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What is courier insurance?
Courier insurance is a specialist form of motor insurance that is designed to protect those who use their car or van to deliver goods.
A dedicated courier insurance policy will protect you as the driver, as well as cover your vehicle and the goods in transit.
Couriers are exposed to unique risks while going about their business, so require more specialised motor insurance cover than other drivers. For instance, couriers tend to spend a lot more time on the road and transport valuable packages for their clients – something which standard car or van insurance would not cover.
There are typically two different types of courier insurance, so it is important to look into which one suits you and the nature of your business the most.
The two types of courier insurance are: hire and reward insurance and goods in transit insurance.
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Hire and reward insurance
A standard courier insurance policy is best suited to those who use their vehicle for ‘hire and reward’, i.e. you transport other people’s goods in return for payment.
Goods in transit insurance
These policies are more suited to couriers who use their vans for haulage, as they are more geared towards providing cover for the cargo you are transporting – protecting them if they are lost, stolen or damaged while in your possession.
These two courier insurance policies are very similar in terms of what they cover, but depending on your business they each offer slightly different options.
There is a bit of debate in the industry about what the definition of a courier is, and what the difference is between a courier and a haulier. This can leave a lot of people a bit confused about whether a hire and reward policy or a haulage (goods in transit) policy is the best option for their delivery work.
In general terms a courier should be anyone who regularly does multiple drop-offs during a working day, whereas a haulier would typically drive long distances to drop off a single load.
However, different insurance companies can have different definitions regarding couriers and hauliers, so it is always recommended that you double-check with them about what they class you as before taking out your policy.
If you describe yourself as a courier but, as per your insurers definition, they see that you have actually been doing ‘haulage’ work, then your policy could be invalid in the event of a claim – which could leave you and your business in a tricky financial situation.
What does courier insurance cover?
Courier insurance policies can vary quite a bit in regards to what level of cover they offer, depending on the insurance company and the type of delivery work you do.
For example, you could choose to take out a commercial van insurance policy which would cover any damage to your vehicle as well as any third party injury or vehicle / property damage caused in an accident. However, this type of policy would not provide any cover for the goods you are carrying – meaning any loss, damage or theft of your clients cargo would not be covered.
Also, if your courier job requires any road trips abroad you shouldn’t just assume that a standard van policy would provide European motor cover.
We’ve outlined a list of things that can typically be included in a specialist courier insurance policy:
- Breakdown cover
- Courtesy vehicle hire
- European cover
- Windscreen cover
- Goods in transit cover
- Public liability
- Employers’ liability
- Driver’s personal belongings
- Equipment including tarpaulin, security ties and ropes
Courier insurance FAQs?
Find out more about courier and hire and reward insurance with our FAQs:
Why do I need courier insurance?
As a courier, haulier or delivery driver, you are subject to a unique set of risks that standard motor insurance policies will not cover. For instance you typically spend a lot more time on the road during the day, and will be transporting goods that can vary dramatically in terms of size, weight and value.
Therefore to ensure you are fully protected you should be looking for a specialist policy that will cover you for these unique risks.
What is the difference between courier insurance and haulage insurance?
Both courier insurance and haulage insurance policies will include Goods-in-transit and Hire and reward cover, but there are some differences between them.
The differences all stem from the slightly different nature of delivery work carried out by couriers and hauliers. Haulier tends to have contracts with their clients who they deliver to on a pre-defined schedule – so they know what they are transporting and when. Couriers, on the other hand, tend to be a bit more spontaneous in that they can be transporting different goods at different times on very short notice.
What type of vehicle does courier insurance cover?
Courier insurance policies are most commonly used to cover small-to-medium sized vans.