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All About Cover

Beyond the obligatory third party liability, short term policies cover different things and different amounts, depending on the insurer. They do limit the age of the drivers to whom they will offer cover. They may also include cover abroad.

Amount of Cover

Short term van insurance policies will cover vans worth between £1,500 and £50,000, varying by insurer. Vans usually must weigh under 3.5 tonnes and have fewer than 6 or 8 seats. Short term van policies pay for third party liability, though they may cap third party damages to £3 to £5 million. Comprehensive policies may include cover for other things like audio equipment, up to around £200. They often include windscreen cover, which requires a £50 excess and then pays for the rest of the damage so long as motorists take the van to an approved repair shop. Some comprehensive policies even cover the contents of the van, up to a certain limit.

Covered Drivers

Temporary van policies do have age restrictions. Most cover drivers between the ages of 23 and 75. Some may cap ages at 69. Restrictions for younger drivers are more common. Some won't offer cover to drivers under 25. A few will cover 21-year-olds. But due to accident statistics, young drivers often represent an unattractive risk to insurers. For drivers between the ages of 17 and 21, there may be no temporary cover option. In that case, they may purchase a month-long short term policy. This is unfortunate, especially if they only need cover for one day, but at least they're not shut out of the market entirely.

Cover Abroad

Short term insurance likely covers vans driving outside the UK. It varies by insurer, but many policies include the minimum cover required by the European Union, so motorists may be allowed to drive vans in EU member countries. If the policy does include use abroad, it likely has strict requirements. For example, insurers might require that they be notified if a motorist will be driving a van abroad. They may limit the total number of days allowed abroad. Or they may limit the van to personal use only – excluding all business use. Insurers might have dedicated Euro helplines for motorists to call, so anyone travelling should check before they leave. Damaged vans may need to be stored or repaired abroad and insurers will likely pay the customs duty so long as the damage is covered under the policy.

Insurers that do not automatically cover use abroad may have a policy extension for purchase. The EU minimum is equivalent to third party only in the UK, so motorists should take note of the lowered amount of cover in the event of an accident.

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