Like all vehicles in the UK, having adequate insurance is a legal requirement and this rule is no different for van drivers. However, the fact that vans are typically used for business purposes means that insurers have a different range of factors to consider.
Different considerations can result in the overall cost of your van’s insurance premium being more expensive when compared to cover for a car because of how the vehicle is used and what materials may be stored in the van. In this article, we will explore what you should bear in mind when taking out a van insurance policy if you hope to reduce your premium.
The types of insurance cover
One of the first things you should consider is, what level of insurance you need?
- Third Party cover is the minimum cover a driver can take out by Law to drive on UK roads
- Third Party Fire & Theft covers the third party in the event of an accident and covers the vehicle owner for fire and theft
- Comprehensive cover is the only level of cover providing accidental cover for the policyholder’s own vehicle
Motorists typically opt for comprehensive insurance cover to protect the vehicle they use daily. Van owners are generally associated with a business. The bullet points above set out the three types of insurance cover so hypothetically speaking, comprehensive insurance cover would be the sensible option because in the event of an accident the cost of repairs or a replacement van would be covered.
As with any insurance policy, you should also consider how you are going to pay for your insurance. Paying for it annually is generally the cheaper option because by spreading the cost over monthly instalments you are signing up to a payment plan which will cost you more. It really does depend what is the best and most affordable option for you.
You should also consider whether the wealth of optional extras on offer are actually useful to you. There is no point in choosing additional breakdown cover or legal cost cover if you believe you don’t really need them. Choosing them will offer a greater range of cover, but will increase your policy premium
Choosing the right van
An insurer does take into consideration the make, model and engine size of a van as well as the drivers driving history to rate an application for insurance.
Generally, vans are bigger and more powerful vehicles, which is necessary to fulfil their commercial role, but the bigger and more powerful the vehicle the greater the risk. A question you need to ask yourself is what size of van do you need to complete your day to day tasks?
Increasing your van’s security
The primary reason why van insurance policies are more expensive is that vans generally store valuable items such as tools. Typically, this makes them a target for thieves so by increasing the security of your van so that it is as secure as it can be, benefits you and potentially the premium you are paying. This can be done in a number of ways;
- Install a more sophisticated lock and alarm system in addition to other devices such as an immobilisers and tracker. These tools could deter thieves and help to track down the van in the event that it is stolen.
Declaring the use of these devices to your insurer could reduce your premium.
- Where do you park your van at night? It is common knowledge that vans are more likely to hold valuable commodities, and if they are parked in an easily accessible place, then they are more likely to be stolen.
Where you declare you park your van will influence the cost of the premium. The more secure places such as garages can typically reduce the price overall. You should also consider declaring whether the van’s valuables will be removed overnight, which could lessen your van as a target for thieves and therefore your premium.
- Another way to deter potential thieves is by having specific business signage on your van. Having bright and clear information painted directly on your van will mean that any thief will be driving away with a vehicle that has your business’ name and details on it.
Not only will this aid the Police in tracking the van down, but before this happens it could act as a deterrent for any potential thieves. Taking a van with signage will ensure it stands out and makes it less attractive to thieves unless they want to respray the vehicle, this could be costly.
Provide accurate information
The final point to make when taking out any type of insurance is to always give accurate and correct information to the insurer so that they can provide you with a quotation and insurance cover that meets your needs.
Always keep your insurer updated with any changes to your personal circumstances or changes that will impact your insurance cover in the event of a claim.
It is essential that you shop around to find a competitive price for your van insurance cover, and the Be Wiser website is the best place to start.