The ultimate business van guide

Tips and advice for using a van for a new business venture

For many businesses vans are a vital part of day to day life and some would grind to a halt without them. More than ever before businesses are using vans as a means of transportation, not only for their workers but for all their equipment and produce. Here a specialist van insurance broker shares some useful advice and tips on what you should consider when using a van for a new business venture.

If you use a van for business purposes you need to have suitable insurance in order to protect your business and trade legitimately. The law requires you to have third party cover at the very least, covering you for injury to others as well as damage to their property. Third party fire and theft cover offers the additional protection for damage caused to your vehicle following a fire, theft or an attempted theft. If you have a valuable vehicle you may want to consider comprehensive cover which also covers your own vehicle in the event of an accident, even if it was your fault. If more than one person will be driving the van you need to ensure everyone has appropriate cover.

For maximum flexibility, you can insure your van for any driver, though this generally comes with a hefty price tag. It may work out cheaper for you to simply insure a few ‘named’ drivers. However, bear in mind that if you’re looking to insure anyone under the age of 25 or convicted drivers, your premium is likely to be much higher. When looking for van insurance it’s important to shop around and compare prices of at least three different insurers. Don’t simply opt for the cheapest as it may not include all the required features your business needs.

Businesses can often benefit from policy extras such as tool cover, breakdown cover and vehicle replacement cover, giving you that extra bit of protection out on the road. If you’re unsure of what’s best for your business, there are many van insurance specialists out there who can offer expert advice. Whilst searching the net and comparing prices is a good way to get a cost effective deal on your insurance, van owners can also take their own measures to reduce their premium:

Van Security: It would be a businessman’s worst nightmare to lose their produce, tools or van to theft.  It’s therefore important never to store expensive tools or keep valuables in your vehicle overnight. If it’s unavoidable then make sure you have a decent alarm system and park securely in a locked compound or garage to help deter ‘would-be-thieves’.

Equipment: If you’re running your business from your van then you need to make sure valuable items such as phones and laptop computers have sufficient cover as well and are never left on display in an unattended vehicle.

Wraps/SignWriting: Some insurers offer discounts if vans have a wrap. Not only does it indicate you take good care of your van, it deters thieves and reduces claims as the van is more recognisable.

Racking: This may not necessarily reduce your premium, but if you’re carrying expensive equipment in your van then a racking system can be installed to keep your equipment safe and damage free.

Lastly, when taking out insurance it’s worth bearing in mind that driving history, use and age of vehicle, annual mileage and claims history can also affect your premium.

Kirsty Hooper is a writer for specialist van insurance broker Commercial Vehicle Direct who seek to find competitively priced insurance cover for new business owners with vans.

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