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6 Most Valuable Optional Extras For Van Insurance

Taking out a van insurance policy is essential because you can't legally drive your van on the road without one. If you're caught driving without a valid insurance policy, you could face court prosecution and a fine up to £1,000.

Just like car insurance, there are three levels of cover to choose from:

- Third Party

- Third Party, Fire & Theft

- Fully Comprehensive

Cover

Fully Comprehensive

Third Party, Fire & Theft

Third Party

Third party damage

Yes

Yes

Yes

Theft

Yes

Yes

No

Fire damage

Yes

Yes

No

Accidental damage

Yes

No

No

You also need to decide whether to get private or commercial cover. Private van insurance policies are only valid if the van is strictly for personal use - unlike car insurance, commuting is not covered. So, if the van is used to drive to work, you need business insurance.

Commercial cover is most commonly used for vans and is further split into three categories:

- Carriage of own goods - covers your belongings

- Carriage of goods for hire or reward - typically used for delivery drivers and couriers, it protects the packages you're transporting

- Haulage - similar to carriage of goods for hire and reward, but is specific to delivery drivers delivering single items usually to a set location over long distances

Insurance companies offer a range of optional extras which provide additional protection for your van and business. Depending on the policy and provider, some of these benefits will be included as standard. If not, it is worthwhile considering paying for these optional extras:

COURTESY VEHICLE

For some businesses, their van is their livelihood, and without it, the organisation is ground to a halt. Even if the situation isn't that severe, having your van off the road to be repaired after an accident can cause significant consequences.

Courtesy vehicle insurance provides a replacement van if yours has been written-off or it's in the garage being repaired. This ensures that your business can still operate effectively.

It's important to check the small print to see if you're entitled to a like-for-like replacement in terms of size and capabilities - if your regular van is a large model, you can't continue normally if you're given a small model as an alternative.

There might also be certain restrictions regarding the time period you're entitled to the courtesy vehicle for and where your van is being repaired - it may need to be taken to your insurer's approved garage.

LEGAL PROTECTION

If you're involved in a road accident and a claim is made (either by you or another driver), the legal fees can be quite substantial. The protection covers all or some of the legal costs involved in bringing a claim or defending a claim bought against you.

Legal cover doesn't pay out any compensation but could help you recover losses such as personal injury, lost earnings, travel expenses or repaying your excess following an accident that wasn't your fault.

Even if you decide to add legal protection to your policy, the insurance company's legal team will only act on your behalf if it believes the case has a reasonable chance of succeeding. If your case is taken up, there's no guarantee that you'll win, but the legal fees will at least be covered up to a pre-determined sum.

BREAKDOWN COVER

Commercial vehicle drivers are usually business owners or tradespeople travelling between jobs, so it's important that when something goes wrong with the van they aren't stranded.

Breakdown cover ensures that a qualified mechanic will be sent to the van's location to try and fix it at the roadside. If this isn't possible, you and the van will be transported to a garage to get it fixed so you can be back on the road as quickly as possible.

There are different levels of breakdown cover available, so you need to make sure it fulfils your requirements and has all the features you need.

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TOOL AND EQUIPMENT COVER

If you constantly travel with tools and specialist equipment in the back of your van, it's likely that you'll want them to be protected by more than just a lock.

Lower level insurance policies (e.g. Third Party) may not provide adequate cover for your tools. However, you can protect them by taking out tool and equipment cover.

Unfortunately, vans are often targeted for theft because of the higher possibility that valuable equipment will be inside. Although this additional cover can't physically protect the items, it will save you a lot of money when it comes to replacing everything that was stolen up to a certain value.

GOODS IN TRANSIT COVER

Making sure the goods you're transporting as a delivery driver or courier is imperative, but not all policies - even comprehensive ones - cover the contents of your van.

If you regularly carry valuable items that need to be protected in the event of theft or damage, it is advisable to have goods in transit cover included with your van insurance.

It's important to calculate the maximum value of the goods you tend to transport and adjust the cover accordingly.

delivery-driver-checking-his-packages.jpg

ANY DRIVER COVER

Depending on the size and nature of your business, you might need to provide insurance for more than one person to drive your van. Any driver insurance provides cover for any unnamed driver that gets behind the wheel of your van.

Although it's called 'any' driver cover, it may be more difficult to add if you have drivers under the age of 21 because they are seen as bigger risks due to their relative lack of experience on the road.

If you own a fleet of commercial vehicles, there are specific fleet insurance policies that you should research rather than taking out any driver cover on each van.