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Why is Van insurance so expensive compared to car insurance?
Van drivers in the UK may already be familiar with the rising costs of Van insurance compared with that of a car. While there are many contributing factors which come into play when calculating insurance premiums, it all boils down to risk. Driving a Van, especially for business use means an increased exposure to a unique set of added risks. Additional protection is therefore required with Van cover and is partly responsible for the increased costs. Understanding what influences a Van insurance premium can help you make better money saving decisions when taking out your cover.
Is Van insurance cheaper than car insurance?
In a general sense, the short answer is no, and Vans tend to be more expensive to insure than cars, by a significant margin. This is partly due to a number of unique additional risks that Van drivers are exposed to as well as due to the many different classes of use a Van can fall into. Statistics and numbers play a large role when calculating insurance premiums and overall, Van drivers and the Vans themselves fall into higher risk categories.
What contributes to the rising cost of Van insurance in the UK?
As with car insurance, Van insurance costs change from year to year and are influenced by a number of contributing factors. Age, Van type, what you use the Van for and where you live are all variables that can contribute towards rising costs. Theft and crime statistics are also a primary contributor to the rising cost of Van insurance as is uninsured drivers and those that make fraudulent insurance claims.
When you apply for an insurance quote, the insurer is going to ask a number of questions to help determine how much risk you pose to them and what the likelihood is that you’ll make a claim. With Van insurance, there are a lot more questions to ask compared to someone seeking cover for a car. This added risk assessment is ultimately what ends up pushing up the price of your premium.
What age are you?
Regardless of what vehicle you are trying to get insurance for, if you’re under 25 then you’ll automatically be flagged a high risk. If we look at the statistics for road accidents in the UK, a staggering 85% of them are either caused by or have a direct involvement with a driver under 25.
Age will also be seen as having a direct link to experience in most cases. Older drivers are more experienced and therefore safer on the roads while younger drivers pose a far greater risk due to inexperience.
What type of Van are you driving?
All vehicles are categorised into insurance classes based on size, weight, engine capacity and overall value. The make and model of your Van is going to be one of the main contributors to the overall cost of your insurance. Bigger Vans are heavier, carry more cargo and require bigger, more powerful engines that can cause significantly more damage to other road users if involved in an accident.
For example, a 3-year-old Citroen Berlingo is classed as insurance group 1E and will be cheaper to insure than a Mercedes Sprinter which sits in group 19. It goes without saying that the higher the insurance group, the higher the cost of the cover.
Where do you live?
Insurance companies use the national crime statistics to assess the risk of any given postcode in the UK. If you live in a high crime area, you going to end paying more for your Van insurance. A further blow to the cost of your insurance is that Vans will always be seen as a more tempting target for thieves. This isn’t necessarily for the Van itself but rather its cargo, which in many cases can be of significant value.
How long have you held your licence?
Your experience behind the wheel is going to play a major role in the cost of your Van insurance. In the eyes of the insurance company, your 80% more likely to be involved in an accident if you’ve been driving for less than 3 years. Holding a full UK licence for 10 or more years will see your premiums start to fall.
Do you have any claims or convictions?
One of the main contributors to the cost of Van insurance is whether you have any previous accident claims or driving convictions. Anything less than a perfect driving history, especially if your classed as a young driver, is going to have a negative effective on the price of your cover.
Is your Van modified?
If you have made modifications to your Van that affect its looks or performance, then you must declare these to your insurance company. Anything that’s not factory fitted as standard will be looked upon as an increased risk. If you alter the look of the Van its going to be more prone to theft and if you alter its performance, its going to be a higher accident risk.
Above all else, modified parts can be harder and more expensive to replace and carry with them an overall increased value to your vehicle. This pushes up your insurance group. Bottom line, modifications are primary factor when calculating insurance premiums and should be avoided unless absolutely necessary.
Whats your intended use of the Van?
This is where Van cover really starts to differ from car insurance. Van insurance carries with it a much broader set of different classes of use which depend solely on how you propose to use Van. What you do for a living, how long you spend on the road and the type of goods, tools, or equipment you’ll be transporting all play a large role in how much you’ll end up paying for your cover. Each different class of use has its own unique set of risks.
What level of cover do you require?
Possibly one of the most defining characteristics of a Van insurance policy is the level of cover you choose. Third party only is going to be far cheaper than fully comprehensive cover but will offer less protection and peace of mind.
The more cover you opt for, the more protection you’ll get in the event something happens to your Van or its cargo and naturally, you’ll end up paying more for a higher level of cover. If you opt of any additional options to your policy, again you’ll likely see significant increase. Only addon what you need and remove any cover that’s irrelevant or not required.