For many businesses, the commercial vehicles that the business operates are seen simply as a utility vehicle that perhaps is not truly appreciated until something goes wrong. By definition you would not have the vehicle if you did not need it to ensure the smooth operation of your business and it is only when the vehicle is off the road or unavailable that you realise the true importance of the van to the business.
It is for this reason that businesses should have in place a suitable van insurance policy that offers the level of protection that is required to ensure that your interests in the vehicle are fully protected, and this may not just mean the value of the vehicle or its potential for causing third party property damage.
What cover is available for van insurance?
In common with other types of motor insurance, commercial vehicle insurance policies are divided into three principal types of policy cover. third party, third party fire and theft and comprehensive.
The cost of the van insurance will be based upon the cover you select along with a range of other factors.
Third party only van insurance
Third Party Insurance covers the vehicle in respect of claims made against the owner or operator of the vehicle in respect of their legal liability for third party property damage or person injury caused in connection with the road use of the vehicle. A third party is recognised and anyone other than the driver of he vehicle. This is the cover offered by insurance companies to provide the minimum level of cover to comply with the requirements of the law.
Third party fire and theft van insurance
Third party fire and theft insurance is the next cover level up from third party only insurance and in addition to the third party cover as described above it also offers the policyholder cover in respect of loss or damage to the vehicle arising from theft, attempted theft or fire. Some policies may offer additional benefits in respect of cover for contents in the event of fire and theft, but this tends to be the exception rather than the norm.
Comprehensive van insurance
Comprehensive van insurance policies provide the same cover as third party fire and theft but include accidental damage to the vehicle. This significant addition includes damage caused to the van whilst being driven on the road as well as malicious damage. Windscreen damage cover should also be included under comprehensive polices, although it may also be available under a third party fire and theft policy.
For the business owner who relies on the commercial vehicle for the effective operation of their business, they should be aware of what is not covered under the standard policy cover provided by the main classifications of van insurance cover.
Breakdown insurance for vans
Breakdown of the vehicle is not covered as standard by policies although this is generally available as an additional product or as an extension to the comprehensive van insurance products offered by some insurers. Again the cover provided by a breakdown policy will vary from product to product much as it does in the standard private car insurance product, largely dependent on where you want the policy to apply.
Goods in transit insurance for a van
There is no cover for goods in transit insurance under standard comprehensive policies, some insurers may offer it as an option, but generally it can be arranged as a stand alone policy or as part of a commercial insurance package. Goods in transit insurance is designed to protect the policyholder against loss or damage to property being carried in the vehicle and for the most appropriate cover you are generally best advise to arrange this insurance as a separate cover.
The market for van insurance is a very competitive one with quotes being widely available across the internet, if you want to ensure that your requirements are being fully met it is often the case that it is better to discuss your needs with an independent insurance broker who specialises in commercial motor insurance products and more general business insurance