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Van Insurance Comparison Guide

Welcome to the Compare Van and Commercial Vehicle Insurance page.  Please click the 'Get Quotes' button above, or at the bottom of this guide to get a super-fast and cheap van insurance comparison from over 40 leading providers through SEOPA Ltd's comparison service.  

Why use CareandCompare for van insurance quotes?

By using this independent service you'll save time on shopping around for your quotes, and you could save money too. Comparing quotes online couldn't be easier, you only have to fill in your details once, then you'll get up to 60 quotes back in about one minute! The van insurance panel is made up of reputable insurers and brokers such as Gladiator, Direct Choice and More Th>n. You'll feel good too since we donate 25% profits to charity - at NO extra cost to you!

If you would like to understand a little more about van insurance then why not continue to read our guide below? It will give you a brief outline of insurance terminology,  so you can better understand some of the keywords used within the van insurance quotes comparison results. 

If you require specialist van insurance such as ice-cream van insurance, modified van insurance, or other non standard policy types please click on the relevant link at the bottom of this page which will take you to Seopa Ltd's quotation form.

As well as a driving licence, you must have vehicle insurance before you can drive a van on public roads in this country. The government has strict rules on what motor insurance you need, what to do if you're in an accident, insurance for driving abroad, and penalties for uninsured vehicles and drivers1

Types of van insurance policy

It has to be said that van insurance is even more complex than car insurance – due to the very many and varied purposes for which vans are used.  
For instance:

  • private use only;
  • business use only (and whether this comes inder 'hire and reward' or 'haulage');
  • private and business use;
  • employee-driven only;
  • specialised / modified vans where the business is built around the van (ice-cream vans, fish and chip vans, home-valet vans, pet-grooming vans and so on).  

There's no limit to the possible modifications people can make to a van other than imagination!  The van is such a useful vehicle compared to a car, even in the small vans there is plenty of storage capacity, which is a really useful attribute for trades people. Additionally the flat sides and rear of the van can be made into ‘billboards’, effectively providing a lot of free advertising space for your business and allowing all your contact details to be seen by anyone driving behind you in traffic or walking past your parked van. 
Go to any dog show or sporting event and you’ll find a variety of vans being used to carry the precious cargo of the owners, whether this is a pack of Great Danes or Motocross bikes!  These days the van is not just a workhorse, the level of sophistication of the cab section in many models means they are the vehicle of choice for people who want a lot of useable space in their vehicle.
However, it can be easier to insure a commercial van than a privately-owned van that is being used solely for personal and leisure purposes.  Not all car insurance companies insure vans.  Some companies specialise in small van insurance, others in large van insurance (Transit-size and over).  If you have a modified van then you might need to find specialist insurance; but don’t worry  - you can do that from here: Specialist Van Insurance. 

3rd Party Van Insurance

The legal minimum insurance is ‘third party’, which means you’ll be covered if you have an accident causing damage or injury to any other person, vehicle, animal or property. But it doesn’t cover any other costs, such as repair to your own vehicle. For example if you were involved in a bump that was your fault and you caused damage to one or more other vehicles, this type of policy would cover the repair costs of all the damage you caused, but excluding that to your own vehicle. This type of insurance works if your own vehicle does not have a high value of its own and you require a cheaper premium. The Policy Provider often provides this type of cover at a cheaper rate, as the associated pay-out in the event of an accident is often cheaper, as your own vehicle is not covered.  It's also worth noting that if your car is stolen the provider will not pay out either. With this type of insurance you would need to be prepared to foot the bill for your own repair costs in the event of an accident.

3rd Party, Fire and Theft

The next step up is ‘third party, fire and theft’. This type of policy includes third party cover as above -  where other vehicles that are damaged in an accident that was your fault are covered. However, this type of policy also provides protection against loss and damage if your vehicle is burnt or stolen.  In summary, this level of cover will pay out if your van is stolen or is damaged by fire, either accidentally or through criminal intention, or through the result of an accident, but does not protect your van against minor damage or if it is vandalised.

Comprehensive Van Insurance 

Comprehensive’ level insurance is the highest level of insurance you can have and often is the most expensive level of cover, but comes with the most benefits. It covers others in the event of an accident as described above and will cover the costs of repairing any vehicle to which you cause damage. It also provides all the cover that comes with the Fire and Theft insurance policies. Where comprehensive cover comes into its own is that it also pays out the costs of repairing your own vehicle, normally up to the market value of the vehicle. Additional insurance benefits are also sometimes offered, such as cover for theft of items from your van, personal accident protection, medical and legal expenses, rescue and recovery and courtesy vans, depending on the policy’s limitations and exclusions. This level of cover is often best if your van is of a high value or if you heavily rely on your vehicle and cannot afford to be without it. You will need to check with the individual insurer with regards to the exact 'extras' that are provided with comprehensive cover as not all policies are the same and some will come with more features and benefits than others.

Other Van Insurance Terminology Explained

Please read on for a brief description of some of the other terms you may see referenced or that may affect your policy.

No Claims Bonus

For each year that you have your policy and don't make a claim you will build up a no claims bonus. This is one of the most important factors in reducing the amount the policy will cost you and some insurers may reduce the policy by up to 75% for more than five years' no claims discount. This is often used by the insurer to discourage policy holders from making small minor claims that they could often cover themselves.

Named or Additional Driver

This term is used to describe a policy where more than one person is insured to drive the same vehicle.  Normally this type of policy is used to cover a family van or a shared van between two or more people (eg workmates). It is also very useful for young drivers to go onto an existing policy holder's van insurance as that can significantly reduce the premium compared to them having their own vehicle and insurance policy. It is important to remember that in most cases, the named or additional driver will not build up a no claims bonus of their own.  Vans can be insured in the name of the company which owns them and a no claims bonus built up for the company, rather than in individual names, but all drivers will need to be named on the policy.  

Insurance Groups

Every van is put into a suitable insurance group based on its statistical risk of causing/making a claim and also its associated cost of repair of replacement.  It is important to consider this when choosing a new van. You can find out which group your van is in from its manufacturer, and various van websites.

Cost of van insurance

 Most insurance companies will first place your van within one of five categories, in order to calculate the insurance group for your van and generally the larger the van, the larger the insurance quotation:
 1.      Car-derived vans: These are vans that look and drive like ordinary cars,  although the glass back windows will have been replaced with metal, and instead of rear seats the van will have a flat, load-bearing area.  Popular examples of this type of van are the Vauxhall Astravan and the Ford Fiesta van.
2.      Micro vans: The smallest type of van that isn't derived from a car, micro vans are generally used to carry small deliveries. The Citroen Nemo and Peugeot Blipper are counted as micro vans.
3.      Small/light vans: These vans look similar to a car when viewed from the front, but the rear is different – often it will have hinged double doors and a raised roof. A typical small van of this type is the Volkswagen Caddy.
4.      Medium/panel vans: Very popular as commercial vehicles because their doors are easily acccessible for loading / unloading and they possess a large load capacity. Common panel vans are the Ford Transit and Renault Trafic.
5.      Large vans: These will often have a double-axle at the back which supports four rear wheels, hence they are capable of carrying very large loads. The Luton van, often used by independent removals firms, or self-drive hire firms, is a typical large van.
The other factors influencing the eventual premium quote will be similar to those used in calculating car insurance.  Here’s a summary of the main ones:

  • model, value, engine size, manual or automatic gearbox, security features etc.;
  • the area in which you live, or where the business is sited, and where your van is parked – eg garage / driveway / secure compound or public road;
  • your age, occupation, driving experience and driving history;
  • if you or your company has a ‘no claims bonus’ or not, and for how many years this applies;
  • the number of drivers insured on your van and their driving history;
  • the level of ‘excess’ you or your company is prepared to pay in the event of an insurance claim.

Jargon Buster
The motor insurance industry has a language all of its own.  It uses many technical terms which may not be understood by the lay person, such as ‘additional premium’, ‘knock for knock’, ‘indemnity’, ‘statute law’ and ‘without prejudice’.  Your insurance policy may be full of such terms, for reasons of precise meaning to the insurers.  Confused?  Use the British Insurance Brokers’ Association Jargon Buster to clarify what these strange-looking terms mean.

You could waste effort contacting insurers individually, trying to source the right van insurance cover.  This is where can be of great help, saving you hours of time dealing with numerous different insurance companies for quotes.  Using Seopa Ltd's search form here you can receive quotes from over 40 companies, and be certain to find a policy to meet your needs, at a cheap price.  Remember that the renewal premium from your present insurer may not be the cheapest available for comparable cover, so it pays to use a van insurance comparison service before your policy renewal date.

Remember - if you fail to provide accurate information to an insurance company, a subsequent claim may be refused.  So gather together all the information and facts you’re likely to need before you get your quotes and always ensure you fill in any forms correctly, paying attention to any predetermined tick boxes. 



Van Insurance comparison Quote      Page updated 02/07/2016