Commercial and Private Van Insurance – Why You Need It

Commercial and Private Van Insurance – Why You Need It

Just like your car, you need to insure your van. Van insurance isn’t actually that different from most vehicle cover, however there is a difference when it comes to private and commercial use.

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Commercial and non-commercial van insurance has been a legal requirement for van drivers in the UK since 1930.

As a driver, you are legally obliged to take out insurance against causing injury or damage to a third party.

For example, if you damage another vehicle in an accident then the insurance will cover the costs of repair. If you are caught without van insurance, a fine or even a driving ban follows.

Your Premium – Working out the cost of van insurance

When calculating a quote for van insurance, providers consider a wide number of factors. Some of these include:

  • Your claims history: Any prior claims can cause your premiums to rise.
  • Occupation: The job you have, and the risk that comes along with it, will also affect how much you pay.
  • Security: You could get a reduced premium if you improve the security of your van.
  • Vehicle use: Your premium will be affected depending on what your vehicle is used for. This can vary between whether you carry your own goods, goods for hire and reward or hauling for social reasons.

Van insurance – Documentation

Once you take out a van insurance policy, your provider will send you the following:

  • A cover note, or a certificate of insurance. This is temporary – it serves as evidence that you’re insured legally and is a document that you should show to the police if they stop you.
  • A policy document and/or schedule: this lays out the terms and conditions that your policy stipulates.
  • A policy booklet: this provides you with details of exactly what is covered and what you should do if would like to contact your insurer.

Know the different types of van insurance


Telematics van insurance means that the provider uses either a mobile app or a black box in order to track your driving habits. Through this, they can calculate your premium with extreme accuracy.

TPO (Third Party Only)

TPO is the absolute minimum amount of cover that the law in the UK requires. It includes cover for liability (if you injure someone else, including passengers), damage to property and liability when towing a trailer or caravan. Accidental damage to your vehicle is not covered, however. With TPO, you’ll be required to pay for it yourself.

TPFT (Third Party Fire and Theft)

With TPFT, your van insurance policy will cover everything that TPO covers. In addition, you’ll get protection against the theft of your vehicle, damage caused by theft and fire damage. For business owners, this is usually a very popular choice.

Comprehensive Van Insurance

With a comprehensive plan, you’ll get one of the most extensive forms of cover available. Along with it comes all the benefits of TPO and TPFT. In addition, you’ll receive protection for your van’s windscreen, any personal affects you have in it, accidental damage and any medical expenses that should arise.

Commercial or private van insurance – What’s the difference?

The difference between commercial and private van insurance depends entirely upon what you use the vehicle for. Is it primarily for business purposes? Or do you have it for private reasons (helping friends transport their furniture, etc.). Whatever the case may be, you will need to look at the different policies to find out which one you need.

Don’t forget: Whether you’re getting private or commercial van insurance, there is something known as “excess”. The excess is how much money you must pay towards a claim. It comes in different forms:

Compulsory Excess

When applying for van insurance, compulsory excess is the amount that the company sets out. The amount you have to pay when making a claim depends on the details that your insurer provides. Certain factors may also affect it: if you’re a younger driver, for example, you may have to pay more in excess.

Voluntary Excess

With voluntary excess, you have the choice of how much you pay towards any claim you make. The benefit of this is that it can reduce your premium for van insurance.

Using a comparison site is a good way to find van insurance deals. It is always important to remember that van insurance is compulsory and something you cannot go without. This is especially important for businesses, so keep that in mind.