Is My Van Insured?

If the question “Is my van insured?” puts you in a total flap, don’t worry – you’re not alone. Over a thousand people every month find they need to check the insurance status of their van, for a variety of reasons from lost paperwork to forgotten dates, from people thinking of selling their vehicle to those who simply never use it. Thankfully, there’s now an easy place to get all that vital information you need, to ensure you stay road legal at every turn.

How do I know if my van is insured?

If you have your insurance documents to hand, they will give you the date period you are covered for. If you don’t have the documents but know who your insurance provider is (either via paperwork or by checking who debits your account each month, if you pay monthly) then you can usually use their website to access details or at least contact customer services, who’ll be able to help.

But by far, the quickest and simplest way to verify that your van is insured is to do a direct van insurance check with the Motor Insurance Database (MID), who can ascertain if your vehicle is insured according to their latest records. To do this, all you need to do is to go to that website and enter the registration number of the van you need to check – although all this will do is tell you if your van is insured on the day you check. It won’t tell you when your insurance expires.

Why is it important to have my van insured?

The first answer that springs to most people’s minds is that having insurance means, in the unlikely event of having an accident, you won’t personally have to pay for all the repairs to your own van, as well as any damage you do to other people’s vehicles, property or persons. As this can be quite an expensive affair, having insurance to take the sting out of any costs is a definite benefit.

However there are other, equally valid and – some would argue – more important reasons.

Crucially, it is illegal to drive without insurance. Even if the vehicle itself is insured, if you personally are not insured to drive it (which is to say, you are not a named driver on the van policy, or your own insurance does not cover you to drive other vehicles) then you are classed as uninsured.

This means that if the police run a check on your van, and pull you over, you can be fined up to £300 on the spot and get 6 points on your license. If matters go to court, you can face unlimited fines and be disqualified from driving. Furthermore, the police have the right to seize and impound your vehicle if it is uninsured. You’ll only be able to get it back if you can show a valid driving license and appropriate insurance for the vehicle – if not, it’ll be crushed.

Checking your van insurance

Checking that your van is insured also protects other road users. Uninsured drivers cost the UK on average £400 million per year in claims. You wouldn’t want to be hit by one – so do everyone else a favour and make sure you’re not one of the uninsured drivers out there.
The minimum insurance level you need in order to legally use the roads is third party cover, which will pay out for any damage to other people (third parties) and their property.

I’ve just checked and my van is not insured?

If you find, for whatever reason, that your vehicle isn’t covered, then you need to sort it straight away. There are many everyday reasons why insurance policies are cancelled – sometimes a couple of missed payments lead to a cancellation, or failing to provide proof of No Claims Discount when it’s requested. Accidentally deleting your direct debit through online banking has caught some people out, as has a messy break-up when it’s been revealed that the ex-partner was responsible for payments and renewals.
However it’s happened, your first port of call should always be to get re-insured as quickly as possible. To find the best deals, use a comparison tool like ours which will search through loads of top insurers to get you the best quote possible.

What else do I need to be road legal?

It’s not just insurance which catches people out. You also need to make sure you have a valid MOT and road tax before you hit the streets.

If you’re not sure, you can use the UK Government site to check MOT status, which handily lets you know the current status of your van, as well as when both the MOT and tax are due for renewal. This is often a good guideline for insurance too, as you cannot purchase cover without a valid MOT certificate, and most insurers check the VOSA database before issuing policies. Therefore, your van insurance won’t have started until after your MOT was last done, and consequently is likely to be due for renewal shortly after your MOT this time around too.

So the next time you’re tempted to panic at the frustrated wail of ‘Is my van insured?’ – remember, there’s no need to worry; you know exactly how to do a van insurance check, and we’ll be here to help you find the best deals on your next insurance policy.