Everyone likes a bargain, and when you are in business it’s doubly important to keep an eye on your expenses and ensure that you get the best value for money. Even small, incidental things, like getting your vehicle insurance premiums as low as possible, can help with your overall budgets.
We’ve compiled a list of tips below that can help you to make savings on your insurance cover for your company van, whether you just have one vehicle or a whole fleet.
1. Size Matters – In this instance, the bigger the van the more expensive your premiums are going to be, so if all your stuff is rattling around inside a long wheel base then perhaps you should consider downsizing to a smaller vehicle.
2. Location, Location, Location – Where do you leave your van at night? If you can leave it in a garage or other secure area such as a driveway or lock-up, then it would be seen as safer and less likely to be stolen than if it was parked on the roadside, so reducing your premiums. Another way to help to bring down your premiums is to not leave anything valuable, such as tools, in the van overnight.
3. No Claims Bonus – By building up your No Claims Bonus (sometimes known as No Claims Discount) you can bring down your premiums, but it can be tricky. The obvious thing is to not have any accidents or have anything stolen, but as that relies on other people to be careful and to not have any criminal notions to steal your van or its contents, it’s not really in your hands. You could consider not claiming if it’s for something small that was your own fault and you can fix the problem cheaply. An in-depth explanation about No Claims Bonus in easy to understand terms can be read here.
You can also consider protecting your No Claims Bonus but as this is likely to actually cost you more it might not be worthwhile, especially if you do not actually make any claims whilst paying for the protection.
4. Shop Around – As with any purchase it pays to use a comparison website such as www.comparevaninsurance.com. It’s also a good idea not to auto renew your van insurance. Yes, it’s easier and you’re busy but a quick check to make sure that you get the best deal will be worthwhile in the long run, and these sites make it easy to compare companies quickly.
5. Annual v Monthly – Paying for your insurance in a one-off annually fee will be cheaper than if you spread out the payments over the year, so if you can afford to do so it makes sense to pay a lump sum.
6. Going to Excess – You can’t do anything about your compulsory excess – this is a fixed fee that your insurance company will decide upon. You can, however, pay a higher voluntary excess if you can afford to as this will lower your premium. But a word of caution: don’t be tempted to volunteer for a big excess if you don’t have the money available to pay it in the event of a claim!
7. Safe as Houses – Many insurers will look kindly on you, and consequently reduce your premiums, if you fit security devices to your van. Fitting an immobiliser, alarm or tracking device, if it is on their approved list, makes sense as it helps to deter thieves and makes your van more secure so less of a risk. You could also consider getting some security etching on your windows. Here’s a list of the best security products to protect your van.
8. Wrap it up – Not in cotton wool, that would be just silly, but plastering your business all over your van with logos and signwriting makes it very recognisable and less appealing to thieves who much prefer the easy option of stealing a van that is not so easy to trace.
9. Associations and Training – It is possible to get a discount from your insurer if you are part of a trade association, so remember to mention any that you are a member of. Likewise, if you or any of your van drivers have had additional driver training, as long as it was with an approved organisation then your insurer will likely offer you a discount.
10. Check the Smallprint – Many insurance companies offer optional extras which, in the event of a claim, could be beneficial, but are they really necessary? Read carefully and make sure you only have the extras that you feel are valuable as they will all help to bump up your premiums.
11. Check your Mileage – Another small point to bear in mind is mileage. Make sure you accurately estimate the mileage you do in a year as you pay more the more miles you drive. There’s no point paying for 20,000 miles per year if you only drive 15,000. However, you must be careful not to underestimate the miles you drive as exceeding this could result in additional charges.
12. Keeping a Clean Slate – Points don’t make prizes when it comes to insurance, so if you have any of those pesky points then they are likely to add up to higher premiums. Likewise, if you have additional drivers that have points on their licences this will affect the amount you have to pay. There is also a good chance that adding drivers who are under 25 years old will result in you paying more.
13. Don’t Pimp your Ride – Whilst it’s true that adding security devices and business advertising to your van can help to reduce the amount you’ll have to pay for insurance, the same can’t be said for all modifications. Resist the temptation to add modifications that, whilst they may improve the performance or looks of the van, will not be looked upon favourably by insurers who will see them as just another expensive gadget to replace.