During the Covid-19 lockdowns, Radius Insurance Solutions (RIS) became aware of the need to respond to changes in the needs of its van-operating clients. 

There was a dramatic rise in the number of delivery vans, and in particular start-up couriers, who notoriously struggle to get insurance. 

Having provided vehicle insurance since 1953, RIS has seen insuring vans become increasingly challenging. Premiums have gone up and up, which was hardly surprising when you consider the number of vans stolen each year had reached 10,000 by last year, and that £23 million worth of items were stolen from vans, according to the Office of National Statistics. 

From its own company data, it found van theft increased by a shocking 45% during lockdown. Due to the high pressure of their work, couriers have more accidents than other van drivers, which is why lots of insurers refuse to cover them at all. They do not want the risk of insuring them or the work of processing their claims, says RIS. 

Therefore, during lockdown when the nation was relying more than ever on van deliveries, RIS designed a solution, creating a new insurance broking operation tailored solely for small van fleet operators.

RIS launched its new subsidiary in August 2020, having trained a team of van insurance specialists in all the policies van users need. The new team, combining experienced brokers and new salespeople, expanded rapidly to meet the demand for the van-focused service. RIS provided fleet and mini-fleet insurance specifically for LCV operators, giving them the flexibility to deal with the challenges of operating under Covid lockdown conditions. They could add new drivers or temporary staff to the policy quickly and switch drivers between vans, making sick cover or extra shifts easy to organise. When converting clients from individual van insurance to a fleet policy, RIS chased up their previous ‘no claims discount’ certificates. Clients who bought extra vans during the year got their no claims discount from day one. 

When selling “goods in transit” insurance to cover the tools clients carry in their vans or “goods for hire and reward” insurance for couriers, RIS recommended ways to reduce the price, such as installing vehicle cameras or immobilisers, having effective procedures to prevent loss of items and bundling insurance policies together. 

In addition, RIS provided insurance with free telematics to manage risk, reduce accidents and so cut insurance costs through training safer drivers who experience fewer collisions and claims, thus reducing their insurance costs year-on-year. As part of the Radius Payment Solutions business services group, RIS claims to be the only UK company to provide both insurance and its own telematics free of charge. It negotiated discounts for customers who installed its telematics package and for those with existing telematics systems it shared the details with insurers to find them the best price available. It also offered anti-theft asset trackers, which clients can hide anywhere inside or under their vans and worked with the police to find and recover stolen vans.

RIS’s telematics devices reported van accidents to the owner immediately. Contacting the insurer to make the “first notification of loss” without delay gave RIS control over the way claims were dealt with. It could organise repairs and replacement vehicles without involving third parties, keep control of the timescales and normally settle within days. 

As a result of its actions, RIS sold £5.4m of insurance policies within the first 12 months, during which time it grew the size of its van brokering team from two to 18 people and negotiated and settled an impressive 1,602 insurance claims.

Highly Commended: Adrian Flux

A past winner of the Insurer of the Year Award, Adrian Flux is dedicated to finding its customers the best possible quote, no matter what they drive. From Transit vans to pick-up trucks, tippers to double-cab vans, whatever the customer drives, Adrian Flux pledges to tailor a policy to the operator’s specific needs and requirements.

Its staff’s light commercial vehicle expertise enables  the firm to offer what it claims is an unrivalled combination of price and service and can arrange cover even for customers who have struggled getting competitive quotes in the past, have driving convictions, carry hazardous materials or drive a modified van.

Adrian Flux has a wide variety of commercial vehicle schemes to cater for all sorts of van owners using their vans for business purposes.