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Vans and cars are – broadly speaking – intended to do two different things, and your insurance coverage needs will reflect that. In addition to transporting people, vans are also used to move goods, equipment and machinery, and come in a wider variety of shapes and sizes.

Itemise your needs

When you are shopping for commercial van insurance, you’ll need to note down exactly what you need and what you plan to do with it. Then you’ll have a clear understanding of what your insurance needs to provide.

Ask yourself:

  • What will you be using the van for?
  • How often will you use it?
  • How much is the vehicle worth?

Once you have answered these questions, there are other non-negotiable factors that will affect the overall cost of your insurance policy. These might include:

  • The make and model of the vehicle
  • How old it is
  • The specification of the van
  • Any speeding penalties or points on your licence
  • How much driving experience you have
  • The history of accidents or claims made on the van
  • Any seating or storage modifications made to the vehicle

Choose your level of cover

One similarity with insurance coverage for cars is the levels of insurance available, namely: Third-party; Third-Party, Fire and Theft; and Comprehensive. Third-party only is the minimum required by law. It provides financial cover for damages caused to other people or their property in the event of an accident. Third-party, fire and theft offers the additional benefit of covering the recovery costs associated with theft and fire damage to your vehicle. Comprehensive cover offers all of the above, plus full cover for any damages to your van in the event of an accident that is deemed to be your fault.

Things to check with your insurer

  • Depending on your line of work, there will be various add-ons that you might need to include in your cover. Discuss with your insurer if you plan on using any of the following:
  • Trailers – additional cover may be needed, depending on the size and specifications of the trailer and what you plan to use it for.
  • Signage – advertising your business on the side of your van can be great for drumming up new trade.If you are planning on investing a lot of money on elaborate signage, talk it through with your insurer as you may need additional cover if it’s damaged in an accident.
  • Racks and shelves – you may need to modify your van to stay organised and productive at work. This can represent a significant investment, so again opt to get this covered in your policy so you don’t need to worry about replacing or repairing them following an accident.
  • Breakdown assistance – some providers offer breakdown assistance as standard, so you don’t need to take out separate cover, therefore saving you money.
  • In-transit goods – Coverage for the body of your van won’t help if the contents are damaged. Having ‘goods in transit’ cover protects you if the materials or goods are stolen or damaged during transportation.
  • Tools and equipment – as with goods you may be transporting, any tools you store in the van might need additional cover on your policy. These will be fundamental to your ability to work and may be expensive to replace, so do check if your policy offers this add-on protection for specialist tools and equipment of high value.

Get help to check the fine print

Choosing the right van insurance policy that meets your specific requirements is crucial. Having confidence that you are adequately covered leaves you free to concentrate on the important work of taking care of your business. Working with an insurance broker such as Britton Insurance is a simple and time-efficient way to get the best coverage – including add-ons – at the best price.