Does Van Insurance Cover Me if I Break Down?
Caeva O'Callaghan | October 9th, 2023
Breaking down at the side of the road is never ideal. But will your van insurance cover the costs of roadside help?
Maybe – it depends on what insurance provider you have van insurance with, and what’s included on your policy.
If you think you’ll need roadside and driveway assistance, you can purchase policies which include this in the premium. It all depends on what you decide to include on your insurance policy.
In this article, we’ll answer the following questions:
- What does van insurance cover?
- Does van insurance include breakdown assistance?
- Can I add breakdown assistance to my insurance policy?
Breaking down at the side of the road is usually a headache – but even more so if you’re on your way to or from an important job. When you have a commercial vehicle, breakdown assistance can be a valuable addition to your insurance.
What does van insurance cover?
At a minimum, van insurance covers third party only, which is the minimum legally required to drive in Ireland and the EU.
TPO (third party only) insurance covers damage to the other party only: not to your vehicle, or to yourself. For example, if you have TPO insurance and get into an accident and both you and the other driver are hurt, your insurance would cover their injuries and the damage to their car. It would not cover your van, nor the contents, nor any physiotherapy or business interruption compensation you may need.
Third party, fire and theft, however, covers third party liability, as above, but also includes fire and theft. This means that if your van is broken into, a successful claim will include the cost of damages and losses. And, if there’s a fire, you will be able to replace or repair your van with no additional cost except the excess. This cover applies to your vehicle as well as what is inside.
Comprehensive van insurance includes third party, fire and theft, and, depending on which insurance company you are with, it will also include windscreen cover. It should also cover passenger liability as standard, as long as your passenger is in a proper seat and not riding in the back of the van.
Does van insurance include breakdown assistance?
It depends on your insurance provider, and the policy you have taken out on your van.
For instance, Aviva and Axa will pay for costs incurred through roadside and driveway assistance, any towing fees, passing on messages, transport and accommodation if you break down.
Zurich, meanwhile, provides an emergency helpline and assistance service but you must pay for assistance out of your own pocket.
Some insurance companies, such as Wrightway and Patrona, provide no assistance at all and you must organise this yourself.
In order to make sure you have the coverage you need, make sure you look over all your policy documents thoroughly before you sign. Always shop around for competitive van insurance quotes, and bear in mind it’s usually worth paying a little extra for more coverage – you never know when you might need it!
Can I add breakdown assistance to my insurance policy?
Yes. If you do not have breakdown assistance already included in your van insurance policy, your provider should give you the option to add it on for an extra premium.
Of course, you may be able to get a better deal somewhere else. This is where we come in: give us a call, tell us what you need, and we can organise a separate, standalone breakdown assistance policy from only €30.
Finally: don’t forget that just because you purchased insurance for your van, doesn’t mean you’re insured to drive a car or any other vehicle. If you own a van, whether you use it for commercial or recreational purposes, any insurance you buy will only cover that specific vehicle. Any insurance you have for another vehicle won’t cover you in your van.