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Our guide to commercial van insurance cover for Tradespeople

Do all Tradespeople self-employed or not, need commercial van insurance?

Every Tradesperson using a van for work purposes, self-employed or not, even when only travelling to one job or a regular place of work, must have some form of commercial van cover for Tradespeople

All Tradespeople must then also ask themselves the equally important question; what type of van insurance do I actually need?

Weather a Tradesperson is using a van, car or even a motorbike to move from job to job, carry tools, or give co-workers lifts in working hours a Tradesperson must have commercial vehicle cover. Accidents are rare but unfortunately inevitable and happen when they are least expected. If a Tradesperson is conducting business activities at the time of any incident their insurance provider may not pay-out with only standard van insurance cover in place.

Continue reading for’s quick guide to van insurance for Tradespeople. Although we cover the basics, we advise all our recommended Tradespeople to contact a reputable van insurance broker when deciding exactly which insurance policy to purchase. We recommend our trusted partner Commercial vehicle Direct to assist you in far more detail about the certain types of van cover a Tradesperson may need.

guide to commercial van insurance for Tradespeople

Commercial Vehicle Direct are trusted by over 120,000 commercial vehicle drivers in the UK and have trained professionals on hand to guide Tradespeople in the best policies available on the market.

Don’t take the risk with inadequate van cover

Although Tradespeople will be pay a higher premium for a commercial vehicle policy, do not be tempted to run the risk of purchasing only a standard insurance policy when in fact you will using your van for gain as a Tradesperson. To any Tradesperson, your vehicle is your livelihood and without it, as a Tradesperson you will not be unable to ply your trade and stay in business.

a Tradesperson not having the correct van insurance is similar to a home owner not having the correct home insurance cover, get it wrong and it could cost you very heavily indeed, it really could ruin lives.

What type of Van insurance cover does a Tradesperson need?

The only Tradespeople that are exempt from commercial vehicle cover are Tradespeople that only use their van solely for social use whilst away from work. This would include everyday life activities such as visiting relatives and friends plus also enjoying hobbies which require the use of a van such as canoeing, surfing, cycling etc. Inevitably being a self employed Tradesperson you will be using your van for more than just social activities, but you may have a second van just for social use, this type of van insurance Is ideal for the second vehicle you own.

The moment a Tradesperson uses their van for any type of business or financial gain the correct commercial van insurance must cover the vehicle.

The department of transport has stated that there were over 3.1 million light goods vehicles using UK roads, as of December 2011, and that all of these vehicles should be insured by one of the four following types of van insurance cover.

  • Social Domestic and Pleasure Insurance

  • Carriage of own goods

  • Carriage of goods for hire or reward

  • Haulage

Each of these four different types of cover reflects the type of activities conducted by a Tradesperson while using their vehicle. So in addition to third party only, third party fire and theft, theft and comprehensive, Tradespeople will also need to consider carefully these four different insurance classifications also.

Social Domestic and Pleasure Insurance

This covers Tradespeople who do not use their vehicle to travel to and from work or for any commercial activities. a Tradesperson with this cover would only be able to use their Van for general use and hobbies that require a vehicle larger than a car.

Carriage of own goods cover (recommended for Tradespeople)

This would be the standard van insurance policy required for both a self-employed Tradesperson and an employed Tradesperson travelling to a place of work in their van. This type of commercial van insurance would cover a Tradesperson’s personal possessions plus any goods that would be directly used by the Tradesperson to ply their trade. Tools, golf clubs, even your CD’s in the clove box.

Be clear though that although this classification would cover a Tradesperson’s personal tools and possessions any third party goods may need additional goods in transit cover. For instance a Tradesperson has just picked up £5,000 worth of materials from their local Tradespeople merchants, the Tradesperson stops for a coffee and they are stolen. A standard carriage of own goods may not cover a Tradesperson for such loss, so Tradespeople must know where they stand with their van insurance provider.

When Tradespeople are signing into a carriage of own goods insurance policy their insurance broker will ask exactly what type of business they conduct and what type of goods the Tradesperson will be carrying. It is very important that Tradespeople be as specific as possible with their answers, this will enable their commercial vehicle insurance broker to find them the best deal with the best cover possible for Tradespeople.

Many commercial van insurance brokers will also construct a deal for Tradespeople which incorporates all the different types of cover a Tradesperson may need and will give significant discounts on these packages.

Do make sure when signing into any van insurance deal that it provides all the appropriate cover needed by a Tradesperson, as it would be expensive to go to a second or third company to gain the extra further levels of cover necessary for a Tradesperson separately. The best way to safeguard against this is again for Tradespeople to inform their insurance broker with as much detailed information as possible about what their van will be used for, when obtaining a quote and before signing anything binding.

Carriage of goods for hire or reward & Haulage

This classification is rarely used by Tradespeople as the carriage of goods for hire or reward classification covers delivery type work. This type of commercial van insurance covers the transport of a third parties goods for financial reward and is not really applicable to Tradespeople.

GAP Insurance

In addition to these policies there are many add on’s a Tradesperson can add to their policy. One to seriously consider is gap insurance. If you are a Tradesperson buying a van outright or through a finance or lease agreement, a GAP insurance policy helps Tradespeople to protect the value of their vehicle in the event of a write off.

Tradespeople Simply take out a GAP policy at the time of purchase, and when they need to make a claim, their policy covers the difference between any insurance pay-out and the amount the Tradesperson actually paid for the vehicle.

Commercial Vehicle Direct

Our trusted partner Commercial Vehicle Direct (CVD) is the UK’s biggest van insurance broker, offering great deals for Tradespeople from more than 20 leading insurers. They will be more than happy to guide any Tradesperson through the many different levels of insurance a Tradesperson may need. Over 120,000 commercial van owners many of which are Tradespeople trust Commercial Van Direct Ltd with their van cover needs.

By contacting CVD you can take advantage of a number of benefits, including:

  • Low excesses available
  • Cover for Tradespeople with penalty points or convictions
  • Tool cover for Tradespeople
  • GAP Insurance for Tradesmen
  • Warranty cover
  • Breakdown and Accident Assistance

CVD’s Technical Broking Unit can arrange cover for all Tradespeople that call so, no matter what your circumstances, you can get the commercial vehicle cover that is right for Tradespeople. Just call 0845 125 8640 for a quote or visit for more details.

Written by Jeffrey Smith,

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