Brightside is happy to admit van insurance provides the foundation of its business and has remained a critical part of its operation for almost two decades.

During this time Brightside, an insurance broker, has adapted its proposition to meet changing customer demands, particularly in establishing an online offering, through which it provides a service via both aggregators and directly.

Brightside continues to function offline, however, for customers who still prefer “to speak to a human”, and it also offers a fleet solution, which covers anything from two to 100 light commercial vehicles.

The company sells van insurance via numerous third-party relationships, and through its lead transfer business to AXA and More Than customers who fall outside these firms’ own risk appetite. Brightside also has a white-label arrangement with Churchill.

Brightside’s wide reach also extends to offering quotes to customers with criminal convictions (motor and non-motor) plus customers born outside the UK.

It endeavours to keep up with changing environmental standards for vans, with cover available for electric and ultra low-emission models, and the business professes to love the “weird and wonderful”, like insuring vans that turn into discos, for example.

The company is proud of the excellent one-to-one working relationships its technical broking unit (TBU) has established with the insurers on its van panel, which, it says, trust the unit’s judgement and experience. The TBU deals with unusual and niche cases such as the aforementioned disco van, while the sales floor handles standard risks, as well as customers with minor convictions or modifications.

Brightside offers insurance for couriers requiring hire and reward use, which legally covers operators carrying people or other people’s property, including, for example, taxi drivers or furniture removal companies.

It also arranges cover for high-mileage drivers on time-critical deliveries, and caters for high-value goods transport and temperature-controlled deliveries.

Brightside recognises the importance of vans to its customers’ livelihoods and that to be without them deprives them of the means to earn a living. It therefore lays on like-for-like replacement vehicles and provides tradespeople with insurance for their tools. RAC breakdown cover is available as is insurance for legal expenses through a partnership with Slater and Gordon Lawyers to support customers following an accident, whether fault or non-fault.

The firm claims its policy sales count for vans in the first 11 months of 2019 numbered around 53,000 units with a renewal rate of 76%, which, in a price-driven sector, it says underlines the high standard of sales and service through which it has built a loyal customer following.

It claims to offer the most comprehensive range of insurance products for van drivers in the UK. Beyond sales it strives to deliver best-in-class relationship management and aftercare service to maximise retention rates.

Looking ahead, it believes more customers will opt to take out cover online, but continues to believe in taking personal responsibility for its customers.

Highly Commended: Adrian Flux

Last year’s winner of the Insurance Award is the runner-up this time.

From panel vans to pick-ups, tippers to double-cabs, Adrian Flux promises to tailor a policy suited to individual needs. This includes customers with driving convictions, those driving modified vans, or even operators carrying hazardous materials.

The firm offers short-term insurance cover that runs between one day and six months, which can be particularly handy if, for example, you want to borrow a friend’s van to move home over the weekend or you need to borrow one for work for a short period of time, or you require interim insurance while replacing your regular LCV.

Also available from Adrian Flux is Tools in Transit cover for a value of up to £5,000, Misfuel Assistance, free legal cover, personal accident and road rage cover, UK and European breakdown insurance, the option to pay through instalment plans, courtesy vehicles, and access to a 24-hour claims line and a nationwide network of garages guaranteeing all repairs for five years.

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