Swinton Press Release 30.01.08
The rise of 'White Vin' Man (and 'White Vin' Woman) Swinton identifies new generation of upmarket van drivers
The stereotypical 'white van man' has a new, more upmarket rival according to leading high street insurance retailer Swinton. It has identified a new generation of self-employed professionals, both male and female, who are investing in top of the range commercial vehicles with which to ply their trade. Swinton has dubbed them the 'white vin man' and 'white vin woman.
Swinton reports that 'white vin man' has contributed to a sharp increase in insurance policies being taken out on sophisticated and expensive vans such as the Mercedes Vito and VW Transporter Sportline over the last two years. These are preferred by ‘white vin man’ as they can double up as the owners personal transport and further not look out of place in the golf club car park next to BMWs, 4x4s and people carriers.
Policy data also reveals that the type of work undertaken by 'white vin' men and women is a very different from that of plasterer, plumber and builder. Typically their jobs are linked to the creative industries - with occupations such as landscape gardener, interior designer, organic grocer and gourmet caterer being submitted on insurance applications. Of these applications, 35% come from female van owners seeking insurance.
In addition to needing cover for high specification commercial vehicles, Swinton has also seen the specialist nature of these occupations affect the nature of contents and equipment requiring insurance. Rather than power drills and stepladders, Swinton is being asked to quote for top-end laptops, DAB car radios and very high value 'tools of the trade'.
Swinton calculates the average value of vehicle and contents for a 'white vin' driver is £25,000. This is in sharp contrast to £6,000 average value for a second hand panel van, including contents, which is more commonly associated with the traditional 'white van man'.
A spokesperson from Swinton's Commercial Vehicle division said of the trend:
"A new generation of entrepreneurs are shunning nine to five jobs and going into business for themselves. It also appears that TV shows such as Master Chef and House Doctor are giving some of these people the confidence to go it alone in the more creative and artistic sectors.
"Combine that with the huge amount of money people continue to invest in improving their homes, gardens and their quality of life in general and you can see how the type of skills and services white vin men and women offer would be in demand.
"The high value of contents being insured also reflects the specialised nature of their occupations. For example, a recent application we received for a professional 'home stager' listed £3,000 worth of props including antique vases, modern artworks and Persian rugs amongst the items that required cover.
"But just like Swinton's thousands of traditional van driving customers, these self-employed professionals also need practical and reliable transportation. However it seems that their slightly more upmarket tastes extend to the type of commercial vehicle they are purchasing."
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