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Van insurance customers were recently reminded that they may risk having their policies invalidated if they drive a vehicle which they are not insured to use.

The reminder, which was contained in a feature in a national newspaper, sought to remind van drivers that they need to obtain a special DOC (Driving Other Cars) policy if they are to drive any van that is not covered by a suitable fully comprehensive van insurance policy.

There may be one problem with this approach though; DOC policies are reportedly being phased out as a result of some motorists using them as a strategy to reduce their motor insurance costs.

Unfortunately, it is thought that younger drivers will be the first to feel the effects of the more restrictive approach to DOCs. Furthermore, says the newspaper, DOC policies will only cover third party damage.

As such, if you have managed to obtain a DOC van insurance policy, it is necessary to check the policy’s small print so that you can be sure of your rights.

In the past, any driver who had a fully comprehensive van insurance policy could feel confident of being allowed to drive any other vehicle. However, the present situation means that many comprehensive policyholders will not even be able to drive their partner’s or child’s van.

Adapting to change

Insurers offering DOC cover as standard are a rarity these days. A recent study of motor insurance policies found that only 13 provided DOC cover as standard, and even these came without the level of flexibility that was offered by such policies just a decade ago.

Van drivers need to be careful that they are not unwittingly caught out by the tighter DOC laws; anyone found to be driving without a valid DOC policy could be charged with driving without valid van insurance and may face a penalty of six to eight penalty points as well as a £300 fixed fine.

Furthermore, statistics from the Motor Insurance Bureau (MIB) show that last year the police reported more than 4,000 calls to the MIB, resulting in the seizure of over 1,500 cars.

While DOC cover can enable a van driver to drive another vehicle, if you run a business and require multiple drivers to drive a single van, any driver van insurance can give you the flexibility you need.