What you need to know about van insurance – overview
The very first thing you need to know is that you always need to have van insurance, unless you don’t actually drive the vehicle. You can declare something called a SORN, which is a statutory off road notification, but you can only declare this if the van is kept on a driveway or garage and not in a public space. This means that you don’t have to pay tax or insurance.
Types of van insurance
As with all types of vehicle insurance, you have the option of three different types of cover – fully comprehensive, third party only and third party fire and theft. Fully comprehensive is just that – full cover for both you and a third party. Third party only covers the third party vehicle and any individuals in that vehicle, and third party fire and theft covers the third party vehicle and any individuals in that vehicle as well as your own van if you’re a victim of fire or theft. The level of cover you choose really depends on your budget.
What will my van insurance cost?
Costs really depend on a number of factors: where you live, the model of the van, how secure it is, whether you leave any tools or machinery in the van overnight, your occupation and whether you have any driving-related convictions. Your no claims bonus will also come into it – you can save up to 70% off of the overall cost of your insurance if you’ve built up enough no claims.
- Location: Where you live has a huge bearing on insurance costs. If you live in a village, for example, then your premium will likely be lower as your van will be less likely to be broken into
- Occupation: If you’re a professional driver, your premiums will likely be lower. But if you have a van for work, for example if you work as a brick-layer and regularly take tools to work, this may increase your premium slightly as there will be an increased chance that your van will burglarised. One way to get around this, and to reduce your premium, is to ensure that there are additional security measures in place, perhaps an alarm, an immobiliser, a steering wheel lock or simple a sign on the back of your van explaining that no tools are left in it overnight
- Experience and training: The longer you’ve been driving (without any claims or convictions) generally, the cheaper your insurance will be. If you have any additional training – maybe you’ve been on an advanced driving course, this will also help to drive down (see what we did there) your premiums
- Convictions: If you have any convictions related to driving, your premiums will be higher. Points on your license will also increase your premiums. Convictions not related to driving should still be declared to most insurers
- No claims bonus/discount: This one is pretty much related to your experience. For each year that you don’t make a claim, you get another years no claims bonus. Add ‘em all together and you get a discount. However, your no claims must be continuous – if you have four years no claims and then claim on your insurance, followed by two years no claims, you don’t have six years no claims, you have two – if that makes sense!
How can I make my van insurance cheaper?
A number of things can make your insurance premiums a little cheaper, but this does really differ from insurer to insurer. Some of the things you can do to reduce your premiums include:
- Security: Locking your van away at night in a garage, in business premises, or keeping it on a driveway will reduce premiums. Having an alarm, immobilizer or any additional security measures will also help
- Reduced mileage: If you use your van for work or to commute locally and drive 5,000mpa or less, it’s likely that you could claim for a limited mileage discount. Provided that you stick to mileage below that limit, your discount will apply. But if that limit is exceeded it may well invalidate your insurance so it’s really important to notify your insurer if it is!
Here at Devitt, we provide a number of top-up products to supplement your insurance. If you use your van for personal use, call our Quote Line on 0345 872 3614 or if you use it for business purposes, call our Commercial Team on 0345 604 3352 and we’ll be able to advise you on the additional products that may be suitable for you.
What will my insurer need from me?
All they really need is for you to be completely honest with them. If you withhold any information from them and later have to make an insurance claim, it could invalidate your insurance. If you give incorrect information by accident, it can also increase your premium when you call your insurer to correct it – so make doubly sure that everything is present and correct before you go ahead and pay for your insurance. In most cases, insurers will also need a copy of your driving license, proof of your no claims bonus, proof of your advanced driving course (if used for a discount) and proof of any security measures taken at the property.
What should I do if I have an accident in my van?
Call the necessary emergency services then give our Claims Line a call on 0345 872 3611 immediately, open 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
Insurers, brokers and comparison sites: what do I need to know?
It’s pretty simple. The insurer is the company that provides the insurance. They’ll pay out if you make a claim. Brokers find quotes from various insurers and then come up with something that works for you. Comparison sites, on the other hand (as you might have guessed) quite simply compare quotes and will more often than not provide you the cheapest quote. One downside of comparison sites is that they don’t include all insurers and may miss out quotes from some of the UK’s leading insurers.
If you need to know anything else, call our Quote Line or send us an email.