Do You Know What The Perfect Van Insurance For Your Vehicle Is?
Van Insurance has been a legal requirement since the Road Traffic Act (1930) was introduced by the Government for every motorist. As a road user in the UK, you are legally obliged to be insured against the possibilities of injuring another person or causing damage to their property. Anyone caught driving a vehicle without Van Insurance could receive a heavy fine or a driving ban or a complete seizure of their vehicle. The only exclusion to this is for those that have acquired a Statutory Off Road Notice (SORN) in which case, you are not required to take out a Van Insurance however, the vehicle must not be used or stored on the public highway.
It is imperative to buy Van Insurance which provides a holistic cover as vehicles, especially vans, are mostly prone to thefts and burglaries because of the kinds of goods they carry within them. The Police Crime Survey of 2011-12 in England revealed that approximately 47,000 commercial vehicles were stolen in the UK every year, of which only 38% could be recovered. What’s more, the majority of vans were stolen from residential areas at night which is of importance to most van drivers.
Types of Van Insurance
Typically, there are four main types of Van Insurance available comprising of different levels of cover. They are;
Telematics calculates the premium based on the driving habits and the mileage covered. The insurance providers fit a black box or a mobile phone app which calculates the amount of premium for the customers. Telematics is a growing area of Van Insurance cover.
Third Party Only
The TPO (Third Party Only) is the most basic Van Insurance Cover available in the market and the minimum level of cover required by law. This covers damage to someone else’s property, liability for causing injury to passengers or others and coverage against liability whilst towing a trailer or a caravan. One of the major exclusions is that it does not cover you if you have caused damage to your own vehicle.
Third Party Fire and Theft
The TPFT covers everything which the TPO covers, including the theft of your own vehicle and any consequent damage caused and any damage caused due to fire.
This type of Van Insurance is the highest and the most extensive cover. Apart from offering everything which the Third Party Fire and Theft coverage offer, the Comprehensive policy also takes care of any loss or accidental damage to your vehicle, medical expenses and other personal effects and certain additional coverage such as windscreen cover. Some insurance companies offer a less expensive version of the Comprehensive Policy, often known as ‘stripped down’ policies, which will give comparatively lesser protection with certain coverage, for example windscreen cover could be excluded.
Commercial and Private Van Insurance
Depending upon the nature of the usage of your van, you will require either a Commercial or Private Van Insurance cover. You will need the former insurance if you drive your van for personal and social reasons, such as family excursions and trips, running errands and participating in activities. In the case where your van is being used for business or driving around to earn income, you will need to take out a Commercial Van Insurance.
Factors which affect your Van Insurance Premium
There are a few important aspects which your insurer will consider before calculating an insurance quote for you. They will look into your job profile, the usage of your vehicle (whether you are using it to haul personal or commercial goods, a guide to your mileage and the times of the day when you generally travel), your previous claims history and what measures you have taken to improve the security of your van. Your Insurance premium may be quite steep if your vehicle covers a lot of mileage and makes journeys at odd times of the day such as late nights or early mornings. Similarly, if you have taken out claims on a prior occasion, your premium will usually be higher than those that have no claims.
You can fit alarms, additional locks and trackers in your van for security measures as well to cut down on your premium. Also, you need to ensure that your van is safely parked at night. The more secure the parking environment is, the lesser the premium cost will tend to be.
Excess and No Claims Bonus
Excess is defined as the amount of money you pay towards your claims. Excess can be both compulsory and voluntary. The compulsory excess is decided by your insurer and is dependent upon the information you have supplied to your insurer at the time of taking out the policy. The insurance companies might imply a higher excess if you own a high ended vehicle or if the driver is young. The voluntary excess is the amount which you choose to pay towards your claims. If you opt to pay a higher excess, your premium could reduce considerably however its important to ensure that you don’t opt to pay a voluntary excess that you cannot afford later down the line.
For customers who do not make a claim towards their policy, a discount on their premium is offered by the insurer called the ‘No Claims Bonus’. You can draw considerable mileage from both these aspects of Van Insurance Cover.
Making a claim, requesting changes or cancelling a policy
In the unfortunate circumstances of your van being involved in an accident or being stolen, it is important that you let your insurer know at the earliest opportunity, even if you are not planning to make a claim. If you are a Comprehensive Van Insurance policy holder, your insurer can guide you to approved repairers in the local area you are in and arrange to have the vehicle fixed.
If there are any changes which need to be made, ensure that you inform your insurer about them at the earliest. Failure to update their records could lead to your claims being invalidated.
Cancelling Van Insurance policies is generally hassle free and is usually made up of a certain portion of your premium and a cancellation fee.
You will not be legally able to drive your van unless you take out a Van Insurance Policy.