Are Your Tools Safe?
Making sure you have the right level of insurance cover is important, and it is easy to make assumptions which mean things are overlooked. One such assumption is that your van insurance that covers your business van or fleet also covers you for tools, equipment and stock that is in the vehicle.
Unfortunately, this is not the case, and if you do not have insurance in place to properly provide you with the security of van contents insurance, you could find your business facing a loss of many thousands of pounds.
Does my company van insurance cover the contents?
Basic commercial van insurance is there to provide legal cover for your company van and drivers should they be involved in a road traffic accident. It is important that you have the van insurance that properly covers the business use.
Carriage of own goods insurance provides suitable cover for companies where the vans typically have tools or other equipment on board.
Carriage of goods for hire or reward insurance is for those who are making deliveries, such as couriers or companies delivering stock to customers.
Haulage insurance covers those making long-distance stops for delivery.
If you have a road traffic accident while covered by the appropriate insurance, then the contents of your van will be insured. However, contents will not be insured should your van be stolen or broken into.
What contents insurance do I need for my fleet?
If your company is small, then you may be satisfied with a basic level of contents insurance bolted onto your standard van business insurance. This is easy to undertake and is little more than an upgrade to the road insurance you already have.
Should you have specialist requirements, however, such as a changeable inventory in your vans, multiple vehicle cover or cover for tools overnight, then it is worth looking at an independent contents insurance cover. Remember that insurance is a competitive business and by being specific regarding your needs and willing to shop around, you will be able to get a competitive quote.
What should I do to get the best premiums?
Here are four tips to getting the cheapest premiums on your contents insurance:
1 – Be specific
Know your contents and their value if possible. Don’t pay for a level of packages insurance that is beyond the maximum value you will be transporting. If you are looking for tools insurance to cover the equipment your van typically has, then inventory it properly and get an accurate valuation.
2 – Use size to your advantage
If you have more than one van in your company fleet, then make sure you take out cover for all of them in the same instance. Discounts for multiple vehicles can be significant and it also lowers the administrative cost to your business.
3 – Improve your security
Whether it is upgrading the alarms or locks of the vans themselves, or providing secure facilities for their overnight parking, the more you can do to enhance the security of the vehicles the lower your premiums will be.
4 – Don’t take the first quote
Always walk away from the first insurance offer and use it as a baseline for other quotes. You can come back to it later if you don’t hear anything better, but jumping in before you have properly shopped around could be costly.
My fleet is leased – can I modify my leased van to improve security?
Depending on the type of lease you are under, you may be able to make significant modifications to your van. Check your contract or talk to your finance provider as you may require permission from your leasing company.
If in any doubt, make sure you contact your leasing company before doing any modifications on your van at all. Remember also that you must let your standard van insurer know of any modifications too!
What are the pitfalls of van contents insurance?
Believing you are fully insured only to find there is a dispute when you move to claim can be soul destroying and financially debilitating for your business. Make sure you have the right insurance for your needs. Here are a few of the common mistakes people make regarding van contents insurance:
1 – Assuming that commercial van insurance for legal driving covers contents
This was covered earlier in the article but bears repeating – unless you have specifically bought cover for the contents of your vans, the contents will not be insured outside of a road traffic accident.
2 – Assuming that your cover extends to leaving tools or goods in the van overnight
Covering the contents for an overnight period is considered an extra with contents insurance and shouldn’t be assumed. Check your policy for any exemption times.
3 – Wrong type of cover
Make sure that you get correct cover for the inventory of your vans. If you are transporting goods for other people (as a courier, for example) then ensure your cover accounts for this.
4 – Not complying with the agreement
You will not be covered if you fail to comply with the basic agreement you have with the insurance company. This includes such things as leaving the keys in the vehicle, not turning on alarms, leaving windows open, forgetting to lock additional locks, or parking in a non-agreed location.
Make sure your drivers have a routine that they follow when leaving the vehicle to avoid simple mishaps leaving you uninsured.
Financing your van fleet
At Maxxia we are experts in vehicle leasing and finance, for cars and vans. If you are looking to expand your business through the acquisition of one or more vans, then we can help you budget and find the best deals. Fill in our contact form or call us on 020 7520 9450 with any business lease queries.