Best Van Insurance for your business

Commercial Vs Private Van Insurance

Van insurance is something you don’t want to be caught without if disaster strikes. No one can predict the future but it’s better to be prepared for the worst than to be sorry.

Insurance is something most of us prefer to avoid but can you really afford to be inadequately covered if things go wrong? Most of us can’t, and that’s why it’s important to make sure you have the right cover. But which type do you need? Commercial or Private?

If that’s your question too, then you’re in the right place!

1. What Does Commercial Insurance Cover?

Do you use your vehicle primarily for work purposes? Do you own a vehicle that was designed for commercial use? If so, you may need a commercial insurance policy.

Commercial insurance policies will also cover you for personal use, but the reverse is not true. If you use your vehicle to transport products or goods to earn money, even if it’s part-time, you won’t be covered for loss or injury under your personal insurance policy.

Are you still unsure what type of cover you need? Then it’s best to consider your typical travel scenarios. For instance, if you’re a builder transporting equipment between job sites, commercial insurance is essential due to higher risks. If you only use your van to commute to work and back, then a personal policy is all you’ll need.

If you’re still not sure, discuss it with your insurance broker or agent. It may be possible to change your personal cover to include some work activities which will cost you less in monthly premiums.

2. Advantages / Disadvantages of Each

Commercial and personal van insurance come with different types of risks. The risks involved in the insurance quotes are dictated by many factors.

Usage: Work vehicles typically undergo more extensive use than personal ones, heightening the risk of theft and accidents.

Drivers: Business vehicles often have multiple drivers, necessitating insurance coverage for all parties involved.

Coverage area: If your business involves transporting goods across a wide area or even internationally, then a commercial vehicle policy ensures coverage across all operational regions.

Commercial Insurance


  • The advantage of a commercial cover is that you’ll be fully covered, regardless of whether you’re using the vehicle for commercial or personal use. It’s also more comprehensive.
  • These policies can be customised to suit specific business needs, ensuring that all aspects of commercial vehicle usage are adequately covered.
  • This type of insurance ensures compliance with legal requirements, particularly for vehicles primarily used for business purposes.


  • Commercial insurance premiums can be higher than personal insurance due to the increased risk associated with business vehicle usage.

Personal insurance:


  • Personal insurance may provide some cover for business use providing it’s not used primarily for business. This will need to be discussed with your insurance broker or agent who will individually assess your situation and decide which policy is best suited to your needs.
  • Personal insurance premiums are often lower than commercial insurance, making them more cost-effective for individuals with minimal business use of their vehicles.


  • Personal van insurance doesn’t cover business-owned vehicles or vehicles designed solely for business use. In some cases, if you use a commercial vehicle for personal use and you can provide a valid reason why you need it, your insurance company can arrange a personal insurance policy.
  • Some personal insurance policies may have restrictions on business-related usage, requiring clarification and potentially additional coverage for full protection.

If you plan on buying a commercial vehicle for private use in Ireland, it’s crucial to consider the insurance implications. While some personal policies may cover limited business use, it’s crucial to confirm and ensure full coverage for all potential scenarios.

It’s crucial to consult with your insurance broker or agent to determine the most suitable policy based on individual circumstances and ensure comprehensive coverage for all eventualities.

3. Issues Surrounding No Claims Bonus (NCB)

You should always flag with your insurance provider the possibility that you might want to move from using the van for commercial use to private use only.

Clients sometimes consider transferring their no-claims bonus (NCB) from a personal policy to a commercial one under their business’s name, particularly when switching between commercial and private use. This transfer is often sought to reduce costs, as obtaining a commercial policy without any NCB can be considerably pricier.

However, the challenge arises when attempting to transfer a company-associated NCB back to an individual’s private name. Therefore, it’s advisable to refrain from using your NCB with your company name if you anticipate needing it in your private capacity in the future.

Commercial Vs Private Van Insurance


Ask The Expert – Van Insurance For A Start Up Business


Q: I’m thinking of getting a van to use for my start-up, but I’ve been reading up on commercial insurance and there are a few things I’m not clear about. It seems that you can get commercial cover only if your occupation listed in the set list of trades. Is that correct? If you’re not on that list, what do you do? Also, it seems that some people who initially covered their van commercially but subsequently wanted to just have it for private use had trouble getting private insurance for it. I’m now a bit puzzled about the whole “commercial versus private” thing and would prefer to know more before I go down this road.

A: The best thing to do is consult an expert who can provide you with a quote. Ask them about the wording you use for your occupation and how this will affect your premium. It may be the case that a simple change of description could reduce the costs quoted to you. For example, a person using their van for deliveries every day will pay a substantially higher premium than someone who parks their vehicle all day on the site where they are working.

While there isn’t a specific occupation list, we cater to most occupations, with a focus on tradespeople such as builders, plumbers, carpenters, and similar professions. You may find it easier to get a competitive quote through a broker rather than a direct-line insurer, as brokers have access to a much wider market and will therefore be able to provide you with more options.

Additionally, it’s important to discuss with your insurer the possibility of transitioning from commercial to private use of the van. You can initially set up a commercial policy under your name, even if it’s for a start-up business. While the vehicle will be registered in your name and not the company’s, you’ll still use it for work purposes. This approach ensures that if you decide to insure a private vehicle in the future, you’ll retain a No Claims Bonus (NCB) under your name for potential savings.


Q. I’m considering buying a commercial vehicle for private use in Ireland. Can you advise?

A. Many individuals may consider purchasing a commercial vehicle for private use, but understanding the insurance implications is crucial. While commercial insurance provides comprehensive coverage for business purposes, transitioning to private use may pose challenges. This is particularly true with the transfer of a no-claims bonus (NCB), as mentioned above.


Q. Can You Insure a Van Privately in Ireland?

In short: Yes, you can insure a van privately in Ireland, but it’s essential to explore the options available. While some insurance policies offer limited coverage for business use, additional clarification and coverage may be required for full protection. Consulting with a broker can provide valuable insights into finding the right policy to suit your needs. 


Source : The Sunday Times


Do you have more questions? We’ll be happy to answer them! Call us today on 01 660 6900 or visit our website to get started with your commercial van insurance quote. For inquiries regarding passenger vehicles, try for some of the best car insurance in Ireland.