If you’re a van owner, then it’s the law for you to have a van insurance policy to go with it- driving without a policy will leave you on the receiving end of either a hefty fine or a driving ban.
But you needn’t pay the earth for your van insurance. And, by understanding how insurance works and how to make yourself more appealing to insurers, you can bring the price right down.
What policies are available?
Roughly speaking, there are three different types of insurance policy available to UK van owners. Third party is the minimum level of cover and will provide cover for injury to others and damage to their property. Third party, fire and theft will add the benefits of cover to your own vehicle in the event of fire damage or if your van is broken into or stolen, while comprehensive insurance will cover you and the other party. Comprehensive insurance is the most expensive level of insurance, but it will provide the most peace of mind. It might include optional extras, like legal cover or a temporary replacement van whilst yours is off the road, for an extra fee.
How do insurers calculate my policy?
What you pay for your van insurance policy is calculated by a number of factors. These include your driving history (how many claims you’ve made in the past and whether you have any driving convictions), your personal circumstances, the van you drive (judged by which insurance group it falls into, based on power, value and availability of parts) and where you and your business are based.
There are plenty of ways in which you can reduce the risk that insurers perceive you to be. For a start, you could try the following:
Keeping on the right side of the law and making yourself eligible for a no-claims discount can dramatically reduce your insurance premium. Keeping your speed down will certainly help.
If you already have a driving conviction for an offence such as speeding, the endorsement on your license will be void after four years, so it pays to stay out of trouble. More serious convictions like drink or drug driving offences will see you receive a fine and a ban. It will also make it incredibly difficult to get car insurance so it goes without saying that it’s not remotely worth the risk.
– Improve your security
Investing in aftermarket security equipment like an alarm, immobiliser or a tracker will make your van less likely to be a subject of theft. Before making any purchases, check that the devices are approved by Thatcham. Likewise, if you have access to a garage, remove all valuables and equipment from your van and lock it up overnight. Make sure you have graphics on the van which inform would-be thieves that you do this.
– Limit your mileage
If it’s practical, agreeing to an annual mileage limit will reduce the risk of you being involved in an accident and make your insurance cheaper.
– Pay annually
Paying for your insurance in one yearly instalment will cut the charges associated with spreading the payment out, so take this option if you’re able to do so.
– Shop around
Using a comparison website will allow you to browse lots of quotes from many different providers with the minimum of fuss and effort to ensure you get a better deal. However, always be sure to compare what the policy offers as well as the price so you know what you’re buying.