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Commercial Van Insurance -- The In's and Out's


If you use your van for travelling to work or back, or as personal transportation, the tax laws view this use as a benefit in kind. This means that you might find yourself liable to pay extra income tax.

In addition to this, all commercial vans must be covered by adequate insurance. There are usually three certificates issued by motor insurance providers to make sure your vehicle is covered.

The first of these is the Certificate of Insurance, which provides evidence that your van is insured. This is required by the Road Traffic Act.

The second certificate is the Cover Note. This is what you receive before the Certificate of Insurance. It acts as a temporary insurance policy and certificate of insurance.

Last is the commercial van insurance Policy Document, which states the terms and conditions your commercial van insurance policy, is entered into under. This is something that you should be certain to read carefully. Modern policies have little to no small print or over difficult language. If yours does, make sure that your insurer explains them.

Another UK law about commercial vehicles covers the transportation of food. Since 1995, any food that has not been cooked at home to be eaten privately has been subject to temperature control regulations. These regulations cover all the steps in preparing food. These include preparation, storage, handling, transportation, processing, sales, packaging, distribution, manufacture, and supply.

If the food involved is derived from animals, there are additional regulations, specific to the product. This means that any vehicles used for the commercial transportation of these foods must allow for temperature control. It is necessary to make sure that the food maintains an adequate temperature while it is being transported. The kinds of foods that are covered by the need for temperature control include all foods that could support colonies of harmful bacteria or generate toxins if their temperature is not regulated.

These foods can fall into many different categories. Some of these include dairy products; any foods containing eggs, meat, milk, fish, or derivatives of these; any foods which have been precooked, cereals and grains, vegetables and pulses, or sandwiches and foods containing these; smoked and cured fish and meat; and pre-prepared foods which are ready to eat, pastries and doughs which are uncooked or only partially cooked; and pizza and pasta which contain meat, fish, or vegetables.

All packaged foods that you might transport under your commercial van insurance policy must have special instructions on their labels regarding their storage. These instructions will tell you if you must keep these items cold while transporting them. The basic requirement is that no one keeps any ingredients, raw materials, partially finished products, or finished products at temperatures, which might allow bacteria and toxins to form if the products are susceptible to this formation.

Some foods may also have specific temperatures at which they must be held. These are usually below 8 degrees Celsius, or, in the case of warm foods, above sixty-three degrees Celsius, as appropriate. Some foods are exempt in certain circumstances. These circumstances include any foods, which may be kept at room temperature for the duration of their shelf life. Also included are foods, which have been preserved, such as canned or dried food. Some canned foods are only pasteurized, and must be refrigerated, such as tinned meat. Foods, which must be matured or ripened at room temperature, are also exempt, such as cheese. Once they have properly matured, they are stored chilled at the appropriate temperature. Also exempt are raw ingredients, which are meant to be cooked or processed in such a way that they will not present a threat.

Food, which is to be sent through the mail, is exempt from the eight degrees Celsius rule. However, these foods must be kept at a temperature that will not pose a hazard. There is some flexibility in these regulations to allow for the loading and unloading of food from vehicles to the place where it will be kept. As long as it can be shown that the food does not spend an undue amount of time outside of the temperature controlled commercial van, this is permitted.

The law also allows for some other, very limited circumstances. These relate to the display and serving of food, and to manufacturer recommendations about holding temperature on specific kinds of food. These are primarily advisory in nature, however, and specific information about them must be acquired from the Department of Health.

Submitted by:

Peter Fitzpatrick

Peter Fitzpatrick is a Marketing Professional for many of the UK's Leading Commercial Insurance companies. With 20 years worth of commercial insurance experience, for companies including: Norwich Union, Churchill and Zurich. To learn more on commercial van insurance visit his website http://www.van-insurance-britain.co.uk





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