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Van insurance rating factors

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Knowing how your van insurance premium is calculated could help you save money, and make sure you get the right type of cover.

Man with white van

When deciding the cost of a van insurance policy, insurers consider a wide range of rating factors.

Different insurers, however, will use these rating factors in different ways. That’s why it’s essential to compare quotes from multiple providers for the best chance of finding a great deal.

Some of the most common van insurance rating factors include:

The type of van

The make and model of your van will affect the price you pay to insure it, as will its engine size and value.

Vehicle weight is also an important rating factor. Insurance for a small van will often be cheaper than for larger vans, as they’re generally easier to control, meaning fewer accidents should occur.

Driver details

Insurance premiums also depend heavily on the drivers on the policy. Insurers will consider age, occupation and driving experience, along with a range of other factors, when calculating premiums.

It'll be harder to find competitive prices for any drivers who’ve been refused cover in the past, or have had special terms imposed on a policy.

An 'any driver' policy will always cost more, so consider carefully who you want to insure to drive your van.

Van use

Insurers will also factor in how you intend to use your van. If you’re regularly transporting high value or dangerous loads, you’ll be considered a greater risk.

Couriers and haulage contractors will usually need specialist insurance policies to cover them, in the same way that taxi drivers do. This is because of the unique set of risks they’re exposed to. You can find more information on our courier insurance page.

Some insurers won’t be able to give you a quote if you use your van to carry hazardous or toxic materials. This is due to the increased risk that comes with this kind of cargo.

And if you’re using your van for both private and business purposes, you’ll need to inform your insurer. The details they’ll need include:

  • the goods that you transport

  • the drivers to be covered

  • the average duration of use

You may be able to extend an existing van insurance policy to cover occasional business use. But if your van is used predominantly for business, transporting goods, or is actually owned by a company, you’ll probably need a specific commercial policy.

If you own more than five vehicles, a fleet policy could be arranged and be cheaper overall. The claims history of your fleet will often be the main rating factor in assessing the cost of a fleet policy.

Van security

You can usually cut your premiums with additional security features, such as an alarm, an immobiliser or a tracker. These mean that your van’s less likely to be stolen or broken into, so insurers may offer you a cheaper quote.

Your location

Man with van on the phone

People living in cities are usually considered more likely to have accidents, as there are more hazards around.

So it’s quite common that a van insurance quote for someone who lives in a city will be higher than for someone living in a more rural location. Vehicle thefts or break-ins are also more likely in certain towns and cities.

Your no-claims bonus

For each year that you insure your van without making a claim, you receive no-claims bonus. This can be redeemed for a discount on your next year’s premium.

Your voluntary excess

While most insurance policies will have a compulsory excess, you can usually add a further voluntary excess on top of it.

A higher voluntary excess can often reduce the cost of your policy, though you’ll have a larger amount to pay in the event of a claim. For more information about voluntary excesses, read our excess explained article.

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