Which van insurance class of use do you need?

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picture of row of vans in car park

If you drive a van or are considering buying one, you may not be aware of the different kinds of van insurance available.  

There’s more than one class of van insurance out there, but which is best for you? Do you need business van insurance, or just social and domestic?  

Why are there different classes of use for van insurance?

Not everyone uses their van for the same reasons, which is why different classes of use exist.  

The type of insurance you can get for your van depends on how you use it, how much you drive it, and the risks surrounding these two factors.  

How many classes of van insurance use are there?  

There are four main classes of use for van insurance:

  • Social, Domestic and Pleasure Only
  • Social and Commuting
  • Business Use for Carriage of Own Goods
  • Haulage of Goods for Hire and Reward

The class of use that your van falls into mainly depends on whether you’re using it in your personal life or for business.  

So, what do each of these classes mean?

Social, Domestic and Pleasure Only

This class of use is for those who only use their van for personal reasons, not for commuting to and from work or for any kind of business.  

In short, your van is used for everyday personal life reasons, and that’s it.  

Example: You use your van to do things like run personal errands, go shopping, and pick up your children from school.

Social and Commuting

Social and Commuting is for those who use their van for personal reasons and to commute to and from work.  

Example: You use your van to drive to and from your office job, as well as to run personal errands and go shopping.  

Business Use for Carriage of Own Goods

This class of use is for business purposes, including commuting.  

It’s popular among tradesmen like plumbers and construction workers who need to transport their own materials and tools from one location to another.  

Example: You’re a self-employed plumber and you use your van to travel to and from jobs, all while carrying the resources you need to work.  

Note that this class of use isn’t needed for having tools in your van. On top of this, it’s important to keep in mind that, on many business class of use van policies, only the policyholder’s profession or business applies to what the van can be used for. 

Other drivers can use it for social or pleasure, but not for a separate business venture.

Haulage of Goods for Hire and Reward

This is another class of business van use but is slightly different to the previous option. Haulage of Goods for Hire and Reward is for those who use their van to deliver packages or takeaways.  

People with this class of use tend to pay more for their insurance, as they’re spending a lot of time on the road as couriers.  

Example: You work for a large courier (such as Evri) but use your own van to deliver goods.

Example: You work for a fast food service and deliver takeaways.

Should I tell my insurer if I start using my van for different things?

If you start using your vans for things outside of your insurance type’s limits, you need to let your insurer know.

For instance, if you have Social, Domestic and Pleasure Only van insurance, but start using your van for a side-business, such as washing cars, you may need to switch to a kind of business van insurance.  

Check out our van insurance checklist to see if you’ve got everything in place for your van.

What happens if I’m not insured with the right class of use?  

If you’re not insured with the right class of use, you may not be able to make a claim if something happens to your van.

For instance, if you’re delivering parcels using your van but you’re insured under Social, Domestic and Pleasure Only, your insurer could reject your claim if your van gets damaged or the goods inside are stolen.  

Not sure if you’re even driving a car or a van? Check out our guide to find out if you’re driving a car or van.

Can I use my van for social and pleasure as well as business?  

This depends on your policy details. If you have a kind of business van insurance, but your policy states that you can also use your van for personal reasons, then you’re good to go.  

But it’s always best to check your policy documents beforehand or contact your insurer to see what you can and can’t do.  

Why is van business insurance more expensive than social and domestic?

Vans used for business purposes tend to be driven a lot more frequently.  

For instance, if you’re using your van to transport packages, you’ll be clocking a lot of miles on the road as you drive from one delivery to the next.  

You’re also carrying other people’s packages, so there’s a risk there of damage or loss that your insurer needs to account for.  

Can I get van business insurance temporarily?

There are providers that offer temporary commercial or business van insurance for the different classes of use.  

This can either be to insure your own van for business use, or to borrow a van for business use.