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Frequently Asked Questions About Van Insurance

  1. sending proof of your no claims bonus

    To make things easy for you we've put together this handy fact sheet so you can provide us with the details we need.

    You can view and download the fact sheet by clicking here

  2. sending us a copy of your licence

    To make things easy for you we've put together this handy fact sheet so you can provide us with the details we need.

    You can view and download the fact sheet by clicking here

  3. how to make changes or update your licence

    To make things easy for you we've put together this handy fact sheet so you can provide the DVLA with the details they need.

    You can view and download the fact sheet by clicking here

  4. acceptable forms of identification

    To make things easy for you we've put together this handy fact sheet so you can provide us with the details we need.

    You can view and download the fact sheet by clicking here

  5. what is no claims bonus (NCB)?

    This is a discount awarded for the completion of 12 months continuous claim free insurance. NCB can only be earned and used in your own name and on 1 vehicle at a time. NCB is not acceptable if it expired more than 2 years prior to the inception of your new policy. NCB is reduced after a fault claim (please refer to your policy wording for full details of NCB reduction). If you are unsure if your NCB is valid you can call our experienced agents on 03303 438 628 who will be happy to help you.
  6. what is protected no claims bonus (NCB)?

    This will allow you to make a certain number of claims arising from your own error or fault without affecting your no claims discount. Please refer to your policy wording for full details.
  7. fault and non-fault claims – what is the difference?

    A fault claim is any claim resulting in your own insurer being liable (paying for the claim) e.g. you are not to blame for a theft claim but your own insurer would be liable, as they have no other party to recover the costs from. If your insurer pays for your damages in a claim e.g. where a third party hit you, but then re-coups their costs via the third party's insurer, this would be a non-fault claim as your insurer was not liable (recovered their costs for the claim).
  8. if I have an accident and I do not wish to make a claim, do I still have to notify my insurer?

    Yes, it is always advisable to tell your insurer of any incident the insured vehicle is involved in, so that your file is always fully updated, even if no claim is to be made, all incidences should be reported to 0800 9 537 537 as soon as possible.
  9. what is an insurance excess?

    This is the first part of each and every claim which you (not your insurer) must pay. There are two types of excess:

    Compulsory excess – This is an excess that has been applied as a requirement by your insurer and will vary according to your personal circumstances and the terms of cover provided. A compulsory excess may be required if you drive a particular vehicle or you have inexperienced drivers on your policy. There is also a compulsory excess for fire, theft or windscreen claims.

    Voluntary excess – This will apply where you agree with your insurer to pay a greater part of each claim, in addition to your compulsory excess. A voluntary excess can be increased or decreased at your request during your on-line quotation and it may affect your premium.

  10. where is classed as a hazardous/dangerous location?

    Including, but not restricted to chemical/oil/gas works or refineries, nuclear/power stations, explosive/ammunition/pyrotechnic industries, military bases etc.
  11. what is classed as an aerodrome, airfield or airport?

    Grounds set aside for the moving, taking off or landing of aircraft, aircraft parking areas and associated roads, ground equipment parking, maintenance and refuelling areas. Customs examination areas of passenger terminals.
  12. what is classed as foreign use?

    Any driving of a vehicle outside of the UK is deemed to be foreign use. All commercial insurance policies that we offer on-line provide the minimum cover you require to drive in any of the EU countries. Further assistance on extra cover can be obtained via your policy wording or by contacting us on 0330 343 9280.
  13. how can I make my insurance cheaper?

    There are a number of ways:

    • Increase your voluntary excess – An excess is the first part of the claim that you have agreed to pay. By increasing this amount, therefore increasing the amount that you are willing to pay in the event of a claim your insurer will discount your annual premium. Remember, in a non-fault claim you may recover your excess via your legal assistance, which is explained under our legal assistance section.
    • Your vehicle – The value, type and engine size (cc) all make a difference, generally the cheaper and smaller engine vehicles generate lower premiums.
    • Security – Having an alarm, immobiliser or tracker fitted to your vehicle can generate premium discounts.
    • Annual mileage – Be as accurate as you possibly can. The lower your annual mileage, the more the insurers may discount your annual premium.
    • Where is the vehicle parked overnight – If you have a garage, it's best to use it as insurers may offer discounts on your annual premium. If you have a driveway, enter this onto your quote, off-road parking such as communal parking areas must be entered as "road".
    • Additional drivers – Only add drivers to your policy that use your vehicle on a regular basis. Limiting drivers limits your risk to the insurer and therefore decreases your annual premium. 'Any driver' policies are considerably more expensive, if you do require this, check all drivers ages as any driver policies over 25 (entered on quote as 25) may be more expensive than any driver policies over 30 (entered on quote as 30).
  14. I don't have breakdown cover, can I add it now?

    Yes, so long as you have a current policy with us. If taken out part way through a policy, the breakdown will only run until the expiry of the current policy and will not become active until 24 hours after it has been added.
  15. why do I need motor legal assistance?

    This additional cover will protect you if you incur any uninsured losses as a result of an accident that wasn't your fault. Losses which are uninsured may include loss of earnings, personal injury, vehicle recovery within the United Kingdom, loss or damage to personal property and policy excesses under a comprehensive policy. This cover also includes credit repair.
  16. when does my cover start and can a policy be backdated?

    Your policy can begin up to 30 days after you have paid your initial deposit. Under no circumstances can insurance cover be backdated.
  17. what levels of commercial van insurance are available?

    There are three different levels of commercial van insurance: third party only commercial van insurance, third party fire and theft and comprehensive commercial van insurance.
  18. is commercial van insurance a legal requirement?

    The introduction of new legislation last year made it a legal requirement to have insurance on a vehicle at all times – even if it is off the road or unused. The only exception is if you have notified the DVLA and declared your van off the road by means of a Statutory Off Road Notification (SORN). Van insurance is a legal requirement under the Road Traffic Act. You are breaking the law if you don’t have insurance for your van.
  19. how do I decide on the best cover for me?

    Third Party Only is the minimum requirement by law, it can be the cheapest but it is the most basic. This level of cover will pay out for any damage caused to a third party that you are responsible for, but not for repairs to your own van, medical expenses nor will you be insured if your van is stolen.

    Third Party Fire and Theft offers the same cover as third party but also covers the cost of repairing or replacing your van if it is set on fire, stolen or damaged through attempted theft.

    Comprehensive is the next level up from third party, fire and theft.  As well as including both the above, this cover also includes repairs to your van if involved in an accident.
  20. in what circumstances would I need courier insurance?

    Simply put, you will need this type of insurance if your business carry’s goods that they don’t own for delivery services.
  21. in what circumstances would I need Goods in Transit Cover?

    Goods in Transit insurance provides protection for goods that you are transporting whilst in transit. Autonet can insure goods for both haulage use (carrying other people’s goods) and your own supplies, for example, building materials.
  22. why should I insure the contents of my vehicle?

    Picture the scene – you are driving along the motorway with a fully loaded van and you have an accident resulting in the contents of the van being destroyed. If you didn’t have goods in transit cover, you would be liable to pay for all the damaged goods. This could run into thousands of pounds. Having this type of insurance also helps your credibility as a professional courier.
  23. what is classed as a HGV vehicle?

    A Heavy Goods Vehicle is a large vehicle with a total weight of more than 3.5 tonnes (vehicle + load).

  24. why don’t many insurance companies offer cover for Heavy Goods Vehicles?

    It is extremely important for a HGV to be insured but it can be difficult to find insurance. Driving a large vehicle like this can be classed as ‘high risk’ in comparison to a car or a small van. HGV’s can be expensive to purchase and are usually responsible for carrying large loads. It is not surprising that a number of HGV’s are targets of theft in the UK.
  25. what exactly does HGV insurance protect?

    HGV insurance is designed to deal with HGV’s, also known as Large Goods Vehicles. This type of insurance is similar to van insurance in many ways, it covers damage caused by the vehicle to others and can be scaled up to cover accidental damage to the truck and theft cover.  In addition you can purchase goods in transit insurance to cover the contents you are carrying in the vehicle.
  26. how do I get HGV insurance and can I tailor the policy to suit my needs?

    Autonet have provided HGV insurance quotes for many years, so it is fair to say we have the experience in this field to answer any questions you may have. We have a number of leading insurance companies on our panel that offer very competitive rates for your HGV insurance needs. If you have any questions regarding HGV insurance and tailoring it to your needs, please ring our specialist agents on 0330 343 8848

  27. what kind of ‘special licence’ is required to drive a commercial HGV?

    A standard UK licence is not sufficient to drive a vehicle over 7.5 tonnes. It will depend on the needs of your business to determine what licence you require. Usually you will need to obtain an operator’s licence to drive this type of vehicle.
  28. what is public liability insurance?

    Public liability insurance provides cover against claims made by members of public who have suffered an injury or damage to their property caused by your business.

    Public liability is necessary for people that work in close proximity with the general public and other businesses. If you own a business in the UK, you would be wise to take out this type of insurance.
  29. what business can you obtain public liability insurance for?

    There are a lot of businesses and occupations that come under this umbrella, from builders to plumbers and gardeners to window cleaners. If you are in business you really need this type of insurance to safe guard your business.  Some customers or clients may ask you to provide proof of public liability insurance before you start working for them. For more information on public liability Insurance, call autonet today.
  30. what are material fact(s)?

    These are the answers that you provide to the insurer's questions and are what the insurer would regard as likely to influence the acceptance and assessment of this application. If you are in any doubt about whether facts are to be considered material, you should disclose them. We can give you further information on 03303 439 278 if you require it.
  31. what are classed as disabilities or medical conditions?

    Certain disabilities or medical conditions will need to be notified to the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency), as they may effect your or any named drivers' ability to drive.
  32. what is your full and /or part-time occupation?

    Enter your occupation, then pick the correct one from the list of matching options e.g. if you are a joiner, type JOIN then choose joiner from the list. Repeat this process if you have a part time occupation e.g. working part-time in a public house or as a part-time shop assistant.
  33. who is the main driver of the vehicle?

    This is the person who uses the vehicle the most. As with all material facts, you should be honest here. If you are planning to insure a vehicle for your son or daughter, when you know that they will be the main user, you should state this, failing to do so could lead to your insurer invalidating any claims.
  34. why do we need your telephone number?

    We like to take both your telephone number and your e-mail address as a point of immediate contact with you. If you are worried about the storage of your personal information, please read our privacy policy. However, you will find that we cannot offer an on-line quotation without at least 1 telephone number and a valid e-mail address.
  35. what is the number of other vehicles in the household?

    It is important to enter the correct number of vehicles in your household as we may cross-validate your data and offer discounts on the basis of vehicle ownership.
  36. when was my vehicle first registered?

    You can find this information on your vehicle's V5 document. Below is a list displaying example registration marks:

    • M         - 1994 to 1995
    • N         - 1995 to 1996
    • P         - 1996 to 1997
    • R         - 1997 to 1998
    • S         - 1998 to 1999
    • T/V      - 1999 to 2000
    • W/X     - 2000 to 2001
    • Y/51    - 2001 to 2002
    • 02/52  - 2002 to 2003
    • 03/53  - 2003 to 2004
    • 04/54  - 2004 to 2005
    • 05/55  - 2005 to 2006
    • 06/56  - 2006 to 2007
    • 07/57  - 2007 to 2008
    • 08/58  - 2008 to 2009
    • 09/59  - 2009 to 2010
    • 10/60  - 2010 to 2011
    • 11/61  - 2011 to 2012
    • 12/62  - 2012 to 2013
    • 13/63  - 2013 to 2014
    • 14/64  - 2014 to 2015
    • 15/65  - 2015 to 2016
  37. what are imported vehicles?

    Vehicles which are brought in from abroad. If your vehicle is imported and matches UK specifications, then some of our companies will insure these.
    Non UK specification – these are vehicles which are brought into the UK from abroad and do not match current UK specifications. These vehicles are more difficult to insure, mainly due to the restricted availability of parts. As our on-line quotation system is limited for quotations on imports, you may wish to call our import specialists on 03303 439 278 for a quotation tailored to your requirements.
  38. what are modifications?

    This is when the vehicle's engine, suspension or body has been altered in any way that is different from the original manufacturer's specification. Vehicles fitted with special equipment or apparatus will also fall into this category. The most common modifications are performance enhancements, such as exhausts, bodywork or personalised paintwork. Please note that the above lists are not exhaustive. Although our system is currently unable to offer a quotation for modifications on-line, you may contact us on 03303 439 278, where one of our sales agents will tailor a policy to suit your vehicle's requirements.
  39. do you have access to any other vehicles?

    This is when you or any proposed driver have use of another vehicle:

    • You may own another motorcycle, van or car
    • You may be a named driver on another policy
    • You may have access to a company van/car within working hours e.g. a pool car
    • You may have full, personal access to a company van/car including social domestic and pleasure use
    • You may have access to a car
    • You may have access to a van
    • You may have access to a motorcycle

    Our experienced agents may offer unique discounts for such driving experience, call them on 03303 439 278.

  40. what is an immobiliser?

    There are two types of Thatcham graded immobiliser:

    T2 = An immobiliser that has been judged to comply to the Thatcham criteria

    T1 = An alarm/immobiliser combination that has been judged to comply to the Thatcham criteria

    Definition: An electronic immobiliser is a device fitted to the vehicle that disables the engine of your vehicle when your vehicle is not in operation by you. Some newer vehicles have these factory fitted by the manufacturer and these are normally shown within your vehicle brochure. It is also possible to have these immobilisers fitted by a garage or specialist, who would supply a certificate of installation detailing the exact model of your vehicle's immobiliser. A copy of your fitment certificate may be required.

    Definition: A manual immobiliser is a device fitted which is usually placed on the steering wheel or gear lever of your vehicle e.g. Krooklok.

  41. what is a tracking device?

    This is a device which enables the police to locate your vehicle if it is stolen. Some newer vehicles may have this device installed by the manufacturer, however, this is normally a facility which you are required to subscribe to on an annual basis. A copy of your fitment certificate may be required.
  42. what are the differences in insurance cover types?

    Third Party Only cover – This is the most basic insurance and covers your liability for death or bodily injury to a third party (including other occupants of your vehicle) and your liability for damage to third party property.

    Third Party Fire and Theft cover – This covers third party risks as described above plus the risk of fire and theft in connection with your vehicle in accordance with relevant policy terms. Some insurers will provide cover for the contents and the audio equipment of the vehicle, details will be provided with your quotation.

    Comprehensive cover – This includes the Third Party Fire and Theft cover, as well as loss of or damage to your vehicle caused by accidental or malicious damage. Comprehensive cover usually includes some personal accident benefit in respect of personal injury or fatality (please refer to your policy terms for details). Theft cover for the contents of your vehicle is provided by most insurers but only to a specified amount and subject to policy terms. Details will be shown with your quotation.

  43. what do you use the vehicle for?

    If you drive your van to and from work and transport business related goods such as your own tools, please select “Carriage of Own Goods”. This cover is ideal for professions such as plumbers, decorators, window cleaners or florists as there is no cover for loss of, or damage to any goods being carried.

    Social, domestic and pleasure only will cover your vehicle for personal usage only (excludes using your vehicle in conjunction with your occupation/trade).

    Carriage of goods for hire & reward will cover your vehicle whilst transporting goods for other parties.

  44. can I use no claims bonus from my private car for my courier insurance?

    Yes, we will allow you to use the NCB earned from a private car. We may even allow you to keep the NCB on your private car and allow the same discount on your new courier van policy. Our sales agents can provide further information. Please call on 00330 343 8849 to find out more.

  45. who is classed as a sole trader?

    An individual running their own business (which is not a limited company or a partnership). They are entitled to take all of the profits and are personally liable for any debts incurred.

  46. can I get public/employers or contractors liability insurance?

    Yes, we cater for the majority of insurance policies that the average van driver may require. Call us on 0330 343 9337 to discuss the package which would be best suited to your needs.

  47. do I need goods in transit?

    Yes, most companies that sub contract courier service will require that all sub contractors have goods in transit insurance. Ask yourself if you could afford to pay for the goods if they were damaged or stolen? At autonet we offer goods in transit insurance to suit your needs.

  48. do I need public liability?

    Yes, although not compulsory public liability insurance is generally required because it provides your business with cover against legal claims.

    If you are a small business or self-employed sole trader, a company director or an employee then you could all potentially be blamed for injury to a third party i.e. a member of the public or damage to the property.

  49. can I just have light haulage cover and what is the difference?

    The simple answer to this is no you can't have light haulage cover, as its not the correct cover. A lot of insurers say they are covering you for courier use when in fact they aren't. Make sure you are getting the correct cover, light haulage, van driver or delivery driving is not courier use!

  50. are my tools covered?

    No, unfortunately our van insurance policies do not cover tools, however autonet do provide optional tools cover at varying levels, just call us on 0330 343 9301 to find out more.

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