Ice Cream Van Insurance: Reviving the Market

ice cream van insurance, courier insurance, employers’ liability

With the UK government’s July revision of the two-metre to one metre social distancing rule for English retailers after the Covid 19 lockdown, the familiar tinkle of Mr Whippy ice cream vans can once again be heard on the country’s residential streets. Ice cream vans plying their trade also must abide by the government regulations as well as staying safe with the right level of motor trade insurance during this period of transition back to normalcy.

Although it has been a tough few months for many ice-cream traders under lockdown, there are some heartening statistics to bear in mind. According to the UK Ice Cream Association (yes, there is one!), on average each person in the UK eats 9 litres of ice cream every year with traders looking for a scoop of the £1bn UK market. And according to professional services consultants PWC, ice cream parlours are one of retail’s fastest growing sectors, increasing by 20 percent year upon year.  So, it’s a great time to be in the coolest of business, just as long as you stay within the rules and regulations and have the appropriate insurances.

There are some new practicalities that Covid has thrown up. The one metre distancing rule is roughly half the length of an ice cream van. Traders should ask customers to use contactless payments where possible, wear their own protective equipment such as gloves and use cone-holders to hand over ice-creams.

Getting the right Insurance

If you serve 99s at a beachfront or on the street, you’ll need the correct mobile ice cream van insurance to cover business risks. As your van remains an on-road motor vehicle, you’ll need motor trade insurance, usually comprehensive, third party fire and theft or third party only. This covers you in exactly the same way as a normal car policy if you have an accident or if anything is stolen.

In addition to your normal vehicle insurance, you will also need public liability insurance, which covers you against legal costs and injury compensation claims if you’re blamed for injury to the public or for property damage.

Remember that ordinary insurance won’t cover ice cream vans because the truck is carrying materials such as fridges and freezers on board. It’s therefore imperative that you get the right type of vehicle insurance that is specifically intended for catering vehicles which includes ice cream vans. You will also need to check that your licence is in the correct category too, as it could be in the HGV category.

You can then bolt on the other business cover you might need, including employers’ liability insurance, stock insurance and legal expenses insurance for extra surety.

Other insurance things to consider are:

  • Stock cover – to safeguard against the cost of replacing your raspberry ripple in the event of a fridge malfunction
  • Cash protection – to cover the cost of any potential losses through theft
  • Legal protection – to cover you against legal costs 


Tradex’s ice cream van insurance policy is designed for all types of catering vans, whether static, mobile or seasonal. It can cover your liabilities and your equipment including any produce you keep in the van. It also arranges cover for new ventures and adapted vehicles and can offer group policies for other vehicles you have, including personally owned ones and those you use to deliver goods.

Courier Insurance and Perishable Ice Cream

Most of the larger retailers run their own ice cream delivery fleet, but the majority of independent ice cream parlours and small retailers rely upon courier delivery companies for their weekly frozen fix.

If you are a courier transporting ice cream, then your need to ensure your courier insurance covers not just your vehicle but your perishable cargo. There are particular risks associated with this type of work and your cargo could be lost, stolen or damaged in transit.

Even if you use your own car to deliver a perishable cargo like ice cream, then courier insurance is necessary as private car, motorbike or van insurance won’t provide adequate cover for this specific type of use. And that could leave you frozen out of a lucrative marketplace.

Courier insurance is designed to protect you against the unique risks you face. That includes:

  • Making a lot of different stops during a single trip
  • High levels of daily mileage
  • A range of cargo types of different values
  • Courier insurance can also include public liability, employers’ liability and a wide range of different cover types to protect you against every eventuality.

    As well as protection for the road risks, you can take out a policy that comes with goods in transit cover included as standard up to a value of £10,000 should items be lost, damaged (melted) or stolen.

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