What are the Different Types of Van Insurance?

Caeva O'Callaghan | July 5th, 2023

If you’re not sure what kind of insurance you need for your van, it’s best to go with the maximum level of coverage you can afford.

Comprehensive, third-party fire and theft, and third-party only are the different types of van insurance you can purchase – exactly the same as with car insurance.

At a minimum, you need third-party only cover. This is the minimum legally required to drive in Ireland and the EU. It’s always the best idea to get the maximum insurance you can afford to make sure you have the best coverage.

In this article, we’ll go over the following questions:

  • What is third party only van insurance?
  • Do I need comprehensive van insurance?
  • What does van insurance not cover as standard?

If you own and drive a van, you need to make sure you’re covered by the proper level of insurance.

What is third party only van insurance?

Third party only is the minimum insurance needed to legally drive in Ireland. It covers damage to the other party only – not to your vehicle.

For example, imagine you are reversing out of a parking space with several vehicles around you. If you misjudge the distance between your van and the car behind you and back into it, denting its side and smashing a headlight, you might also do damage to your van.

If you had third party only insurance, this would cover the damage to the other vehicles, but you’d have to pay to fix your van yourself.

Third party only is there to protect other people, and is usually the cheapest van insurance option available. However, that doesn’t mean it’s right for you. You should never skimp on insurance costs if you need a higher level of cover.

Do I need comprehensive van insurance?

Possibly not. There is another option between third party only, which covers the minimum, and comprehensive van insurance, which covers everything else: third party, fire and theft.

As the name suggests, third party, fire and theft insurance covers third party liability, just like third party only, but it also includes fire and theft cover. 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, on the other hand, includes third party, fire and theft, and, depending on which insurance company you are with, it may also include windscreen cover.

Comprehensive van insurance also covers much more. Passenger liability is included as standard, as long as your passenger is in a proper seat and not riding in the back of the van.

No matter if the accident is your fault or not, comprehensive cover will cover you for the cost of repairing or replacing your van, and possibly any loss of income that arises from not having it. This is as well as covering all damages to the other party. This is why it’s a great idea to have comprehensive van insurance in most cases. However, depending on your daily driving habits and the value of your van, maybe not. For instance, if your van is worth only €2,500 and you would only endure slight inconvenience if you lost it, it is probably not worth paying the additional premium (if any) for comprehensive cover.

What does van insurance not cover?

Van insurance doesn’t cover things like goods, equipment or materials being transported in your van – but you may be able to purchase this cover as an optional extra.

Similarly, if you regularly pull a trailer with your van, you need to also make sure this is covered under your van insurance. Trailer insurance will cover it while attached to your commercial vehicle, or while temporarily detached during the course of a journey.

Finally: don’t forget that just because you purchased insurance for your van, doesn’t mean you’re automatically 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 isn’t portable to the van – unless you buy specific coverage such as fleet insurance or combined car and van.

Van Insurance doesn’t need to be confusing. Let us help – give us a call, tell us what you need, and we can find the perfect insurance policy for you.

All Information in this post is accurate as of the date of publishing.