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Understanding Commercial Vehicle Insurance

Commercial van insurance and Car insurance have some fundamental differences.

A vehicle would be considered to be commercial if its primary purpose is to transport goods or materials as opposed to passengers. A commercial vehicle may have two or three seats designed for transporting workers, they usually have a dedicated area for the transport of work materials. A commercial vehicle insurance policy will cover you for personal and work use. The reverse however does not apply.

Trades People usually require a vehicle to transport their tools or equipment to and from work. It depends on your trade and if you need to transport tools and equipment to and from work daily. If you do not transport your tools and equipment then a standard or personal vehicle insurance policy might be what you need. Plumbers, Electricians, Builders, etc will require commercial vehicle insurance. It will provide the necessary insurance cover for you and your company in the unfortunate event of theft or accidents involving your tools and equipment.

Van or commercial vehicle insurance is a legal requirement in Ireland. Either personal or commercial vehicle insurance is a necessity to drive on Irish roads. The repercussions of not having the appropriate insurance could lead to a substantial fine of up to €5,000, penalty points on your license, and even 6-month imprisonment if it is decided by the Irish Courts. If you do not have the appropriate level of insurance and you were involved in or the cause of a road accident you will be responsible for all damages to your own vehicle. You could also be responsible for damages to any other road user’s vehicle and the passenger’s injuries that were involved in the incident. This could result in you or your business being financially responsible for all damages as well as the fines or decisions of the courts as mentioned above. It is important to have the appropriate cover even in the event of a minor accident as you could be responsible for the damage should you be held accountable. The unfortunate reality is that your rate of insurance could also skyrocket.

Also, it is important to protect the tools of your trade. These tools are not cheap and the costs to replace these tools, equipment, or machinery can amount to thousands of euros. The theft of tools and machinery is common because they fetch a lot of money on the black market, their resale value is typically quite high. The right insurance that protects your tools and machinery coming to and from work will give you financial security and peace of mind if the worst happens.


All van insurance is different, it depends on your business needs. There are 3 primary types of cover that apply to vans or commercial vehicles.

  • Third-party only cover is the basic insurance required if you own a commercial vehicle or van. If you were involved in an accident that was your fault and your policy is Third Party Only, your insurer will cover any third party costs incurred through damages or injury. It will cover the cost of any injuries caused to passengers in your van, although you and your van will not be covered.
  • A Third Party Fire and Theft policy will cover you for the same as Third Party Only but also covers you if your van is damaged by fire, after a break-in or was stolen. Your Insurer will cover any damage caused to other parties if you are involved in an accident that was your fault, as well as the costs caused by fire or theft. It is important to note that a third party, fire & theft policy will not cover any damage or injury caused to you or your van in the event of an accident.
  • Comprehensive cover is the highest form of cover you can get. It will cover you for everything that a Third Party Only or Third Party, Fire & Theft policy does, as well as additional benefits. It means that if you are involved in an accident and you have comprehensive van insurance, your insurer will cover any third-party damages, along with damages to your own vehicle, any repairs, third-party medical expenses, and your own medical costs.

If you would like to discuss your commercial vehicle insurance needs with an experienced insurance broker then give Sheridan Insurances a call today. Sheridan Insurances have been helping customers with their van, fleet, haulage, and courier insurance needs for more than 40 years. Our team of experienced brokers are here if you need them.

Get in touch with a member of our team by scheduling a callback at a time that suits you. Alternatively, if you are in a hurry get a Quick Quote now.