How companies use risk factors such as your address, occupation and driving history to calculate your van insurance premiums.
You'll be asked a series of questions by insurers before you're able to take out a van insurance policy with them. This is to help the company identify what risks they may be taking on.
Generally, most companies evaluate the same factors when calculating van premiums, but as no two risks are identical prices can vary from one firm to another. The main factors that insurers consider are:
All vehicles have a group rating given to them by the Association of British Insurers (ABI).† The ratings are based on the risk of the vehicle, and include factors such as:
Note that vehicles may be reassigned to different insurance groups based on trends identified from insurers' records.
For example, if a certain type of vehicle is involved in a lot of accidents, its group rating could increase. This would mean that the premium of this vehicle would increase in order to cover the extra claim costs.
Insurance companies will need to know about your claims history, usually for the last three-to-five years, regardless of whether or not you were to blame for the incident.
The more claims you have, the more expensive your insurance policy is likely to be.
If you add additional drivers to your policy, it won't only be your driving experience that will be evaluated but theirs as well. If you're adding younger drivers, or motorists with speeding convictions, then you may face higher premiums.
You must tell your insurer about any prior convictions that you have had - if you don't it could invalidate any claim that you make. Insurers will usually ask for any convictions in the last three-to-five years.
Drivers with motoring convictions are seen as a higher risk by insurers and this is usually reflected in their premium, which is likely to rise in line with the seriousness of the offence.
If you have been convicted of a serious motoring crime, insurers may add special terms to your policy or reduce the amount of cover they can give you.
Find out more about driving convictions in our guide.
Insurers cannot charge extra for medical conditions if you hold a licence without restriction. If you do hold a restricted licence your insurer may need to take this into account when reviewing the risk.
Everything that may have an effect on your ability to drive has to be noted by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA).† Try our article on driving and medical conditions or visit the DVLA website to clarify any queries.
Those who use their vehicle for both social and business purposes are likely to face higher rates than those who only use their van to visit family and friends and to go shopping
The more time you spend on the road the more likely you are to be involved in an accident or incident - if you tend to drive a lot your premium may be higher.
An insurance company will look at your job as an influencing factor on the price you pay. Certain occupations will be a higher risk, such as those that carry goods in their vehicle.
Other occupations - such as sportsmen and sportswomen, entertainers and chefs - may also be seen as a higher risk. Read more in our article on how your job affects your insurance.
A higher level of security on your van could help to lower insurance premiums as it will be seen to be less likely to be stolen.
Think about alarms, immobilisers and trackers, and when your vehicle is not in use try to park it in a garage, off the road, or in as secure a spot as possible. Read more in our article on van security and your insurance.
The value of your vehicle will play a part in the calculation of your premium - vans that are more expensive generally cost more to insure than lower-priced vehicles.
Older vans may be cheaper to insure as they tend to be less valuable and to cost less to repair, but this may not be the case with classic vehicles or those for which it is difficult to source parts.
How you use your van will have an effect on your insurance premium.
Those who use their vehicle for both social and business purposes are likely to face higher rates than those who only use their van to visit family and friends and to go shopping.
The different categories of van use are:
Remember that you need to tell your insurance company exactly what you use your van for - if you give false information it could make your policy invalid.
Your address is an important factor for insurers when assessing your premium.
For instance, those who live in a city may have to pay more for their insurance, due to higher levels of traffic and a greater chance of having an accident, or the vehicle being vandalised or stolen.
Certain areas have statistically higher levels of vehicle crimes and this may be reflected in the price you pay.
Ensure that you tell your insurer if you move or split your time between addresses - for example, if you're a student away at university during term time. If you don't disclose such information, insurers may not pay out if you make a claim.