Van Insurance Jargon Buster


Like all forms of insurance there is lots of jargon involved with van insurance, especially as vans are generally used in connection with a business. To help you know exactly what you’re getting with your policy we have ‘busted’ some of that jargon!

Third Party only (TPO) –is the minimum level of insurance cover required by law in the UK and is therefore the cheapest. It contains no cover for damage to your vehicle or for injuries to you as the driver, but it does covers damages to other vehicles and their occupants if you are at fault in an accident.

Third party, fire and theft (TPFT) – the next level up from TPO is typically a little pricier but still cheaper than fully comprehensive policy. It provides the same level of cover as third party cover, but protects you against damage to your vehicle from fire, or theft of the vehicle, as long as you're not at fault.

Fully comprehensive – The highest level of insurance cover and normally the most expensive. It typically includes the cost of repairs to the vehicle even if you’ve caused the damage. Things like windscreen, medical, replacement vehicle and legal cover are sometimes included but policy features will vary between insurers, so check before you buy.

Insured value – to calculate the cost of a policy, insurers frequently ask for the estimated value of the vehicle. If the vehicle is damaged and cannot be repaired the insurance company will pay out either the amount you stated the vehicle was worth or the current market value at the time of the claim, whichever is lower.

Fleet Insurance – If, as a business, you run more than one van it will probably be more cost effective and less time consuming to have Fleet insurance which will cover multiple vehicles under one policy.

Mileage cap – many insurers impose annual mileage limits – e.g. the policy has a 10,000-mile annual cap. If the vehicle exceeds that limit then it is not insured within the terms of the policy

Breakdown cover – some insurance policies offer AA or RAC-style breakdown cover. As it is important to keep business vehicles on the road it is worth checking if your policy includes this and what level of cover is available.

Telematics policies – fitting vehicles with equipment that monitors mileage and how a vehicle is being driven is increasing in popularity with van fleets. Telematics policies can lead to cheaper insurance premiums.

Goods in transit – if your business is involved in delivering goods, it is important that your policy protects and covers you for goods stored in the vehicle.

Hire and reward –if your business transports cargo that does not belong to you or your business e.g. removal firm, this covers you for carrying goods that belong to someone else.  

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