Your insurance company is going to want to know what the intended use of
your Van is. Some uses carry a higher risk than others. Understanding the different classes of use
for Van insurance is important. Get it wrong and your cover could be invalid. Read on to find out
What is Private Van Insurance?
Private Van Insurance basically covers anything that isn’t work from a trip
to the supermarket, to a weekend away camping. Unlike car insurance policies that cover commuting,
Van insurance DOESN’T, and you will need to specify if you use the Van to travel to and from your
place of business.
Social, Domestic & Pleasure
If you only plan on using your Van for leisure purposes, you will only require a policy that
covers social, domestic and pleasure (SD&P) uses. This would include going camping, surfing
or mountain biking or enjoying any number of other hobbies.
If you opt for this type of policy, you must understand that you cannot use the Van for
work. SD&P Van Insurance is for private use only and is normally always cheaper than
Commercial Van insurance. If you use your Van for any financial gain, you must have the
Social, Domestic & Pleasure Inc. Commuting
If you drive your Van for both private personal use and driving to and from one fixed
location for work, you will need to ensure you include commuting on your policy. Again, this
type of cover does not include business or commercial use.
Depending on the provider that you hold your policy with, SD&P policies can have
some limitations on mileage, contents cover and usage. Be sure to check your policy and make
sure you have the correct cover for your intended use.
It’s always advisable reading your policy documentation, specifically the parts
which note exclusions or restrictions and uses that you are not covered for.
What about Camper Van Insurance?
Camper Vans and Motorhomes are becoming increasingly popular within the UK. Campervan
Insurance is categorised as a specialist product and will not fall under either Private or
Commercial Van insurance usage categories.
Campervan insurance is generally a little more complex and covers things such as
contents, awnings, generators and the use of gas & electricity in confined spaces.
What is Commercial Van Insurance?
In a nutshell, Commercial Van insurance is designed to keep your business on
the road by protecting you, your Van and your livelihood. There are 3 main types of Commercial van
insurance, each with its own level of cover from third party only through to fully comprehensive.
Once you know what level of cover you require, you will need to look at the different types
of commercial class uses for Van drivers which will specify the nature of your business.
Carriage of own goods (Tradesman)
Carriage of own goods is designed to suit small businesses and self-employed tradesmen. It
covers the transportation of your own tools and equipment. This is the most commonly use of
commercial Van insurance
Carriage for Hire & Reward (Courier)
Often referred to as Courier Insurance, this type of policy is for drivers who make multiple
different drops throughout the day multiple different locations. Courier drivers tend to
spend a lot more time on the road and therefore, present a bigger accident risk. Courier
insurance is therefore more expensive.
Haulage insurance is designed to cover single loads over longer distances. Most HGV drivers
will have haulage insurance but in recent times, more and more smaller delivery companies
are using Vans to transport small loads all over Europe.
Is Contents Covered with Business Van Insurance?
In short, no. While commercial Van insurance covers the driver and the use of the vehicle,
the contents being carried or delivered usually gets covered separately and is sold as an
additional benefit. Most insurance companies do however package the two together under one
policy. The typical wording for such additional policies is either:
Goods in transit insurance
This is aimed at Couriers and hauliers and the
purposes of transporting cargo.
Tools in transit insurance
This type of insurance would be aimed at
tradespeople who need to protect the contents of
their Van such as the tools and goods which they own. Read more here.