Demand for van insurance has been on the rise since 2006, a nationwide study conducted by Norwich Union Direct found that a new generation of business professionals is emerging. The survey of over 500 van drivers revealed that contrary to popular belief van drivers are health conscious, well educated and well groomed professionals who regularly use their van as a mobile office.

The perceptions of British van owners being male was destroyed as 35% of the people surveyed were female, 53% of who are self employed compared to 44% of men. Women are, evidently using vans to broaden or expand their businesses.

The van is becoming more than just a vehicle, being equipped as a mobile office in many cases, with stationery, paperwork and laptops. The demand for competitive van insurance is also on the rise alongside the entrepreneurial efforts of many van owners.
Jill Willis, Norwich Union Direct van marketing manager, said: “The impact that van owner drivers are having on the growth of entrepreneurialism in the UK is significant; the van owner-driver is a much more sophisticated business operator than some people have been led to believe in the past. Van insurance is one of our fastest growing sectors and we are happy that this research has helped to dispel the old ‘white van man’ myths.

“The effect of this growing sector can be seen throughout business industry with van owner-drivers continuing to play an instrumental role in maintaining the economy.”
The van driver is an important sector of the market for insurers, although it is often overlooked, with the van being both a method of transport and a mobile office, competitive premiums and comprehensive packages are essential for owners. The idea of using a van as a workplace is not a new one, although it seems to have taken off in the UK over recent years.

It offers a cheaper alternative than renting premises due to the accessible finance schemes, such as secured loans, available to purchase a vehicle, it is the ideal route for start-up businesses that need a mobile element.

Norwich Union’s survey covered a thorough cross section of businesses from plumbers to florists and caters to builders, and the results dispelled any ‘white van man’ stereotypes. For example almost a quarter of participants had a degree, 25% had O Levels or GCSEs and 20% had A Levels, it seems white vans are not just for the uneducated.

Breaking another stereotype of van owners the survey revealed that a healthy diet won over greasy spoon fry ups, with almost a third enjoying muesli or porridge for breakfast. Image conscious as well as health conscious 6% wax regularly and 3% of men have regular facials. Now that’s one that wouldn’t go down too well on a laddish building site!

For those using their van for business purposes it is important that their van insurance policy covers them for business and pleasure. Collision coverage is also an important factor, if your van is all or part of your business and it is out of action due to an accident your business would be quickly affected and money would be lost.
Some insurers offer courtesy vehicles while any repairs are taking place, and some will guarantee the work will take place as quickly as possible. These are all factors the van owner should consider before choosing an insurer.

Insurance policies vary greatly from company to company in the cover they provide, for example contents insurance, which for a professional is an essential part of covering their van. If a workman loses his tools he will be unable to work, even if he has a replacement vehicle. The insurance market is highly competitive due to the great demand, and the package should be scrutinised, after all it is your livelihood at stake.

About the author

Jemma is an author of several articles pertaining to Mortgages, Car Insurance, Van Insurance, Life Insurance, Home Insurance and other Business and Finance articles.