Vans are crucial for most types of commercial businesses. But anything that requires the transfer of items or enough room to carry tools or equipment for a tradesman is obviously precious to your business, and regular car insurance probably won’t provide you with the necessary level of cover that you need. Ask yourself what would happen if any of these items were stolen, or damaged or lost – not only might there be a cost in replacing them, but there might also be a price to pay regarding lost business and revenue.
Therefore, the right insurance is vital. As with cars and other vehicles, for commercial van insurance there are typically three overarching types:
Third party: This is the minimum legal requirement and covers damage/injury to any other parties should a driver be involved, but not the named driver
Third party, fire, and theft: Same as above, but also covers fire and theft
Comprehensive: This is the maximum level of cover and includes cover for your vehicle as well. Many additional extras can also be included. Check the prices of this against the third party, and you might be surprised.
So what are the differences between insuring a car and van? There are a huge number of factors that could alter your insurance premium for commercial vans, not least the fact that multiple people may be using the van, in multiple locations, for different uses. Note that even if you use your van purely for commuting purposes and it remains parked in a given location throughout the day, you might still need commercial cover rather than just personal, social cover.
The good news is that you should be able to gain cover for any van that you drive, with a few caveats. Most companies only offer commercial insurance for vehicles up to 3.5 tons in weight, and if your vehicle is heavier than this, you might need a different premium. Your insurance might not include breakdown cover or the provision of a courtesy van, so ensure this is added if necessary. Also, make sure that the premium covers the contents of your vehicle to their full value; you may have some specific, niche tools and items that are difficult to replace, and this needs to be considered when taking up insurance.
While these additional levels of cover might cost you initially, the cost of rectifying them without insurance might be prohibitive. In that regard, it does pay to shop around and get the right premium, which might not necessarily be the cheapest one. As with car insurance, there are numerous ways to drive down costs such as parking the car securely and installing immobilizers and locks. Typically, smaller vehicles are cheaper to insure than larger models. Also, adhering to the law and not picking up speeding tickets will help.
The complexity of ensuring say, a fleet of Ford vans means that the best option is probably not to rely on a website, but contact a given insurer with your specific needs. The company will be able to advise you on what you need and hopefully steer you away from levels of cover that you don’t actually require.