Choosing the right van insurance for your business

Most van insurance brokers offer three types of policy; to drive legally on UK roads, you will have to choose one of them.

The nature of your business and associated day-to-day activity will go a long way to dictating what level of van cover is suitable for your operation, whether that entails taking out a cheap van insururance policy just to keep your van legal or whether you consider your van critical to your livelihood, therefore upgrade the policy to the highest possible cover.

If you spend a lot of time on the roads you are, quite obviously, exposing your commercial vehicle to more opportunities of loss or damage than a driver who only uses his van periodically. The greater this risk, the higher the level of van insurance policy it is advised you take out to protect you and your business. For this, there is the comprehensive policy.

This policy has, over time, acquired the nickname ‘fully comp’, which can be misleading. Many tradesmen starting out in business assume that if you take out this type of van insurance policy you are covered for every eventuality. The reason that insurance brokers don’t use the ‘fully’ when referring to this higher policy is because, quite simply, you’re not.

Yes, it covers the majority of uses for your van in the business sense, but it may not cover you for using the van for personal use or protecting exceptionally high-value products that you may transport from time to time or travel to EU countries. If your van is to be used for any of these purposes, you are best enquiring with your broker (or ticking the appropriate boxes if applying online) when you first apply for van insurance.

Many van drivers have been tempted not to declare certain aspects because it has increased the premium, making their policy not as cheap as the other two types of van insurance on offer.  However, they have paid dearly for not coming clean from the outset when they have not been covered and have been faced with making a claim.

The same is true if your van is brand new – you want to protect your investment. If you have shelled out a considerable amount for the latest low-emmission commercial vehicle or upgraded to a larger capacity vehicle, you may be tempted to remain with your existing level of cover. You must remember, your van insurance is there not only as a legal requirement but it is their to protect your livelihood.

Generally, a comprhensive van insurance policy will cover you for the following instances:

  • Third party claims against you as a result of personal injury, property damage or vehicle damage
  • theft
  • fire damage
  • damage resulting from an acident
  • accident cover and subsequent medical costs
  • replacement of belongings as a result of theft, loss or damage.

For anything over and above, you may have to increase your cover to include ancillaries to the base product; third party policies covered in the next article.

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