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Experts warn van branding could void insurance

A row of plain new vans.

Van owners should check that their vehicle’s signage or branding is recorded as a modification on their insurance policy or risk voiding their cover.

Leading insurance comparison website Quotezone.co.uk says many van drivers are unaware that their van’s branding falls into the modification category on current policies, amongst items such as spoilers and alloy wheels. 

The warning comes as new figures show a 76% rise in van sales - 190,000 vehicles - in the first six months of this year according to trade body The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders – 1.8 per cent above the five-year average for 2015-2019.

Drivers need to keep their insurance provider up to speed with any modifications, including newly added branding or signage, because those modifications can sometimes change the van’s risk profile. 

Signage or branding on a van, for example, might increase the risk of a break-in if it convinces opportunistic thieves think valuable equipment or tools might be stored in the vehicle. In addition, if the vehicle is ever involved in an accident the cost of repairing or replacing the signage might increase the overall cost of repairing the van.

The insurance comparison website advises van owners to make sure forms are correctly answered when taking out a new policy, inform their existing provider if signage or a vehicle wrap is added after the policy was taken out, and if in doubt ask the provider.  Making sure the policy is always accurate ensures drivers are protected should they need to make a claim.

Quotezone.co.uk offers some good news for van drivers that decide to add a 'How’s my driving?' sign to their vehicles. The price comparison site revealed that this sign could potentially reduce the driver’s van insurance premium, because industry data suggests van drivers with a ‘How’s my driving’ sign tend to be less likely to claim on their insurance.

Greg Wilson, Founder of Quotezone.co.uk, comments: “Throughout the pandemic we’ve seen a monumental rise in tradesmen, mobile mechanics, couriers and catering vans – as people adjust to lockdown working life.  This could explain the spike in van sales as many try their hand at small business startups or support growth in the delivery and construction industry.  Many of these new van owners might not know signage can be viewed as a modification, so it’s worth checking how their insurer views any branding on the vehicle to ensure they’re correctly declaring everything they’re required to declare.

“The fact that a van has a vehicle wrap, signage or branding doesn’t necessarily mean that drivers won’t still get the cheapest van insurance quote – they just need to shop around and use an insurance comparison website to compare premiums from a wide range of providers, which increases the odds of finding the right policy at the right price.”

Quotezone.co.uk is one of the country’s leading price comparison platforms, helping over 3 million users find a more competitive deal each year on everything from car insurance and van insurance to tradesman insurance and fleet insurance.