Seven surprising ways that you could be invalidating your van insurance

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Most of us know that van insurance is a legal requirement, right? However, did you know that you could be breaking the law without even realising it?

There are regular activities you could be undertaking that may be invalidating your insurance. We know that’s a scary thought but don’t worry, we’ve got your back.

Here is The Van Insurer’s unlucky seven ways in which you could be driving illegally without even realising it.

1. Multitasking
We all know how easy it can be to take a call on our mobile while we’re on the move but, even if you’re using a hands-free option, you could be at risk of invalidating your insurance. Don’t forget that it’s also illegal to use your mobile device when you’re stopped at traffic lights, queuing in traffic or supervising a learner driver.

Don’t risk penalties on your license, if you need to make or receive a call, always pull into a safe place to do so.

2. Following doctor’s orders
Most of us are aware of the dangers of drink and drug-driving, but did you know that you may be breaking the law if you’re on prescription medication too? If you’re taking anything that could impair your driving, then it’s unlikely that you’re fit to be on the roads.

Always check with your doctor to see if your medication means that you’re unfit to drive and, if so, wait until you complete your course before you get back behind the wheel.

3. Moving house
Okay, so getting the keys to your brand-new home might not be an illegal activity but failing to inform your insurer of a change of address might be if you’re involved in an accident.

Don’t forget to update your insurer with your new address, along with all of your other utility providers, to ensure you can still claim in the event of an accident.

4. Gaining weight
We’re not talking about putting on a little holiday weight here. If you’re giving your friends or colleagues a lift home, it can be very tempting to squeeze in an extra person. But, filling your car with more people than is legally allowed can invalidate your insurance. Similarly, going over your load capacity can put you on the wrong side of the law.

If in doubt, check your manual for maximum load capacity and stick to it.

5. Weather watching
We know that a European climate means our weather can be a little unpredictable at times but heading out in a thunderstorm can be an expensive mistake. Some insurers see storm damage from lightning and falling trees as an ‘Act of God’, which means you won’t be covered while you’re out and about.

Check the weather before you head out and, if it’s looking a little angry, consider staying at home.

6. Travelling with a furry friend
We all know it can get a little lonely on the road, but if you decide to take your four-legged friend along for the ride, make sure that you keep them secure. Driving with an unrestrained animal in your van can be an insurance no-no and, if you’re involved in an accident because you’re distracted by your pooch, you might not be able to claim back.

If you do decide to take your pet out and about with you there are various carriers and harnesses on the market that could help to keep them safe and happy on the journey.

7. Taking your time
If you’re involved in an accident and fail to report it within 24 hours, you may be penalised with points on your license and a serious boost to your insurance premium. If they’re called to an incident, police usually want to see insurance details, a driver’s licence and MOT certificate so keep these handy.

Don’t break the law – if you’re involved in a collision, make sure you report it as soon as possible.

Ed Bevis, Commercial and Marketing Director at The Van Insurer, said: ‘It can be easy to invalidate your insurance without even realising it, so we always recommend that customers check the individual terms and conditions of their insurance with their policy provider as cover can differ between brokers.

‘The good news is that The Van Insurer works with a comprehensive broker panel to ensure that we can provide van insurance for every customer, regardless of their unique circumstances.’

For more information on The Van Insurer visit www.thevaninsurer.co.uk or follow us on Facebook @VanInsurer, Twitter @Vaninsurer and Instagram @thevaninsurer.