What Does Van Insurance Cover?
Caeva O'Callaghan | October 3rd, 2023
You’ll already have valid insurance if you drive a car. But is van insurance any different?
At a minimum, van insurance covers third party only, which is the minimum legally required to drive in Ireland and the EU.
Van insurance is a type of insurance policy that protects you financially if your van is stolen, vandalised or damaged. 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 does third party, fire and theft mean?
- Do I need comprehensive van insurance?
- What does van insurance not cover?
If you drive a van for personal or work purposes, make sure it has insurance before you get on the road.
What does third party, fire and theft mean?
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.
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.
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 vehicle behind you and back into it, smashing its headlights and denting its bumper, you might also do damage to your van.
With third party only coverage, the insurance company would only cover the damage done to the car. However, it will not cover your van, so you’d have to pay out of pocket.
If you had third party, fire and theft, this would also not cover you in this instance as your van neither caught on fire nor was stolen. For that, you’d need comprehensive insurance.
Do I need comprehensive van insurance?
Comprehensive van insurance includes third party, fire and theft, and, depending on which insurance company you are with, it will 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?
Typically, van insurance does not cover the goods being carried in the van – whether they belong to you or to somebody else. However, you may be able to add this on as an optional extra.
If you pull a trailer with your van, you can also make sure this is covered under your van insurance. Just give us a call to arrange the cover you need, or mention it to your insurer. 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 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.