Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Sep 27, 2020

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Key takeaways...

  • Auto policies don’t only cover compact cars, sedans, and full-size cars, they may also cover vans and trucks
  • If you want to add a van to your policy, it must be a private passenger model that isn’t used for business
  • Vans that are installed with permanent equipment or that are used to transport goods need commercial insurance
  • Your insurance will follow you and provide at least liability coverage when you rent or borrow a car
  • If you’re borrowing a vehicle or renting a van, be sure it would qualify as a personal auto or it won’t be covered

There was once a stigma associated with driving a minivan around town.

Now that minivans have cool features and supercharged specs, vans have become more of a luxury than ever. With all of the interior space and the flexible seating options, families and professionals can all enjoy what the van has to offer.

If you’re planning on expanding your family and you can’t make your sedan work any longer, it’s time to see how adding a van to your insurance will affect your rates.

You can’t always take two cars to the store just for the whole family to go. With that being said, larger SUVs are just too bulky and inefficient with fuel-conscious drivers.

Let’s discuss what you need to know about covering a van under your insurance.

Before that, if you’d like to compare auto insurance rates for your van, enter your ZIP code above!

Do car insurance policies cover vans?


When you’re buying car insurance, you’d assume that the property portion of the contract would only be set up to protect cars and not vans.

Fortunately, for people who want to drive a van for personal use, the term car is used very lightly. Your contract is designed to cover personal autos.

By definition, a personal auto can include:

  • A private passenger auto
  • A pickup (that qualifies for personal coverage)
  • A van (that qualifies for personal coverage)

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When does a van qualify for coverage under a personal car policy?


You can’t buy just any van and add it to your personal policy.

In order to have coverage driving a van that you own, it has to be eligible to be covered by a personal auto insurer and not a commercial one.

There are size, weight, and usage restrictions that all van owners need to know about. Here are some of the restrictions for vans:

  • The van must not have coverage under any other insurance policy
  • The van must have a Gross Vehicle Weight of 10,000 pounds or less
  • The van can’t be used to deliver or transport goods

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Are vans covered if they are used for business?

If you’re a sole proprietor, you still might be able to add a van to your insurance as long as the van is registered in your name and it’s not driven by employees.

Unfortunately, there’s a very blurry line between what type of usage is acceptable in a van and what type of usage isn’t.

If you’re using the van for business, you still may be able to cover it personally as long as you’re not transporting goods or people in exchange for money.

When you’re driving a van that’s incidental to your business of installing, repairing, or maintaining equipment, it may still qualify. Just be sure you classify the usage right.

What if something is installed in the van?

You can’t add commercial vans to your car insurance and you also can’t add other vans that have been modified.

If you have a carpet cleaner installed into the can or any other permanent commercial equipment that’s used in the course of doing business, you’ll need a commercial auto policy.

If you can remove the equipment from the van, you should ask the agent if there’s coverage.

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Are you covered to drive someone else’s van?


Your auto insurance covers more than just you and your car. When you’re borrowing a car or renting one, it’s nice to know that your insurance will extend to some extent.

How it extends depends on the reason for the rental and the type of vehicle you’re renting. It’s better to ask your agent how the coverage extends than to assume that you have protection.

If you’re going on a vacation and you’re renting a van to fit all of your luggage and your family, you may have coverage under your policy as long as it’s a model that would qualify for coverage.

You would qualify if you borrow a van from a friend as a temporary replacement while your car can’t be driven. Even your physical damage coverage will apply.

When you rent a moving van or another commercial model, you’ll need the insurance through the agency or you won’t have protection. Personal auto insurance carriers will always reject claims made when you’re in a car that couldn’t be added to the policy if you owned it.

You can drive a van under your insurance if it’s a smaller model that’s not solely used for commercial purposes.

It’s better to be safe and verify the van can be added to your policy before you buy or rent it. Use an online rate quote tool, enter the VIN, and see how much the coverage would cost.

Start comparison shopping today by using our FREE online quote tool! Enter your ZIP code below to find better auto insurance rates.