Unless a vehicle is declared SORN (Statutory Off Road Notice) there’s a legal obligation to insure it, with a minimum of third party cover. But with so many options, policies and companies to choose from how do you know that you are getting the best deal? There is so much choice it could be that any cost saving gained from heavy research is lost when set against time spent shopping around.
VansA2Z aims to provide a few tips and pointers to help guide you through the myriad options; it does not matter if you operate a large fleet, are an owner/operator or sit somewhere in between, savings can be made.
Policy Specifics When shopping around for van insurance it is important to remember that there are different types of policy available: Third Party Only, Third Party Fire & Theft and Fully Comprehensive. Additionally, you may have to consider goods in transit, youngsters, convicted drivers, courier insurance and temporary van insurance.
We spoke to The Insurance Factory, a specialist UK motor broker which arranges cover for almost all van insurance, including for those who are self-employed, work in unusual occupations or/and have a history of claims or convictions. When it comes to buying van insurance, there is nothing to be gained from skimming over the details, according to Neil Brown, sales supervisor at The Insurance Factory. “You wouldn’t go into a shop and buy trousers that don’t fit, but all too often we hear of instances where people get insurance that doesn’t suit their commercial requirements. I can’t stress just how important it is to check exactly what your van is covered for; having the right policy is invaluable and there is nothing worse than putting in a claim to find that what you’re claiming for is not included.”
Goods in Transit Standard van insurance policies can often cover just the vehicle, but not the contents. This is where Goods in Transit cover comes into play. “If you’re a plumber with tools in the back of your van, it’s vital to have this type of cover.” adds Brown. “Without it, you could face paying a hefty amount out of your own pocket for new equipment.” Insuring around £1,000 worth of tools would cost around £49 a year and Goods in Transit add-ons can cost from as a little as £130 per £10,000 of cover.
Hire & Reward Each business has its own unique requirements and this is where talking to a specialist can really help. For instance, couriers and delivery drivers, unlike tradesman, need specific cover for carrying goods for hire and reward as the items being transported don’t belong to them. If no such cover is in place and a fully loaded van is stolen, a self-employed driver would have to pay to replace every item, which could be crippling to a business.
Public Liability Dealing with the public also presents its own set of risks for self-employed van drivers. Having protection is a must and any business-related accidents, injury or damage caused to a person’s property can be covered through a public liability insurance add-on, costing as little as £8 a month for up to £2 million cover. It can also come in handy if any goods are dropped on the way to or from the vehicle and injure a member of the public or their property, although this is sometimes covered as part of a Goods in Transit plan.
“Clear and accurate information allow us to source the best and most suitable policies for our customers, ensuring they are fully covered if something should happen,” says Brown. “False details or failure to mention particular things, especially in relation to an occupation or what a van is being used for, can render a policy useless.”
Under 25s Research proves younger driver drivers are a greater risk. Van insurance for young drivers under the age of 25 is going to be higher, but there are companies such as insure365 or The Van Insurer that offer specific products to this sector of the market.
Fleet Policies If your business has grown, it might be assumed that you have a number of policies representing all of your vehicles and now maybe the time to investigate bringing them all under one fleet policy. There are numerous advantages doing this, one of the main being that all of your drivers will be covered on any of your vehicles, plus it is only one renewal per year.
Quote Check List How many vans? What is the annual mileage? Convicted drivers? Young drivers? Goods in Transit? Should you mergePublic Liability Insurance? Replacement vehicles when existing ones are off road? Is breakdown cover required?
Whatever you are looking for, it is vital to get a policy to fit your specific needs. You may save more money having the right policy than by simply shopping around.
Direct Line for Business has developed a number of products and there is an extremely useful resource on its website worth checking out. Bewiser too has many van specific policies for both fleet and owner/operator, but as you will see from a quick Google search, there are many, many companies looking for your business. Don’t forget that when it comes time to negotiate a deal, you are in the driving seat.