As a van driver, keeping your vehicle on the road at all times is about recovering your vehicle from failure and protecting your livelihood too.
Any vehicle adapted for commercial purposes involved in a breakdown situation costs its owner precious time personally, but also financially with the loss of vital trading hours.
Commercial van breakdown cover saves any delays and gets your business back on the road as quickly as possible. Specialised policies minimise disruption to the course of your business and helps save you time, money and ultimately your reputation in the process.
Paying a monthly premium can also support your commercial finances by absorbing the cost of towing fees and other one-off payments payable by non-policy holders year-round too.
What kind of van breakdown cover do I need?
The kind of breakdown cover you require depends on how far you drive your van and how exactly you use it for commercial means. Whether you conduct your business on a local, national or international basis will all have a bearing on the level of roadside assistance you are likely to need.
How a van is used to transport tools or other goods in the course of your business, and how these might be transferred from one vehicle to another should the motor carrying them fail, will also affect the kind of cover you require.
Levels of cover
As with any policy, roadside assistance is provided as standard with commercial van breakdown cover, so if your vehicle breaks down more than a specific distance away from home (usually quarter of a mile), someone will be dispatched to help you at the side of the road.
Failure to mend the problem kerbside will then usually result in your van being towed to the nearest garage or the address registered on a policy, depending on which is closer.
For more comprehensive cover, you may otherwise look to 'add on' any one of the following four options:
If you get up in the morning and find your van won’t start, home assistance will cover you at your registered address to hopefully fix the problem there and then. Some providers may also provide cover if this happens a specified distance away from your home, with terms differing from policy to policy.
If the nature of your business takes you and the tools or goods you rely on to all corners of the country then you might consider national recovery. Driving long distances regularly not only makes the potential recovery costs greater, but also causes wear and tear on your vehicle in the process.
National recovery usually means collecting a vehicle from anywhere in the UK and, assuming it can’t be repaired at the roadside, returning it to your local garage to be fixed. Depending on how many co-workers you may have, you might also want to look at covering transport for you and any passengers to be returned to their home address, as finding alternative means could prove costly too.
If your van can’t be repaired immediately while you’re away from home, onward travel cover could be the answer. Overnight accommodation, a replacement van and/or reasonable onward travel expenses may all be provided for, allowing you to complete the course of your business with minimal disruption involved.
As ever, cover terms are dependent on your provider’s individual terms, but overall onward travel cover is designed to get you off the kerbside and back in business as soon as possible.
If the course of your work takes you and your van outside of the UK then European commercial van breakdown cover is quite simply a must. Repair, travel and other transport expenses incurred by a breakdown in your home country are likely be much, much greater abroad.
Like most European policies, cover is generally provided for a total number of days with an annual policy, or for a specified number of days covering each individual trip.
Check, check and check again
Ultimately, everyone's business needs differ and so do commercial van breakdown policies. Different insurers often specify differing times a mechanic might be supplied to work on your van at the side of the road, for example, before additional costs are incurred. How big or small your vehicle is, how heavy it weighs in at, and what specifically it is used for may all be details included in the small print too.
Comparison providers such as Protect Your Family can help you compare and contrast policies across the market which cater for your own specific needs, and help you make sure you've got every eventuality commercially covered in the process.