How to save money on rising van insurance premiums

Average premiums paid under “social, domestic and pleasure” cover have increased 18% compared with 13% in the year to January for drivers using vans for work

Rising claim costs are increasing van insurance premiums, with average prices rising 14.1% in the past year to an average £1,344, according to insurance market researchers at Consumer Intelligence.
The firm says the rising cost of van insurance is adding to the financial pressure on self-employed workers – or the so-called ‘White Van Man’ – who are facing National Insurance rises in last week’s Budget.
But Consumer Intelligence’s quarterly Van Insurance Index found the biggest price rises are being faced by drivers who use their vehicles as substitutes for cars – average premiums paid under “social, domestic and pleasure” cover have increased 18% compared with 13% in the year to January for drivers using vans for work.
Average best buy premiums for “carriage of own goods” suitable for workers such as builders, plumbers, carpenters and shopkeepers who commute to work are £1,293 compared with £1,557 for “social, domestic and pleasure”.
The data shows older drivers have seen premiums rise by 11.2% with over-50s paying £369 while under-25s have seen increases of 13.7% and can pay up to £4,707.
Average premiums for vans are rising faster than for cars as the cost of claim payouts is higher as insurance may have to cover lost business as a result of owners not being able to work.
The price difference between “social, domestic and pleasure” and “carriage of own goods” is driven by insurers rating customers using vans for work as a better risk as they are more likely to be careful with their vehicle as it’s vital for work.
Ian Hughes, Chief Executive of Consumer Intelligence, said: “Van drivers pay higher insurance bills than car drivers and with more people using their vans for work that adds to the costs of doing business.
“Choosing the appropriate cover is vital when keeping costs down and opting for carriage of own goods will reduce premiums.
“However the trend is up across all segments of the market underlining the need to shop around as prices will vary month on month and between providers.
Carriage of own goods cover can also include social, domestic and personal use. Drivers opting for social domestic and pleasure use generally have past-times or hobbies that suit having a van as either their sole vehicle or as a second vehicle.
Detailed analysis shows average premiums for van drivers aged 25 and 49 are rising the fastest – they increased 14.4% in the year to January.