If you need to haul kids, bikes, pets, and sports gear, it may be time to buy a family van. Most likely you have a number of questions, such as whether your coverage should be the same as the auto policy you’ve had in the past.
Fortunately, an independent insurance agent can help you find affordable van insurance, so you can protect yourself and your vehicle against losses.
What Kind of Insurance Do You Need for Your Van?
The type and amount of van insurance you should buy depends on whether you are a minivan driver, business owner, entrepreneur, or contractor, among other things. The first step is to learn about the laws in your state, as many states have specific insurance requirements for commercial vans and trucks. Most states mandate the following coverage no matter the type of vehicle or driver.
- Bodily injury liability: Coverage that pays for claims resulting from injury or death that is caused in an accident where you're at fault.
- Property damage liability: Coverage that pays to reimburse or replace another person's property or vehicle that is damaged in an accident where you're at fault.
While most states will have a minimum required amount of liability coverage, it's a good idea to work with your insurance agent to assure that the amount of liability you purchase is actually enough to cover you in an event.
Some states will also require the following policies:
- Medical payments/Personal injury protection: If you or your passengers are injured in an accident, this coverage will pay for any medical expenses or lost wages resulting from the accident.
- Uninsured motorist coverage: It's more common than you might think for individuals to be driving without insurance or without sufficient coverage. Getting in an accident with an uninsured motorist can be detrimental to your finances. Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage protects you when another driver causes an accident but fails to carry adequate coverage.
Optional coverage to consider:
- Collision insurance: Coverage if your van sustains damage from a collision with another vehicle or an object and you're at fault.
- Comprehensive insurance: Protection against everything that's not covered in collision insurance. This includes theft, natural disasters, storms, and other mishaps like colliding with an animal.
- Glass coverage: Replacing a windshield can cost a decent amount of money. It's also illegal to drive with a cracked windshield. Glass coverage tends to have no deductible and provides coverage for a low premium.
- Gap insurance: If you find yourself owing more for your van than it's worth, consider purchasing gap insurance. This will pay the difference that you owe on your vehicle if you get into an accident and the van is deemed a total loss.
What Affects the Cost of Insurance for Your Van?
When you shop for van insurance, you will find that more than your personal driving history matters. The make and model of your vehicle plays a large role in the cost of coverage as well as other factors.
Annual mileage: Insurance companies see more time on the road as a greater risk of getting in an accident. If you drive more than the average person, which is around 10,000 to 15,000 miles a year, you may see a slight increase in your van insurance premiums.
Driving record: Having just one violation on your record can greatly increase your insurance premium. Most violations fall off your record after a certain amount of time, and your independent insurance agent can help you understand when that might be.
The value of your van: Vans might come in one particular shape, but models vary greatly and each model is priced differently. The more expensive your vehicle, the more it will cost your insurance company to replace or repair if you're in an accident.
|Van model||Average price||Average insurance premium|
|Ford Transit Connect||$24,655||$2,064|
|Toyota Sienna||$34, 460||$1,788|
|RAM ProMaster City||$24,530||$1,872|
|Nissan NV Cargo||$30,540||$1,620|
|Dodge Grand Caravan||$27,530||$2,856|
The safety of your van
When you’re looking to buy a vehicle, sometimes it helps to consider some data about accidents and safety ratings before you make your purchase. Most vans come well equipped with safety features, with as airbags and antilock brakes as well as other features to keep passengers safe. These features can lower average premium costs even further because they reduce the likelihood that you will file a claim for medical expenses.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) both test and rate vehicles for safety. NHTSA uses a five-star rating system and IIHS uses a Good, Acceptable, and Poor rating system. The following van models received the highest safety rankings in these tests.
Dodge Grand Caravan: Received four-out-of-five stars in front and rollover crash tests. IIHS gave the Grand Caravan "Good" ratings in four of the five tests.
Toyota Sienna: Received four-out-of-five stars in frontal crash and rollover tests, and five-out-of-five in side crash test. It received "Good" ratings from the IIHS in four out of five tests.
Chrysler Pacifica: Received five-out-of-five overall rating from NHTSA and IIHS named it a Top Safety Pick with "Good" ratings in five tests.
Kia Sedona: Received five-out-of-five stars three NHTSA tests and four-out-of-five in rollover test. IIHS gave it a "Good" rating in all five of their tests.
Honda Odyssey: Received five-out-of-five stars in all tests besides the rollover test. It received a "Good" rating in all six test performed by the IIHS.
Where you live with your van
Some states are naturally more expensive for insurance than others, but whether you live in a big city or a small town can also affect your rates. Driving busier roads and being more susceptible to traffic, theft, and vandalism can all impact the cost of your insurance premiums.
The most expensive states for insurance are Michigan, Louisiana, Florida, Texas, California
The least expensive states for insurance are Idaho, Wisconsin, Ohio, New Hampshire, Maine
Top Insurance Carriers That Insure Vans
According to a recent US Independent Insurance Agent Satisfaction Study by J.D. Power, the following companies provide excellent service to their insurance customers.
- Auto-Owners Insurance
How to Compare Van Insurance Quotes
Still unsure what policy is best for your personal lifestyle? It may take some time to find the right plan for you. Make sure you're doing research to determine the highest rated insurance companies in your area.
You can check insurance rating organizations like A.M. Best and others with a simple online search.
Getting online quotes for van insurance is simple enough, but it's a good idea to compare a few before you buy. Take a look at quotes from at least three sources before you decide on a policy to meet your needs.
Use TrusteChoice.com's independent agent matching system to find the best insurance plan in your area. You enter what you’re looking for, and the technology will recommend the best agents for your needs. Any information you give TrustedChoice.com will only be sent to the agents you pick.