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Typical Cover Details

Motorists may purchase third party only, third party fire and theft, or comprehensive policies. They may cover up to 4 vans on one policy, but all vans must be covered at the same level. Motorists may put up to 4 named drivers on each policy or may choose to cover any driver over age 21 on all vans. Comprehensive policies include breakdown cover. All policies include legal expenses cover. Motorists cannot remove these included types of cover to get a cheaper rate. The specifics of policy details may be found in one's policy documents.

Business Uses

Pay-as-you-go van insurance may be used for certain business purposes. Insurers require motorists to designate the purposes of the vans and they charge premiums accordingly. They also explicitly forbid certain business uses.

Allowed Classifications

Policies require motorists to indicate the classification of the van for what it will be used. The most common is for social, domestic, pleasure, or commuting use basically a person's everyday personal transportation needs. This is generally the minimum class of use for pay-as-you-go van cover. Beyond that, policies also allow certain types of business uses. These may include the carriage of one's own goods, fast food delivery, or couriers, among others. Each of these is an option that the policyholder may choose when purchasing cover. Carriage of own goods covers the van whilst in use in connection with the motorist's work and during travel to more than one location for that work. Motorists should know that for travel in Europe, only the social, domestic, or pleasure class is applicable, regardless of the class chosen in the UK.


Insurers exclude specific types of business uses. These include public or private self drive hire, use at an airport, recovery or breakdown services, involvement in the motor trade, wholesale newspaper delivery, among others. Insurers may exclude certain types of vehicles vans with more than 6 seats, ice cream vans, agricultural vans, refrigerated vans, vans used to transport toxic materials, along with many others. Insurers do not cover short term hire vans, however they may accept long term hire agreements provided the contract is in place for a minimum of one year; motorists must have a contract with the hire company and be contractually responsible for damages to the van. Policies have a multitude of exclusions; motorists need to pay attention to them.

Goods in Transit

If the van will be used to transport goods, policyholders may decide to purchase 'goods in transit' cover. Such policies cover goods carried on behalf of others or the motorist's own goods, tools of the trade, and so on. This may be necessary for certain small businesses.

Insurers may exclude cover on any claims arising from use of the van that doesn't fall under the list of permitted uses on the Certificate of Insurance. Motorists need to ensure that they enter all information accurately so that they don't find their cover void after an accident has occurred.

Levels of Cover

Motorists may purchase pay-as-you-go insurance at any level of cover. Comprehensive cover insures motorists against any accident. Third party fire and theft covers any damage to the person or property of a third party as well as damage to one's own van as a result of theft or fire. Third party only insures the motorist's legal liability to third parties and little else.


Comprehensive is the most extensive level of cover. It covers both the third party liability damage to a third party's person or property as well as damage to the motorist's own van. It's consequently the most expensive level of cover. It also includes breakdown cover and windscreen cover. Breakdown cover applies for a maximum of six breakdowns during the covered period. It doesn't apply for breakdowns that occur within the first 48 hours of the policy or breakdowns due to knowingly driving in unsafe conditions or at a racetrack or rally. Insurers often pay a certain maximum for any one breakdown, around 300. Windscreen cover pays for damage to windscreens, windows, or glass sunroofs along with any scratching to the body of the van due to the breakage. Motorists will simply have to pay a 60 excess if they go to an approved repairer, but if the damage can be repaired, they will not have to pay the excess. However, if they take the van to a repairer that is not approved, cover is limited to a total of 200.

Third Party Fire and Theft

Third party fire and theft covers legal liability to third parties as well as damage to the motorist's own van in the event of theft, attempted theft, or fire. There are exclusions to the fire and theft cover, however. If the motorist fails to lock the van's doors, set the security features properly, or repair broken security features, the insurer doesn't have to pay for the loss or damage. Similarly, if the motorist leaves the keys in or on the van, the policy is also void. Policy documents contain lists of these types of exclusions.

Third Party Only

Third party only satisfies the legal minimum requirement to drive on public roads. It only covers the third party liability damage to another's person or property. In the case of property damage, it may limit maximum damages to 2 million. Third party only doesn't insure any damage to the motorist's own van, no matter what caused the damage.

All policies contain legal cover up to 3 million, which cannot be removed to obtain a cheaper rate. The legal cover will not apply if the van was being operated in the midst of a criminal offence, whether or not that offence is prosecuted. There are numerous other exclusions for all levels of cover, so motorists should be vigilant about the small print.

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*PLEASE NOTE: All details above are based on a typical policy and conditions will change from time to time, and from one insurer to another so please check policies carefully before entering into any commitments.

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