What Will Van Insurance Cover if my Van is Totalled in an Accident?
Caeva O'Callaghan | August 7th, 2023
No one wants to be in an accident on the road – but will your van insurance pay out?
If you’re in a road traffic collision involving your van, the damage your van insurance will pay for depends on your policy.
It’s always best to be aware of the facts before you purchase any van insurance policy, just in case it doesn’t fit your needs.
In this article, we’ll go over the following questions:
- Does my van insurance include accidental damage?
- What happens if my van is written off?
- What if I’m hit by an uninsured driver?
It’s always the best idea to get the most van insurance cover you can afford, just in case things go wrong.
Does my van insurance include accidental damage?
If you have comprehensive cover, then your van will be covered for accidental damage. But some insurance companies – such as Liberty Insurance, for example – exclude damage to your van unless it has a valid NCT certificate.
Roadworthiness is always more important than having a valid certificate on hand, but this is never any excuse for not having an NCT. In most situations, driving a van without a valid NCT certificate is illegal and any insurance claim made on a vehicle without a valid NCT is void.
The responsibility is on you to make sure your van is fit for the road. For example, say you had a collision with an oncoming vehicle because your brakes were faulty due to wear and tear. The third-party aspect of the insurance claim will be paid. But, your insurance company almost definitely wouldn’t pay for the damage to your vehicle because it was not roadworthy.
If your van cannot be driven after the accident, your van insurance may pay for removal and transportation of your vehicle to the repair centre, garage or other destination chosen by your insurer.
What happens if my van is written off?
If your vehicle has been so badly damaged you can no longer drive it, it will be sent to an approved garage for assessment. You cannot choose the garage your insurance sends your van to, they will have a list of approved centres they work with.
If the garage deems the vehicle as irreparable, a claims assessor will be called in for a final assessment. If repair costs exceed the value of the van, it will probably be written off as it will be viewed as uneconomical to repair.
In this case, your insurer will pay out the value of the vehicle before it was damaged (after deduction of the policy excess, and of course assuming your policy covers the incident).
Fear not, some Insurance Companies will replace your van with a new van if your current van is written off and is less than 1 year old. Also, if you’ve modified your van, Axa Van Insurance will cover some non standard accessories up to a limit of €1250, such as a permanently fitted radio or sound system.
What if I’m hit by an uninsured driver?
Uninsured drivers are a menace on the road. However, insurance companies are well equipped to deal with the outcome of their recklessness. If you’re hit by an uninsured driver, you’ll be able to claim on your own insurance, but only if you have comprehensive cover.
This usually means losing your no claims discount, unless you’re paying a little extra to protect it each month. You will also need to pay the excess.
The good news in this situation is that, unless you have breached your insurance agreement, there is no reason for your insurer not to pay out.
Of course, there are a number of reasons why your insurer may refuse to pay the claim after your van has been hit. If you were untruthful on your insurance application or didn’t disclose vital information, such as penalty points, this counts as insurance fraud and your provider will not pay for your claim.
If you have missed one or more premium payments, this may also result in your claim being rejected. Additionally, if you haven’t kept to a condition of your policy, such as leaving your van unlocked overnight, or are trying to claim for more than you should, these are also reasons your insurance may not pay out.
Your insurance provider may also pay some of your claim if your van was overloaded at the time of the accident, or if the cost of your claim is more than what you’re covered for.