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Commercial Van Insurance
If you own a business that uses vans to transport yourself, your employees or goods, then you are by law required to have commercial van insurance. The definition of what constitutes a commercial van is not very clear, but it is safe to assume that if you transport goods or people, or you are a driving instructor, then your van falls under the law.
The minimum legal requirement for owners of commercial vans are the same as for all other vehicles that drive on public roads, that is, you need to have Third Party Liability Insurance (Primary Liability Insurance).
Even though it is not mandatory by law, it is still essential to have additional commercial van insurance if your van is a big part of your businesses. If you run a courier business, you will want to have insurance for the goods you are transporting or if you run a business that uses tools and expensive equipment you will want that insured, as it will not be covered under your basic insurance scheme when it is in the vehicle.
For many business owners dealing with insurance can be a hassle because of all the paperwork, rules and regulations, but on the other hand, having the right insurance policy will ease your mind and allow you to focus on the actual business aspect.
Some small businesses need insurance more than others. Say you are running a small courier company and your only van breaks down or has an accident. This could be potentially devastating for your business if you are not able to meet obligations to clients and customers. It pays to invest a little money and time in choosing the right commercial van insurance.
What type of policies are available? First of you have the most basic form of insurance which is mandatory Primary Liability (Third Party Liability). Then there are two general types of insurance that are common for commercial van insurance:
Third Party Fire And Theft and Comprehensive.
Third Party Insurance only cover you against damages done to a third party's vehicle, possessions or personal injury. This is required by law.
Third Party Fire And Theft gives you additional coverage against losses incurred from fire and theft. Basically it means that if you lose your vehicle in any situation where you are not to blame, then you will get the market value of your van back. This is really basic insurance and should be signed even if you only drive an old van around the neighborhood. It is really bad luck to have your vehicle stolen and not have insurance, but it happens!
Comprehensive Insurance is an insurance package that includes
Third Party and Fire And Theft Coverage, but also includes several other areas of cover. It is the most popular insurance type available because it more or less takes care of all your insurance worries in one comprehensive big package.
Comprehensive Insurance usually, but not always, include the following:
Goods In Transit:
This is absolutely essential for you if you carry stock or tools worth thousands in your van. In the worst case scenario that your van gets stolen or destroyed, how would this affect you cash flow? Can you afford to buy the stock or tools back again? A single unfortunate accident could literally put you out of business for good. Goods In Transit covers the value of all goods and tools you transport in your van.
Courtesy Car / Replacement Vehicle:
If you rely heavily on only one vehicle to do your business then this insurance is worth purchasing. If your vehicle breaks down, gets stolen or damaged, this will get you another vehicle while your own is being repaired. Since repairs can take several days and weeks, you can end up saving a lot on rental costs.
Another convenient inclusion. Accidents involving commercial vans are very common. It is estimated that one in three accidents involves a commercial vehicle and even if your drivers or yourself are skilled and responsible drivers, if you spend a lot of time on the roads, you risk accidents. This insurance covers your legal expenses in case of an accident.
An obvious part of your insurance. All vans, old and new, eventually break down and will need to be towed to a repair shop. This insurance gives you easy access to towing and a hotline number for fast service.
What can you do to keep the cost down?
Commercial van insurance is often more expensive than private auto insurance. Commercial vans often have a larger capacity, size and weight which increases risk of damage and injury. This means a higher risk for insurance companies because they will likely pay out more in case of accident. Because of this, they charge higher premiums. That considered, there are still some precautions you can take to keep the cost down:
Keep your van locked up in a secure location at night.
Increase your deductible (voluntary excess), but be sure that you can actually afford it.
Name your drivers instead of signing an “any driver” policy