A van that is for personal rather than commercial use is likely to cost less to insure, but there are a number of factors that will affect the cost of premiums for commercially-used vans.
The type of van is the most obvious factor. The make and model will affect the price you pay to insure it, as will its engine size and value. Vehicle weight is also an important rating factor as the larger the vehicle is the more difficult it may be to drive and therefore the higher the risk of an accident.
Location is also a factor. If the van is located or used in a city, the van insurance cost will be higher. Again this is because the insurers assume an increased likelihood of accidents.
If you are using your van for both private and business purposes you must inform your insurer. The details you need to provide include the goods that you transport, the drivers to be covered and how long the use will be for.
Age of drivers is another factor.
For company vans the most economic cover for more than five vehicles may be fleet insurance cover for any driver. However, prices will be affected by the age and driving records of those who will be using the vans.
If possible, restrict the permitted drivers to those aged over 25 or if that is not an option to at least over 21. The younger the drivers the more expensive the insurance is likely to be.
Of course, it will also help if drivers have a clean record and if you have also arranged for them to have training in safe and economical driving and can prove it.
Other ways of keeping the costs down include ensuring that the van is fitted with security measures, such as alarms and immobile. Parking in a secure area and under cover overnight will also make a difference to the insurance costs.
If it is affordable, another option to consider is paying a large voluntary excess – the portion of any insurance claim you opt to pay yourself. This is in addition to the insurer’s imposed mandatory excess.
Depending on the nature of the business the van’s contents also need to be insured. The contents may be tools needed for work at locations off site or courier items being delivered. Both may be more vulnerable to theft, particularly in city areas.
The three most common types of travel insurance are business travel insurance, single trip insurance, and multi-trip insurance.
If you are going on holiday it is most likely that you will be looking for single trip insurance, whereas the business traveler may find annual or multi-trip insurance policies more cost effective if they are likely to be traveling several times in a year.
With all types of travel insurance it is important to know exactly what is covered and what might trigger a refusal of claim.
Most obviously, few if any insurers will cover travel to any of the countries listed by the Foreign Office as too dangerous to visit.
Also, there are likely to be restrictions and increased costs for anyone traveling who is aged over 65 because they are considered a higher risk for claims on medical cover, no matter how fit and active they might actually be.
How many consecutive days abroad is the cover for? Limits vary depending on the provider, and if you go over this limit, even if it’s only by a day, you will invalidate your insurance.
Another point to check is when the policy actually starts. If insurance is to begin on the first day of their holiday, rather than the day the holiday is booked, there can be problems should the policyholder has to cancel the holiday in advance.
It is important to read the small print particularly when it comes to travel insurance for theft or loss of property.
The policy rules may insist that lost property should be reported to the local police, for example. This may also include a time limit, such as the reporting must be done within 24 or 48 hours of the theft or loss. If you don’t have the correct documents as proof that this has been done, the company may reject your claim.
Also check whether there are maximum value limits on cover for individual items, such as jewellery or laptops. Single item limits are typically around £300 but some policies allow you to pay a fee to increase this.
Regular travelers, or those planning a long haul holiday, or anyone going on two or more trips a year may save money on their travel insurance if they choose an annual travel insurance policy.
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