In these days of the comparison website you could be forgiven for thinking that the insurance broker as an entity is no more, but nothing could be further from the truth. It is easy to forget that the broker works for the client, not the insurance company, and as such relies on your business as the LCV operator for its income. That simple relationship – albeit with a few layers beneath – still offers a number of advantages for insuring your van this way, chief of which is a bespoke service. As anyone who has ever tried to insure a slightly unusual vehicle will know, the ‘one size fits all’ of the comparison site questioning leaves much to be desired. Brokers use a panel of insurance companies – in the case of Adrian Flux it’s more than 40 – to search for the most appropriate cover for LCV operators’ requirements. A broker, of course, gains commission from insurance companies, but without being tied to a select band the quotation process should be much wider. This personalised approach relies, of course, on the people involved, and Adrian Flux is proud of its staff training system and the fact that many are not just car enthusiasts, but highly knowledgeable on LCVs too, and are able to speak ‘van’ with the best of us.

Historically, the company had a reputation for insuring unusual vehicles, not just classic cars, but kit cars, ex-military machines and modified motors. That translates well into the LCV sector – can you think of a vehicle of any kind with more derivatives than the Ford Transit? The company promotes this with a comprehensive list of its specialities, including standard panel vans, Lutons, dropsides, pick-ups, grey imports, American trucks, tippers, catering and ice cream vans, refrigerated delivery vehicles, milk floats, hazardous goods vehicles, courier vans, horse boxes, dog grooming vans and the like. It also extends a hand to drivers with convictions, often an insurmountable obstacle to getting insurance, particularly if you are operating a business.

Adrian Flux also offers short-term insurance cover that runs between one day and six months, which can be useful if, for example, you want to borrow a colleague’s vehicle for a particular job 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, and UK and European breakdown insurance. The firm offers the option to pay through instalment plans, provides courtesy vehicles, and has access to a 24-hour claims line and a nationwide network of approved garages and bodyshops guaranteeing all their repairs for five years. Additional benefits can be added on and these include, for example, gadget cover for satnavs etc. You can also add protection for your excess amount, key care cover for lost keys, and of particular interest to operators with older vehicles, or even classic vans, there is agreed valuation too.

Highly Commended: Brightside

Brightside is very much a van insurance provider as the bulk of its client base is in LCVs and has been for almost two decades. As you would expect, the company understands the van operators’ needs, and offers a range of bespoke services and bolt-ons.

As standard its LCV policies include windscreen cover, audio cover for entertainment and satnav systems, 90 days per year of European cover, and an online management facility with full smartphone capability. Additional add-ons include RAC cover with three levels – Breakdown, At Home and Onward Travel – then there is cover for replacement vehicles, tools and motor legal expenses. Where Brightside really places its emphasis, however, is on unusual LCV cover, so one-off conversions or imported vehicles are no longer a barrier to running a small business. It was this combination of core value and flexible approach that impressed the judges.