Modified van insurance
Compare cheap quotes from regular and specialist van insurance providers
What’s modified van insurance?
If you make any changes to your van, you'll need to declare these adaptations or modifications to your insurer.
You can get modified van insurance from standard insurer, but if you've made lots of changes specialist providers might be able to offer cheaper cover.
Why do you need specialist van insurance if you make modifications?
If you don’t declare any alterations you've made on your van, you won’t be covered for any repairs or replacements for those parts.
That’s because your insurer wouldn’t have been aware that they were there and wouldn’t have included them in your policy.
Your insurer might ask for receipts or photos to get a better understanding of the cover you’ll need.
If your insurer thinks you’ve misled them or withheld information about your modifications to get a cheaper policy, they probably won’t honour any claim you need to make.
If you make a modification mid-way through your policy, tell your insurer immediately.
What’s considered a modification?
A modification is anything that considerably changes how your van looks or drives.
You’ll need to let your insurer know about modifications like fitting internal racking, heavy-duty locks or a bulkhead.
Modifications also include safety features, like parking sensors, but these shouldn't make your policy more expensive.
Anything that changes the van from how it left the dealership should be declared to your insurer.
Van conversions and renovations
If you want to convert a van for driving holidays, or to use as a camper, you need to let your insurer know. Some changes are considered serious modifications insurers need to know about. Things like:
- Removing seats
- Removing windows
- Adding fitted kitchen items
- Adding insulation
- Adding power supplies
- Storing gas canisters and portable generators
Read the terms of your insurance policy carefully. If it’s not suitable, you might need to consider specialist camper conversion insurance instead.
Why do modifications affect the cost of van insurance?
If you change the engine’s power output, you’ll make the van faster and more powerful - that would push your premium up.
If you’re going to make the paintwork more eye-catching or add valuable accessories to your van, you’re making it more attractive to thieves, so that could increase the cost of your insurance too.
Your insurer will also take into account the value of the changes you’re making. If you fit an expensive set of wheels and tyres, you’re going to want the same ones fitted if the van needs to be repaired after an accident.
Your insurance will increase in line with this to cover the cost.
How to make mods and still get cheap van insurance
You can make changes to your van and still get cheap van insurance.
Try a black box policy
If you drive your van carefully, you could get cheaper premiums with a black box policy that tracks your driving skills.
Keep your van secure
Think about your van security. Use a tracker and/or fit an alarm or immobiliser - especially if you have equipment stored inside.
Reduce your mileage
If you're using your van less, ask your insurer to reduce your mileage for cheaper premiums.
Build up your no claims bonus
See if you can cover the cost of any small incidents yourself to keep your NCB intact.
If you can, pay annually
Paying monthly costs more as you’re charged interest.
Park off road
Got a driveway or garage? Parking there will usually get you cheaper quotes than parking on the street.
Having signage on your van
Signage can put thieves off, which could result in lower insurance quotes than if your van has no distinctive features.
Compare policies online
Compare specialist van policies with standard ones to see which is cheaper.
When else might I need specialist van insurance?
Standard policies are likely to have minimum age limits for van drivers – so they’ll only cover those aged over 21, for example.
Insurers feel you’re riskier to cover due to your inexperience, which could mean the same standard policy is more expensive for you than for someone older.
A specialist van policy for younger drivers might be able to offer you a better deal, particularly if you can show that you’ve had experience driving another vehicle, like a car or motorbike, or if you’ve been a named driver on someone else’s van policy.
Finding cover for a good price can be tricky if you have a criminal conviction, or a string of driving convictions like speeding offences.
Standard policies will cost more if you have a conviction, particularly if it’s related to a motoring offence.
But a specialist van insurance provider could help as they’ll look at your specific circumstances.
They may work on the basis that your past conviction doesn’t define your future ability to drive, and so offer a more reasonably priced policy. You might also be able to take driving safety courses to reduce the cost too.
Unusual work use
Even if you only use your van to commute, you’ll need a commercial van insurance policy.
That could be pretty annoying if you mostly use your van socially and just occasionally drive to work and back, as you might end up paying for a type of cover you hardly ever need.
Different types of commercial van insurance include:
- Haulage – for long distance deliveries to a single destination
- Carriage of goods for hire and reward (courier) – for multiple deliveries in a local area
- Carriage of own goods – covers commuting to work and your tools or goods that are kept in your van
If you need any of those just once in a while, a specialist insurer might be able to tailor your policy to give you a more competitive price.
There are specialist short-term van insurers that will cover you for just a few hours, days or weeks. The policy usually works in the same way as an annual one, but check to make sure it covers what you need it to before you buy.
Parallel imports from European countries will be covered by many mainstream insurers, but grey import commercial vehicles from the rest of the world – like American or Japanese pick-ups – might be difficult and expensive to find cover for.
An insurer that specialises in foreign vans and trucks might be able to offer more competitively priced cover.
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