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If you are a self employed trades-person or perhaps own and operate a commercial business that requires you to transport light loads quickly and economically by road, the chances are that you are among the millions of people in the UK who rely on vans or, in insurance company terminology - light commercial vehicles (LCV's).
There are however significant differences in the level of protection required from insurance by the owner of a commercial vehicle to that of the private motorist. For instance, commercial light vehicle (or van) insurance is intended not only to satisfy the requirements of the Road Traffic Act, but will provide protection against loss of or damage to any tools, property or goods carried in it. Crime statistics show that around 50,000 small commercial vehicles are stolen each year mainly for their loads, so that fact alone makes obtaining a solid, comprehensive commercial vehicle insurance policy a sensible business decision. A policy should also ensure that if your vehicle is off the road because of damage, the hire of a replacement vehicle to enable your operation to carry on as normal, will be covered.
There are many insurance companies who specialise in commercial vehicle insurance and it certainly pays to research the different benefits offered and to obtain a selection of quotes to compare prices. Generally, a company will want to know the details of your business and other factors relating to the vehicles to be covered such as:
Make and type
Owners of more than five vehicles may find that a commercial vehicle fleet policy is more cost effective.
Insurance premiums vary depending on location of your business, claims and conviction record of the driver and estimated annual mileage, but commercial vehicle insurance does tend to be more expensive than private insurance because of the perceived higher risk taken by the insurance underwriter. Figures indicate that of all road traffic accidents reported; around a third involves vehicles being used for commercial purposes. Similarly, rather more than a third of all claims made against vehicle insurance policies relate to either damage to or loss from a commercial vehicle.
However, there are ways of reducing the amount that you will be required to pay for your cover by ensuring that the security on the vehicle and its load is of a good standard. Most companies stipulate the minimum level of acceptable security dependant on the load carried, but if you can improve on this by installing industry standard alarm systems, high security locking devices and a GPS tracking device in your van, you will almost certainly see a reduction in the cost of your premiums.
Finally, don't forget that your use of a vehicle on a commercial van insurance policy is unlikely to provide cover for non-commercial private use outside of business hours.
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