Keeping Van Insurance Premiums Down
What You Need to Know
- Everyone who drives a van in the UK is required by law to have a minimum level of insurance on the vehicles.
- Uninsured drivers have driven premium prices up in recent years, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of way to keep your premiums to a minimum.
- Firstly, be sure you are on the right type of policy for you. Don’t spend extra on a Fully Comprehensive policy if it doesn’t’ seem like the most cost effective solution.
- Always shop around to find the best deal rather than automatically renewing your policy. You will be amazed how much you can save.
- Other tips include increasing your policy’s excess, improving you vans security, and improving your own driving experience and skills.
- You can also think about no claims bonus offers, agreeing to a mileage cap, and paying your premiums upfront.
Why do I need Van Insurance?
If your job involves the use of van, you will already have encountered van insurance. As with all vehicles, it is a legal necessity for anyone driving a van not to have a minimum level of insurance on it. The only exception to this is if your van has a Statutory Off-Road Notification (SORN), which can be claimed from the DVLA, which certifies that your van is off the road. However if you have one of these and do drive your vehicle on the road, you will be breaking the law.
In recent years Van Insurance premiums (the amount you have to pay for your insurance policy) have gone up significantly. This is reportedly largely due to insurers having to recover the costs of uninsured drivers, which reportedly cost the insurance industry more than £500 million a year.
Sadly for everyone who uses a van in the course of their work, the cost of an irresponsible few is being passed on to everyone else, and the price of insurance for everyone has gone up.
But there are still a number of options available to keep your premiums as low as possible whilst still having the right level of insurance cover for you.
Choose the right policy
There are a variety of different levels of van insurance available and the type of policy you choose will play a large part in determining how much your premium will cost.
- Fully Comprehensive: Fully Comprehensive (or Fully Comp’) policies are almost always the most expense type of policy. They provide cover for you if your van is damaged, if you cause damage to someone else or their vehicle, and also cover property which is left in the van.
Whilst it is the most wide-ranging type of policy available, it will however not always cover you for every eventuality so it is important to read the small print of the policy carefully to make sure you are doing everything it requires of you. The last thing anyone wants is to have an insurance claim rejected on a technicality.
- Third Party Fire and Theft: The mid-range policy type is called third party fire and theft. This covers you for any damage or injuries you cause to other people. It also covers you if your van is stolen or damaged by fire.
Again you have to be sure to fulfil all the relevant security requirements laid out in the policy to be able to make a claim successfully.
- Third Party: Third Party Insurance is almost always the cheapest type of insurance available. It is minimum level of insurance cover required for vans under UK law, and only covers you in the event of causing damage or injury to other people. It will not pay out for any damage caused to your own van, whatever the cause, or any loss of property from within the vehicle.
When choosing your policy, give careful consideration to which is the right option for you. For example, if you keep a lot of expensive equipment in your van, and park it on the street, you might want to consider a fully comprehensive policy. If however your van is parked securely in a garage and does not contain anything, maybe a cheaper policy is right for you.
Plenty of us are very lazy when it comes to renewing our insurance policies. We often choose to stick with the same company and the same policy for years on end rather than shop around for a better deal.
However the likelihood is that there are going to be better deals out there for you. Insurance companies are keen to get your business and will often offer great introductory offers to tempt you to insure through the. These offers can save you a chunk of money.
So be sure to compare what polices are available to you. Our Van Insurance Comparison page is a great place to start. We offer quotes from all the major insurance companies and pick up the best available deals to help you to always find the right deal for you.
Top Tips for keeping Premiums down
Once you have found the right policy for you there are plenty of other options available to you to reduce your premiums. Our top suggestions include:
- Increase your excess: All insurance policies come with a built-in excess. This is the amount of money you have to pay at the start before the insurance company will cover the rest of the cost. You can bring the excess down, usually to nothing, but this will put your premiums up.
But equally if you choose to put your excess up, your premiums will cost less as a result. This is fine as long as you don’t make a claim, but should you end up having to use your insurance, you will end up having to pay more before your insurance kicks in.
If you are happy with this trade off, it is worth giving an increased excess serious consideration.
- Increase your Security: When applying for your insurance policy, the insurer will ask you a number of questions about the security of your vehicle. This will primarily revolve around where the van is kept, and what security devices it is fitted with.
Needless to say, the more secure your vehicle is, the less risk of the insurer having to pay out, and so the lower your premium will be.
So if you can keep your vehicle somewhere secure, like a garage, be sure to do so. And if you can fit extra security features, such as an alarm or immobilizer, why not look into the cost of doing so. You might find this upfront cost saves you more over the year in your van insurance premiums.
- Experience: Some insurance companies will charge you less if you are an experienced van driver with a proven track record of driving vans and other large vehicles. Be sure to provide any information requested about this in your application, as you may well find it bringing your premium down.
- No Claims Bonus: Having a no claims bonus can bring your van insurance premiums down significantly so it is well worth retaining it. Some insurers allow you to protect your no-claims bonus, even if you have to make a claim. It is well worth considering this option, as even though it will cost you more money up front, it is likely to keep your premiums down in future years.
Equally, if you have a no claims bonus on your car, it is important to declare this in your application as well, as many insurance companies will take this into consideration when deciding your premium.
- Make yourself less of a risk: There are also things you can do to make yourself appear to be a more competent driver and therefore a lower risk to insurers. The most basic is to avoid getting points on your license. Just two speeding convictions can ramp up your premium by as much 20%.
Going beyond that, you can take an advanced driving course, which will increase your ability to drive in testing conditions. Similarly, if you’re new to driving, you can take a Pass Plus qualification, which will help you avoid some of the high costs associated with insuring new drivers.
- Mileage Cap: Many insurers will offer discounts for people willing to commit to a mileage cap as part of their policy.
This means that you are confirming that you will only drive your van a certain distance over the course of a year. If you only use your van for short local journeys, this is an option well worth considering as it can knock a sizeable chunk off your premiums.
- Pay Premiums Upfront: If you have the financial capabilities, think about paying your premiums up-front rather than on a month-by-month basis. Many insurers will offer a discount for people willing to do this.
- Changing Circumstances: If your circumstances relevant to your insurance policy change, be sure to alert the insurance company at the earliest opportunity. Failure to do so might lead to any claims you make being rejected, and even your policy being declared null and void altogether.
Worst case scenario is that you could end up being accused of insurance fraud, a serious crime, which is likely to have far reaching consequences.
Whichever of these tips works for you, there are plenty of options available to minimise your premiums, but always remember that you must have a valid insurance policy, and it is important to be honest about your circumstances when applying or you could find you have been paying your premiums for nothing.
- Use our comparison pages to find the best deal for you, whether you need private van insurance, fleet van insurance, or courier van insurance.
- You can find out more about advanced driving here.
- You can find tips on making your vehicle more secure against criminals here.