Modified van insurance
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What counts as a ‘modified’ van?
Any change that is made to your van that is different from the factory standard is likely to be classed as a modification, and may therefore require a modified van insurance policy.
Some changes, such as spraying the van a different colour, are unlikely to affect your insurance, but you should still tell your insurer even for slight modifications like that.
Modifications that will almost certainly mean your van is classed as ‘modified’ can include:
- Adding alloy wheels
- Adding spoilers
- Making changes to the suspension/steering/engine
Modified van insurance also applies if you convert your van i.e. into a campervan. or if you modify it so it can store and transport specialist items.
If you modify your van so it can be used for business purposes, then you will need specialist business van insurance.
Specialist modified van insurance companies can also help by providing policies for left-hand drive vans or grey imported vehicles.
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How do van modifications affect the price of insurance?
A modified van is likely to cost more to insure than a standard van because most insurance companies see any modification that isn’t security related (e.g. an alarm or immobiliser) as an increased risk.
This is because many modifications are made to vans in order to make them more powerful or faster, which insurers see as an increased risk of having an accident and making a claim.
As well as this, many modified van parts and accessories are more expensive to replace – so if you do end up having to claim on your policy it will be more expensive for the insurance company.
Your van could also be deemed a higher risk of attracting thieves or vandals if it features new and valuable modifications.
Due to the increased risk posed by modified vans, many insurance companies will not offer cover for any van that has been changed from the factory standard – which means you could be limited to more specialist insurers to cover your modified van.
Specialist modified van insurance
The plus side of arranging cover with a specialist modified van insurance company is that they tend to be more sympathetic when quoting for modified vans.
They know that the owners of modified vans are more likely to be reliable and responsible drivers, as they have invested heavily into getting their vehicle the way they like it, and may therefore reward the more careful owners with lower premiums.
Modified van insurers also have more freedom to get creative with their quotes, with some being known to further reduce the cost of insurance by increasing the excess you pay to effectively cover the cost of your modifications.
If you need help with finding the perfect modified van insurance policy for you, start comparing quotes with Bobatoo now…
How to get cheaper van insurance
Van insurance needn’t break the bank, nor do you need to pull off the heist of the century to be able to afford proper cover and with it, peace of mind.
Not if you follow our general insurance advice and shop around. With a plethora of online price comparison sites there really is no need to settle for the first quote you get, when it only takes a few minutes to discover a selection of the very best van insurance policy prices out there.
Above and beyond that, we would tell anyone seeking van insurance – be it for business or private use – to minimise the cost of your premiums by looking to spend less on the van in the first place, where possible. Ostensibly smaller vans – possessing smaller, more economic engines – are cheaper to purchase and thus attract more competitive premiums. By comparison, a high powered van harnessing a larger engine will always end up being more expensive to insure, as it effectively poses a greater risk. If you approach van purchase realistically, and seek the size, weight and performance measurable with your business and/or private needs, generally these considerations will be reflected in cheaper van insurance costs.
Elsewhere, and we’d advise people to steer well clear of imported vans, as they always tend to come with higher insurance premiums, chiefly based on the cost of sourcing replacement parts. UK-spec vans – and unmodified ones at that – should be considered first and foremost. Much like any form of motor insurance, where your van is parked up at night also has a strong bearing on the premiums offered, with the driver’s garage or driveway habitually preferential to being left on the roadside.
Getting your company logo printed on the side of your van can also pay surprising dividends in terms of van insurance premiums, as insurers see such vinyl-applied actions as you dedicating yourself to your business for the long haul. This could see a further 5% trimmed off your annual premium, believe it or not.
Again, fitting shelves or racking systems in the back of your van will help cut predicted insurance costs, which implies that you’re serious about making your business a go in the eyes of an insurer, while the more fitted the van is the less appeal there is to van thieves targeting such vehicles.
Aside from that, and van security should be high up your agenda, not least to make those insurance premiums all the more affordable as well as to safeguard your asset. There are a raft of alarms, immobilisers and tracking devices on the market, any one of which when fitted will have a significantly beneficial effect on your van insurance costs, with trackers in particular being a strongly recommended deterrent to would-be thieves and therein looked favourably on by the country’s leading van insurance providers.
For more information on how to find cheap van insurance, see our detailed guide: How to get cheap van insurance for over 25s