Do you need specialist van insurance? If you're not sure, here’s what you need to know so you can get the right cover.
Specialist van insurance could cover you if a standard policy doesn’t meet your needs.
That might be because your van’s been adapted or modified to the particular needs of your business, or because you use it in a way that doesn’t easily fit with how regular insurers classify these things.
You might need specialist van insurance if either:
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.
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:
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.
Mainstream van insurers can usually cover various common van modifications, but specialist cover can be worthwhile if your van’s been significantly changed from manufacturer standard. For example, if it’s:
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.
Insurers will need to know a few things about you, your van and the type of policy you want before offering you a quote.
For example, your age and driving history help determine your level of driving experience and so how much of a risk you pose. The size and power of your van, it’s usage and security features can help insurers work out how safe it is to drive and how likely it is to be stolen.
It’s a good idea to compare van insurance prices with us first, to at least give you a benchmark to work from. If you don’t get any quotes or they seem quite high, look into a specialist who covers your van’s unusual features or your irregular use.
It can do, because of the unusual cover you need. But you might find that a specialist policy can cover your particular needs for less than standard insurers.
Here are five steps to help you cut the cost of your specialist van insurance: