Your van insurance – does it exist?

Posted on: 19 December 2013

Ghost brokers target vehicle owners offering overly cheap insurance that doesn’t actually provide cover.

Here are four questions to ask yourself about your van insurance.

  • How much should your van insurance cost?

Van insurance premiums will vary significantly depending on a wide range of factors including driver experience, vehicle classification and the level of cover you select. Premierline offer policies from £211*, showing that prices can be extremely competitive. Rather than looking at price alone, drivers should look at their quote in the context of the other quotes they have received. If the prices differ significantly then this should flag some alarm bells.

  • How should I buy van insurance?

You can buy van insurance directly with an insurance company or via an insurance broker.

All legitimate insurance companies and brokers are registered with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), which regulates the financial services industry (including insurers). The FCA holds a Financial Services Register, which lists the companies approved to provide certain services.

To check whether your insurance company is registered, find their FCA registration number in the small print at the bottom of their website and enter it within their financial services firm search.

  • What steps should I expect to go through to buy van insurance?

You may be asked slightly different questions when obtaining quotes, but legitimate insurers will ask at least the following:

  1. Who is the driver, how old are they, how long have they held a licence and what is their claims history?
  2. What is the vehicle make, model and registration number?
  3. What’s the annual mileage and where will it be kept overnight?

If your broker or insurer did not ask for this information before confirming your cover, you may not be insured.

  • What documentation should I expect from my insurance company?

Valid van insurance comes with the following documentation:

  1. Insurance certificate – this should include your policy number, the effective date and expiry date of the insurance, the name of the policy holder and the vehicle details
  2. Schedule of insurance
  3. Policy wording

If alarm bells are ringing, check that your vehicle is on the Motor Insurance Database If it is not, you may need to arrange alternative cover.

Here are ten lawful ways to reduce your van insurance premium:

  1. Parking: preferably park your van in a garage overnight, or at least off the road
  2. Valuables: don’t leave valuable tools, stock or other items in your van overnight
  3. Security: make sure your vehicle has an alarm or immobiliser and always lock your van when you’re not inside it
  4. Advertisement: putting your business name and contact details on your van can act as a deterrent to thieves and so may reduce your risk in the eyes of a potential insurer
  5. Driving: build up your no claims bonus early on and keep points and fines off your licence by driving safely
  6. Model: if you’re looking for a new van, research the impact of engine and vehicle size on your insurance premium
  7. Modifications: alterations including changes to bodywork, alloy wheels or signage can change the insurance premium you pay, and invalidate your policy if not declared. So, take this into consideration before you make any changes to your vehicle if saving on your premium is important to you.
  8. Mileage: accurately estimate your annual mileage when getting quotes
  9. Membership: mention any recognised trade bodies that you belong to
  10. Excess and payment: increasing your excess and paying for your insurance annually and up front can reduce the premium, but consider the implications of these on business cash flow.

Get a quote for business van insurance from Premierline.

*Based on a minimum annual premium for our standard commercial vehicle insurance cover (not including any optional extras).

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