MOT Van Insurance Statistics Cause for Alarm
In the UK unless you have a valid MOT, your van insurance is not valid, and as such if you have an accident, your van insurance company is unlikely to pay out. In fact, being without a valid MOT certificate is illegal under Section 47 of the Road Traffic Act 1988. Any driver who gets behind the wheel of their commercial vehicle faces being saddled with a £1,000 fine and a charge of six to eight penalty points on their licence.
It would be natural to think that such potential penalties and consequences would be enough to keep any driver from flouting the law regarding MOTs, yet despite this a new piece of research has revealed that every year in Britain millions of miles are driven without a valid MOT.
In fact, the statistics reveal that one in six (17 percent) have inadvertently been behind the wheel of their vehicle without a valid MOT for a week on at least once occasion during the past five years and that one in 12 (eight per cent) have driven without a valid MOT for six months or more.
Men already pay more on average for their van insurance for women, so it is unlikely to encourage insurers to hear that they are more prone than women do drive without a valid MOT (20 per cent compared to 15 per cent). Similarly, younger drivers, another group who have difficulty finding cheaper motor insurance, are considerably more likely to drive without an MOT than those who are a little older.
Furthermore, Londoners, who already pay more for their premiums on average, are most likely to have driven without a valid MOT (32 per cent), compared to 25 per cent in the North East, 20 per cent in the North West and 19 percent in Yorkshire.
There is no more important aspect to life as a motorist than keeping safe on the road. Having a valid MOT is one of the fundamental steps to ensuring this; without an MOT you can have no guarantee that your vehicle is roadworthy.
However, the drivers of commercial vehicles may sometimes be hesitant about booking themselves in for an MOT as it may interrupt their business activity for a short period. However, skipping an MOT is not only unsafe, but it is also a false economy and in the end could even prove to be a fatal blow to a business.
Latest Van Insurance Price Index Brings Bad News
A newly published report by Consumer Intelligence has revealed that the cost of commercial vehicle cover has risen by 8.3% over the past year.
The revelation is likely to be greeted with a collective groan among van drivers who already have to work hard comparing quotes from specialist providers in order to find cheaper van insurance than that which is generally available from the major high street providers.
Consumer Intelligence, a leading data analytics and market research company, publishes an annual Van Insurance Price Index. This year it found that van insurance costs an average of £1,171. And the firm warns that because the Ogden rate recently increased from -0.75% to -0.25%, consumers can only expect cover to become even more expensive.
“Depending on how insurers have managed their claims reserves in preparation for the change, this will dictate if we see any painful increases in premiums or – indeed – some welcomed price reductions over the coming months,” said John Blevins, a pricing specialist with the firm.
There is some significant disparity in the prices being charged: the drivers of commercial vehicles pay an average of £1,202, while those use their vans for “social, domestic and pleasure” receive cheaper van insurance, paying an average of £1,046.
Furthermore, there is a massive disparity in the price of van insurance depending on the age of the driver concerned, as can be seen below:
- Van drivers aged 50 or over pay an average of £508
- Van drivers aged 25 to 49 pay an average of £823
- Van drivers aged 24 or younger pay an average of £3,958
As can be seen from the figures above the average price is greatly inflated by the cost of cover for younger drivers – a group who have long struggled to find cheaper van insurance.
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Data Drive Could Herald Era of Improved Parking
Van drivers know perhaps better than anybody the trials and tribulations of the UK’s parking systems. However, the whole parking landscape could soon be set for change if the Alliance for Parking Data Standards (APDS) and the Department for Transport (DfT) are successful in using new data standards to develop a nationwide app-based system for parking.
Any driver van insurance clients are all too familiar with the disparate, confusing and frequently unfair-seeming approach to parking on the UK high street that so often results in a desperate scramble for spare change, the frustration of broken ticket machines and the madcap rush to register with automated pay systems.
However, in much the same way that the Oyster card has had a dramatic impact on the way commuters get about on public transport in London, the introduction of standardised data and app systems for parking across the UK has the potential to save the nation’s any driver van insurance customers untold inconvenience and trouble.
The plans have been announced as part of the government’s “Future of mobility: urban strategy” and outline a future in which drivers have a much smoother parking experience in which they find it easier to find an appropriate parking space while at the same time enabling the country’s towns and cities to suffer less unnecessary congestion and parking-related chaos.
However, not everyone is entirely convinced by the content of the plans. “There is little detail about what data standardisation means in practice, indeed to the driver looking for a place to park their vehicle it might sound rather obscure,” said a spokesperson with the RAC.
What is certain is that it is time that parking technology became standardised while also taking advantage of the many opportunities presented by digital developments in the field. Furthermore, the government needs to ensure that the nation’s infrastructure is sufficiently able to accommodate new data standards and app-based innovations. The UK’s many intelligent any driver van insurance policyholders deserve a similarly intelligent parking system.
Professions Most Likely to Face Cheap Van Insurance Frustration
Finding a cheap van insurance quote can frequently be difficult, but these difficulties can be compounded if you have a conviction for a driving offence.
Now a new piece of research has found which commercial vehicle drivers are most likely to have increased difficulty finding cheap van insurance as a result of their driving-related convictions.
The research found that that 10 per cent of all van drivers have a motoring conviction, with couriers the profession most likely to have some form of conviction. Company directors, electricians, plumbing and heating engineers and general engineers round out the top five, in that order. The next most likely professions to have driving-related convictions were roofers, joiners, lorry drivers, builders and carpenters.
Consider the cost
The impact of dangerous driving behaviour such as speeding or using a mobile phone is manifold. Not only do those who flout the law risk prosecution, points on their license, potential driving bans or even custodial sentences, but they also place themselves and other road users at risk while also placing their entitlement to cheap van insurance in jeopardy. In fact, van drivers who break the law may find that they are unable to get insurance at all.
All van drivers should bear these factors in mind. A speeding conviction has the potential to add a three or even four-figure sum to the cost of your van insurance quote.
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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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