Driver’s Pothole Plight is a Useful Reminder of Duty to Notify
The recent case of a joiner from Greater Manchester has highlighted the importance of notifying your any driver van insurance company of all accidents involving your vehicle – no matter how small or large – even if you do not intend to make a claim.
The incident involved the man sustaining damage to his Volkswagen Passat van as a result of driving over a pothole last November. He paid the repair bill himself and then sought to claim back the £83.85 repair fee from his local authority.
However, on later seeking to renew his van insurance policy with his insurer, he was told that the policy would cost 20 per cent more than previously and that this was because his local authority had contacted the company to notify them of the pothole accident.
“I’ve never claimed in my life but because the council has rung up my insurance, I’m being penalised for somebody else’s actions,” said the 36-year-old joiner.
He later found out that his accident had been logged on the Claims Underwriting Exchange (CUE) as part of an official notification incident.
A spokesperson from his insurance company confirmed, “We notify customers that claims data will be shared in this way when they sign up to a policy with us.”
However, the insurer has decided to waive the increase as a gesture of goodwill, although the accident will remain on file for a further four years, potentially affecting the cost of the joiner’s van insurance premiums in the future.
Furthermore, the man says that he is considering legal action against the council; he said that he did not tick the box on the local authority form permitting them to share information of the accident with his insurer.
Notifying your insurer
Some people try to preserve their no-claims discount by not notifying their insurers of an accident. However, it is the condition of all motor insurance policies that the policyholder informs their insurer of any accident they are involved in and that they do so within a reasonable time – to be on the safe side it is best to do this as soon as possible.
If you do not inform your insurer, they are entitled to cancel your policy and may refuse to provide you with cover in the future. Furthermore, if you have had a cancelled policy, alternative insurers also refuse to provide you with cover.
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Joiner’s Despair at Tools Theft
A 34-year-old joiner from Lancashire has been left hoping that his joiner van insurance policy will cover the loss of £2,000 worth of tools that were stolen from his van.
However, his 27-year-old partner hopes that a joiner van insurance claim won’t be necessary; she has used social media to share CCTV recordings of the theft and is banking on the detective work of members of the public to identify the thieves and to hopefully recover all of the tools, which included a circular router, a combi drill, an impact driver, a jigsaw, a titan angle grinder and a multi-tool.
The woman told the press, “We knew next door had CCTV so we went to have a look and you can see the whole thing. The person comes to the back of the van, takes some things out then takes them across the road. Then he comes back to the van, takes some more stuff, runs away and then comes back again.”
The couple have already managed to recover one of the stolen tools – a planer worth several hundred pounds was abandoned by the thieves just around the corner from the joiner’s home address.
The couple say that although their first hope is to recover the important equipment, they accept that they might have to make a claim on their van insurance policy, although they are unsure if it includes sufficient tools cover.
“All the tools are marked with a black marker, and we just hope that if whoever took them tries to sell them on then someone will realise they are ours,” said the man’s partner.
“The police have been round and we’ve shared the footage on Facebook, but we just want the tools back.”
Police confirmed that they have received notification of the theft and are looking into the matter.
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Any Driver Van Insurance and EU Road Rules
One major advantage of having an any driver van insurance policy is that it allows you to switch drivers during long journeys. Otherwise, policyholders risk having to stop work and find a suitable place to enjoy sufficient rest.
In fact, vans are subject to the same laws as HGV drivers regarding daily driving hours limits. Despite this, too few van drivers are aware of their obligations, which, in line with EU rules, include the following:
- Drivers must not drive for more than nine hours in a day – although this may be extended to 10 hours twice a week
- Drivers must not be behind the wheel for more than 56 hours in a week
- Drivers must not exceed more than 90 hours in any two consecutive weeks
Furthermore, the same EU rules state that van drivers must take rests and breaks in the following ways:
- At least 11 hours rest every day – this can be reduced to nine hours rest on three occasions between any two weekly rest periods
- An unbroken rest period of 45 hours every week – this can be reduced to 24 hours every other week
- A break or breaks totalling at least 45 minutes after no more than four and a half hours driving
- A weekly rest after six consecutive 24-hour periods of working, starting from the end of the last weekly rest period taken
Any van driver who exceeds these limits faces a potential fine of £300. However, it is worth considering that fear of punishment should not be the primary deterrent; it is dangerous to get behind the wheel of any vehicle when tired or fatigued. In fact, tiredness and fatigue are two of the major causes of road accidents in the UK.
Keep Track of Your Driving Hours
Unlike HGVs, vans do not need to be fitted with a tachograph to record mileage and road hours. However, this does not mean that they cannot face sanction.
If you have any concerns that you might exceed the legal limits, you should consider an any driver van insurance policy – that way you can rely on a colleague to take over the driving burden while you receive some vital rest.
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Van Drivers in UK and Europe Behind the Wheel of Growth
Recent rises in commercial vehicle manufacture and purchase in Britain and Europe are likely to be reflected by a growth in the any driver van insurance sector over the remainder of the year.
Figures from The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) this month revealed that British commercial vehicle manufacturing plants completed 9,233 vehicles in February, more than a 53 per cent increase on the previous month. This includes a growth in manufacture for the domestic market by 57.3 per cent and 51.9 per cent growth in the manufacture of vans for the export market. However, it is the export market that continues to be the main driver of growth as it is responsible for nearly 70 per cent of commercial vehicles manufactured in the UK.
In fact, February proved to be the most productive month for van manufacture in the UK since 2012 – a sign that British and European Union incentives have proved successful in stimulating the sector.
However, it is predicted that growth may slow over the coming months. Mike Hawes from SMMT comments, "While the positive news continues for UK CV manufacturing, it's important to highlight that this low volume industry is cyclical and experiences large percentage swings when compared month on month.
"Although both demand at home and overseas has seen double-digit growth, still almost two thirds of British-built CVs are destined for export, the majority to the EU."
Furthermore, Hawes expressed concern that unless Brexit is properly managed and any driver van insurance customers in the EU continue to have free access to UK-manufactured vehicles, UK industry could suffer. "This signifies just how vital a deal that retains free and frictionless trade with the EU is for this sector."
A Buoyant EU Market
The European Automotive Manufacturers Association has revealed that European markets rose in March by 4.1%.
Registrations rose in all commercial vehicle weight categories, with the highest risers Germany up 11.3 per cent, followed by the UK at 10.6 per cent.
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Pedal Powered Van Insurance?
Fancy cycling your way to cheaper any driver van insurance, anyone? No, this is not the pedal-powered version of the telematics black box, nor indeed is it a pedal-powered van.
Instead, this is an idea currently being mooted by the Department for Transport (DfT). The organisation is proposing that motorists in the UK could become eligible for cheaper van insurance premiums by taking courses in cycling awareness.
The cycling awareness idea is just one of 50 safety measures proposed as part of the government’s ‘Cycling and Walking Investment Strategy’. They are designed to increase the safety of cyclists and pedestrians on the nation’s roads following an increase in fatalities recorded in 2017 and form part of a two-year plan of action. Additional ideas include ensuring that cycle lanes are free of parking bays, making greater use of helmet-cam and dashcam through online portals and making greater allowance for the needs of cyclists by enacting changes to the Highway Code.
Some of the ideas have already been trialled. For example, in October 2016, North Wales Police began using helmet- and dashboard-mounted cameras, and have so far used footage to resolve 129 cases.
It remains to be seen just how many van drivers would have the inclination and the time to complete the ‘Bikeability’ training courses in order to be given the chance to receive cheaper van insurance.
It is clear that the government views increased levels of cycling as the future, both from an environmental and infrastructure perspective. Councils are going to be urged to spend approximately 15% of their transport funding on improved infrastructure for cyclists and pedestrians.
Find Cheaper Van Insurance Today
Given how costly some any driver van insurance policies can be, it makes sense to utilise every possible path to cheaper van insurance. Whether this means taking a cycling awareness course, driving carefully to preserve your no-claims bonus or comparing quotes online from a variety of providers, van drivers who take the time to plan are those who are most likely to benefit.
If you would like the opportunity to find cheaper any driver van insurance for your commercial vehicle, try iVan’s quote engine today. Simply click on the orange 'Get a Quote' button to get started.