Van Insurance Classes of Use Explained

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 more.


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 appropriate insurance.

  • 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

    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.

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