Most people that own a van or other type of commercial vehicle have at one point in time been asked by family or friends if they would lend it out to them for a short period of time in order to help transporting heavy goods or moving home. However, a study published yesterday conducted by AXA business insurance has shown that many van owners do not realise that their van insurance policies do not cover additional drivers, which means if there is an accident then the costs will have to come out of their own pockets.
The survey questioned four hundred and fifty van drivers throughout the UK from small to medium businesses, and revealed that eighty one per cent of commercial vehicle owners have been asked to lend their vehicle to family, friends or acquaintances, with one in ten even saying that it happens “all the time”. The research went on to show that,= due to helping out friends and families, van drivers can spend up to two hours each week using their vans for non-commercial purposes. Not only that, seventeen per cent of those surveyed said that they are often asked to assist with other business’s transit needs, which could also invalidate their insurance as it could be seen as part time or secondary occupation, especially if the van owner is being paid.
There have also been warnings that even if you have van insurance, this may just cover the actual vehicle and not the goods inside. So if a van is stolen whilst helping a friend or family member move house they could lose all their possessions and then find out that they are not covered. Managing Director at AXA Business Insurance, Darrell Sansom said: “Often owners of commercial vans are ‘employed’ by friends or family to help them move furniture or carry boxes, just because they’re the cheap option. However, there are a number of reason why both driver and ‘mates’ should be very careful doing this. The results of a theft or accident if not properly insured will almost certainly outweigh the savings made.”