It’s a legal requirement to insure any vehicle you drive, but if you use your van for commercial purposes then your standard van insurance
won’t be enough. Taking out a business van insurance policy will ensure you are properly covered for your vehicle use. But how do you pick the right policy? And what should you know before you start looking?
What is commercial van insurance?
Commercial van insurance is for vans used for commercial or business purposes. It generally covers you for everything under a standard policy, but will also cover you where standard van insurance doesn’t make the cut. For example, it may help cover delivery of goods, or transporting your own tools and materials.
Do I need commercial van insurance?
Vehicle insurance is a legal requirement in the UK. This is true even if you are not driving your vehicle, unless you have registered and declared it as off-road.
A standard van insurance policy will cover the basics, but if you are using your van for business you will need additional insurance cover. It’s essential you insure your van properly. If it is wrongly insured and you have an accident or your vehicle is stolen, you won’t be covered and you will be considered to be driving without insurance.
Commercial van insurance is similar to standard van insurance, but it is designed to specifically meet the needs of your business. There are different types of van insurance available to meet the specific needs of your business.
What types of commercial van insurance are available?
The type of commercial van insurance you need will depend on how you are using your van. There are three main policies available:
- Own goods cover - With own goods cover you are insured to drive your van for business reasons whilst carrying goods such as your own tools, or your own goods which you intend to deliver. It can sometimes even cover you carrying stock from a wholesaler but you must check this in your policy.
- Hire and reward cover - A hire and reward policy is a legal requirement for drivers carrying people, or goods that don’t belong to them. It’s for single jobs such as furniture removal, rather than frequent deliveries.
- Courier and haulage policies - Under courier and haulage policies you are covered for transporting items over long distances.
Not all commercial van insurance policies cover goods-in-transit. This means you may wish to take out additional goods-in-transit insurance to cover anything you are transporting.
What level of insurance should I choose?
The level of insurance you will need depends on what you want your policy to protect. There are three standard types of cover:
- Third party only insurance is the minimum legal requirement for driving. It covers the cost of any damage you cause to another person, vehicle or their property as a result of your driving. It does not cover any damage to yourself or your own vehicle.
- Third party fire and theft includes third party cover as well as damage by fire or theft of your own vehicle. It sometimes also covers theft of non-business items from your vehicle.
- Fully comprehensive insurance covers everything above as well as any damage to your own vehicle.
Will I need additional cover?
Commercial van insurance covers the basics but there are a number of optional extras you may wish to add for more comprehensive insurance cover. Some of these include:
- Breakdown cover provides roadside assistance if your van breaks down. This can prevent a lot of stress if you rely on your van for your income!
- Courtesy van cover means that you will be given a temporary replacement vehicle while yours is in for repairs.
- Legal cover ensures payment of any legal costs that arise as a result of your driving.
- Wrong fuel cover includes the cost of repairs if you top up your van with the wrong type of fuel.
- Public liability insurance is a necessity if members of the public visit your business, or if you organise events that are attended by the public. It covers you in case anyone suffers an injury or damage to property as a result of your business.
- Employers liability insurance is similar to public liability insurance but it covers you if a member of staff injures themselves at work.
To make sure that your van is covered for everything you need, it’s best to compare van insurance
policies before you buy.