Spotlight on courier insurance: what’s covered?

Getting a package from one place to another can be a difficult thing – and there’s always the possibility that something will go wrong. The courier delivery has boomed over lockdown, thanks to an explosion in e-commerce. As the number of parcels has increased, so too has the number of parcels that don’t quite make it to the destination intact.

If you’re running a courier business, then you’ll want to protect yourself against this risk. This can be done with the help of courier insurance. This will provide you with protection, in the event that a high-value package should become damaged.

What cover is needed for you?

The type of insurance you elect upon will depend on the circumstances and makeup of your business. If you’re driving a van, or you’re on the road for a long time, or you’re carrying extremely high-value items, then you’ll need specialised insurance.

All couriers, however, must be driving insured vehicles – much like every other driver on the roads. But you’ll also need to be covered against ‘carriage of goods for hire and reward.’ Typically, you’ll be insured for a specific amount for every load. This is usually in the tens of thousands. Cover for the goods you’re carrying is known as ‘goods in transit’ insurance.

Third-party, fire and theft

Third-party insurance will protect you against any damage you cause to other people’s property (the first party being you, and the second being the insurer). Fire and theft insurance will additionally protect you against any fire damage to your vehicle and packages, and protect you should the vehicle be stolen.

Comprehensive

If you’re going for comprehensive insurance, then you’re covered against everything we’ve mentioned, as well as against damage to your own vehicle. If you want to be comprehensively insured, then you need comprehensive insurance.

Anything else?

There’s also public liability insurance to think about. This will protect you if you inadvertently insure a member of the public. If you drop a heavy package on someone’s foot, then you’ll be protected. Given that you’re going to be interacting with the public throughout your working day, this is something you should certainly be considering.

The cost of your insurance will vary according to many of the same factors that influence the price of standard motoring insurance. Faster vehicles tend to be costlier to insure. If you’re an inexperienced driver, you might also find yourself paying more. The area in which you live might also be worth thinking about.

If you’re going to be insuring several vehicles, then you might look into fleet insurance, with multiple named drivers. Here, you’ll benefit from economies of scale – since you’re paying more, you’ll have greater leverage to negotiate a discount.