Although van insurance and car insurance seem similar, there is a huge difference between the two. Cars are generally used for personal and social use. Whilst vans, which come in various shapes and sizes, are normally used for jobs that generally cannot be performed using personal domestic vehicles.
Vans (commercial vehicles) are usually used for the transportation of tools, equipment and machinery that is intended for use in professional business activities or for commercial purposes.
Before you take out a commercial van insurance policy, it is a good idea to evaluate the following aspects of your profession and the proposed van usage:
Assess the following:
- Purpose of the van
- Frequency of usage
- Value of the van
Apart from these primary questions you need to assess, there are also other factors that will affect the overall cost of your insurance policy:
- Model or make of the van
- Age of van
- Other specifications of the van
- Any past speeding penalties / points
- Driving experience
- History of any accidents or claims that might have been made on your van
- Any seating or storage modifications to the van
Common Types of Van Insurance
- Third-party only – A third-party only van cover is required by the law. It offers financial cover for damages caused to other people or their property in the event of an accident.
- Third-party, fire and theft – In addition to covering for third parties, this cover helps you recover costs associated with theft and fire damage to your van.
- Comprehensive policy – In addition to the above covers, this insurance policy provides full cover for any damages to your van in the event of an accident that is deemed as your fault.
Van Insurance Add-ons to Consider
- Trailers – It is a good idea to discuss with your insurance company if you are planning to use trailers for your van. If this is the case, additional cover may be needed for trailers as they would only be automatically cover Third Party Only. The additional cover will depend on the size and specifications of the trailer you require and what you are planning to use it for.
- Use of signage – Signage can be significant for some businesses as they increase the visibility of your brand and promote your business. If you are planning on investing a large amount of money on elaborate signage for your van, it is a good idea to discuss this with your insurance provider first, to check if you need to include additional cover to repair/replace any damage to the signage within your insurance policy cover.
- Use of racks or shelves – Some van owners need additional racks or shelves and need to get the van modified to facilitate these attachments, which can be a significant investment in some cases. You can opt to get additional financial cover for such racks or shelves so that you need not worry about their repair or replacement in the case of an accident.
- Breakdown assistance – Some insurance policies provide breakdown assistance in case your van has a breakdown. Check with your van insurance Ireland advisor if you have this cover included on your policy by default or if you need to add it.
- In-transit goods – If your business involves using the van for transporting tools, material or any other goods from one place to another, you can consider taking out additional cover for this. Having ‘goods in transit’ cover give you financial cover if the materials or goods are stolen or damaged during transportation.
- Insurance for tools – Similar to the above expensive tools that are stored in the van might need additional financial cover if they are very expensive. Some policies offer this add-on protection for specialist tools and equipment of high value.
Choosing the right insurance cover for your van is extremely important. Sourcing the correct cover for your specific requirements will allow you to be confident that you are adequately covered so that you can concentrate on other important things such as taking care of your business.