Business Van Insurance vs Private Van Insurance
Which type of van insurance do you need?
We’re used to seeing commercial vans on our roads, but there are many reasons you might buy a van for personal use, too. Did you know that there are different types of van insurance, and that the type you need depends on what you’re using the vehicle for?
In this guide we’ll help you decide whether you need business insurance or private insurance for your van.
When business van insurance is the right choice
- Using your van for any commercial purpose, including haulage or carrying goods for hire or reward.
- You use your van for purposes that involve payment or income, even if the only goods you carry are your own. Examples: you’re a mobile hairdresser, a plumber, a builder, a mobile gardener or rock band travelling to a gig.
- You drive your van to your normal place of work. In this regard, van insurance is much stricter than car insurance, which can include commuting to your workplace. If you drive your van to work, you’ll need business van insurance.
- If you regularly sell at events like car boot sales or flea markets. Insurers will distinguish between the social activity of a van driver who only occasionally uses a van for this type of event, or someone for whom this is a regular commercial activity.
Types of business van insurance
If you need business insurance for your van, there are three main types of cover.
Carriage of own goods
This type of van insurance is for any driver who uses their van to commute to work and covers your personal belongings, including the tools of your trade. This makes Carriage of Own Goods cover equally suitable for the mostly social van driver who also commutes to work, as well as tradesmen such as builders, plumbers, electricians and shopkeepers.
Carriage of goods for hire or reward
This insurance is a legal requirement for delivery vans that carry other people’s goods for hire or reward. It’s typically for courier-type businesses that carry a wide-range of goods and make multiple drops at various destinations throughout the day.
This is similar to Carriage of Goods for Hire or Reward, but Haulage cover is more suitable for companies with an established client list, transporting their goods at set times to regular locations. Haulage companies tend to know in advance the type of goods they’ll be transporting.
It’s important to note that while the last two types cover the vehicle if it’s involved in an accident, neither provide insurance for the goods themselves. This would need a different type of insurance policy, called Goods in Transit.
When to choose private van insurance
A van makes life much easier for some hobbies – think camping trips, model aeroplanes, surfboards or fishing equipment…
Or maybe you’ve taken on a big domestic project such as building or extending your home. A van will certainly come in handy for ferrying those construction materials from the builder’s yard.
These are just a few examples of completely non-business reasons for driving a van. Put simply, if you only use your van for social, domestic and pleasure purposes (not including driving to work), a policy for private van insurance is fine.
As mentioned before, using your van to commute to even one place of work is not included in private van insurance. If this describes your situation, business van insurance with at least cover for Carriage of Own Goods is a better option for you.