Van insurance premiums may be rising but insurance is very much a legal requirement as well as a social responsibility, so you must ensure that you have the right cover when insuring your van.
While the costs may seem high, remember that you are not just buying financial protection against accident damage repairs but also against personal injury.
What would you and your family do if an accident meant that you could never work again, never provide for them, and also need intensive medical care possibly for years – and this could apply to occupants of another vehicle. That’s why the penalties for driving uninsured are among the most severe.
Recent research from Consumer Intelligence suggests a typical van driver will now have to pay premiums hitting an average of £1,591 – that’s twice as much as for insuring a car, for which premiums are averaging £788.
So have you got the right van insurance cover? If not, you risk not just penalty points on your licence, a fine and being disqualified from driving, but also being sued huge sums for causing damage, injury or even death if there is any crash.
The Road Traffic Act states that is a legal requirement for all drivers on the road to be insured, and are obliged to be insured against the possibility of injury to another person or vehicle. The police could give you a fixed penalty of £300 and 6 penalty points if you’re caught driving a vehicle you’re not insured to drive.
So if it is less than two years since you passed your driving test your licence will be revoked and you will have to resit the theory and practical driving tests.
And you will have a disqualification on your driving record to increase future insurance premiums. If the case goes to court you could get an unlimited fine and disqualified from driving. The police also have the power to seize, and in some cases, destroy the vehicle that’s being driven uninsured. That is a major financial penalty whether it is your van or borrowed.
Remember, commercial vehicle insurance is different to car insurance and it is rare that being insured to drive one van allows you to drive another. And just because the van is insured for one person does not mean that you are insured to drive it.
Here are the different types of insuring your van available:
- Business van insurance: used for work purposes only and is normally insured by carriage of own goods, carry goods for hire or reward and haulage.
- Private van insurance: suitable for individuals who use their vans for social, domestic or pleasure purposes with a social-only private policy.
- Catering van insurance: for catering traders, who drive burger vans, fish and chip vans, ice cream vans and so on.
- Pickup van insurance: useful for drivers who use their vehicles for business but also at the weekend for family use.
- Young driver van insurance: this can be pretty expensive as it is aimed at under 25 year olds. A realistic and alternative solution would be to share the insurance with an experienced driver.
- All insurance policies will cover different areas and this will also vary between insurers, so it is crucial to double check the policy and what they cover.
Van insurance extras include:
- Legal Protection – This pays for legal costs that can result from an accident, provide assistance to uninsured losses and help with the recovery of medical losses or earnings.
- Breakdown Cover – This may be offered by the insurance company and if you do not have separate cover it is useful if the van breaks down whether at home or away. The cover could even provide a replacement vehicle.
- Personal injury cover – This pays out a specified tax-free sum for serious injury following an accident.
- Windscreen cover – This is often included in the policy and is useful for screen replacement repairing chips or cracks to the screen.
- Tool Protection – This may be covered as part of your business insurance but if not, this will cover you in the event your tools are lost, stolen and damaged.
- Keyman Insurance – This is a type of business protection, which can cover your company for the loss of a key member of staff.
So while van insurance premiums may have risen, don’t skimp on it. Making sure your van is properly insured could save you many thousands should the worst happen. Above all else: your van is your livelihood – so keep it properly insured.