thought of Big Brother watching over you, it can significantly lower your payments once you’ve proved yourself a safe driver. Some policies even include coaching to support drivers who may show repeated signs of making errors in their driving.
If you don’t ask, you don’t get so don’t be afraid to haggle for a reduction in your premium. Compare like for like policies and then phone up a company you like the look of but has a higher premium cost. The insurance market is very competitive so you have the right to ask if they will consider price matching. It’s also worth seeing if you can transfer a no claims bonus from being an additional driver on another vehicle over to your new vehicle.
You can also save money by taking insurance cover from the same company for more than one of your insurance needs. For example, taking vehicle and home insurance through the same firm, can save you a significant amount. Some insurance companies also offer a multiple vehicle discount whereby another member of the family insures their vehicle with the company and everyone receives a discount. Win-win!
Money Media Group Ltd trading as TheMoneyDaily.com (can be found on the FCA register under number 779888) are an IAR of Seopa Ltd (trading as Quotezone). Seopa Ltd are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for insurance mediation under FCA registration number 313860.