What happens if you don't have courier insurance?

Written by Zego

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Working as a delivery driver can be a good option if you’re looking for a more flexible way to earn extra money. But what happens if you don't have courier insurance?

As a courier, it’s your responsibility to make sure your vehicle is covered with the right type of insurance. If you get caught without courier insurance, you could end up getting stopped by the police. And, if you need to make a claim on your policy, it might not be valid.

In this guide, we'll cover more on the topic of courier insurance, and tell you how to get started as a delivery driver.

Can you deliver without courier insurance?

If something happens to one of your parcels, or if you're involved in an accident while driving, courier insurance can help to cover the costs. Without it, you might have to pay for them yourself.

It’s your responsibility to get your vehicle fully insured with the right courier insurance. Your standard domestic and pleasure (SDP) car insurance policy won’t cover you for courier work.

If you don't have the right cover, any claim you make will be void, and you run the risk of getting an IN10 if stopped by the police.

Courier insurance is a legal requirement in the UK. By law, if you deliver food from takeaways or restaurants to customers in return for payment, you must have public liability insurance to cover any damages that might occur while working.

Our fast food delivery insurance (hire and reward policy) includes public liability as standard.

Why is courier insurance so expensive?

One of the main reasons courier insurance can be expensive is due to the added risk. Delivery drivers cover more miles in busier areas and at busier times of day than regular drivers. So the added risk adds to the insurance costs.

Here are a few other factors that can contribute to the cost of courier insurance:

Driver age and experience

As with all types of vehicle insurance, the older and more experienced you are, the less your insurance policy tends to cost. This is because younger drivers are statistically more likely to be involved in an accident.

Personal driving record and history

As a food courier, your vehicle use will increase significantly. If you have any driving-related convictions or motoring incidents on record, your cost of insurance can go up.

Type of vehicle

As with all types of insurance, the cost will vary depending on the type of vehicle you want to insure. The insurance cost of a van will be different from a motorbike.

The amount of excess you’re willing to pay

Excess is the agreed amount you're willing to pay upfront in the event of a claim. Typically the more excess you're willing to pay the lower the cost of your policy.

Annual mileage

Higher mileage creates more wear and tear on the vehicle. It also means you're spending more time on the road. Your insurer sees this as a risk, which can drive up the price of your policy.

Working hours

Because courier work often runs late into the night, it's natural that a lapse in concentration or reaction time can occur.

The more you drive, the higher your chances are of getting into an accident. And this can affect how much you pay for insurance.

Time pressure

Delivery drivers often find themselves under pressure to meet deadlines. This pressure can lead to risky behaviour, such as speeding and taking risks while driving. Your insurance company takes this into account when calculating your policy cost.

Where you live

Some areas have a lot more traffic than others. A busy city is likely to have a lot more cars on the road than a small town, for instance. The more traffic, the higher the risk of an accident. And this can mean higher insurance costs for delivery drivers.

Why do you need food delivery insurance?

Social, domestic and pleasure insurance won't cover courier work. You need to have a hire and reward insurance policy in place to cover food delivery work.

Your standard insurance policy covers you to drive your vehicle for things like visiting family or going to the gym. When you're making deliveries in exchange for payment, you need a hire and reward policy.

What type of insurance do I need to deliver food?

For food delivery, you need a hire and reward (H&R) insurance policy. Hire and reward is a specific type of commercial insurance that covers you for the delivery of food in exchange for payment.

Business insurance is an umbrella term used to describe all business insurance policies. Hire and reward is a specific type of insurance not typically included in standard business insurance policies. It's always best to check your policy to make sure you have the correct insurance for courier business.

Is it illegal to have two insurance policies?

We understand why you might be concerned about this. However, it doesn’t count as dual insurance if you have two policies that cover different types of risk. There’s no overlap between SD&P and H&R cover, so you don’t need to worry about dual insurance.

How do I know if I have courier insurance working as a delivery driver?

Check with your employer or insurer to see if you have a hire and reward insurance policy. Many policies offer coverage while driving for work, but it’s important to read the fine print to make sure you know what is and isn’t covered.

What would happen to my goods if I was stopped without business insurance?

If you’re transporting goods without the right type of business insurance and you’re stopped by the police, you may face criminal charges. You’re allowed to unload your goods, but the police are under no obligation to help you.

What would happen if I was involved in an accident while delivering goods without delivery driver insurance?

If you’re involved in an accident while delivering goods without delivery driver insurance, you could end up having to pay for any damage to your vehicle and the goods you’re transporting.

You could also face legal penalties if you’re sued as a result of the accident. To protect yourself and your business, it’s important to have insurance coverage for delivery drivers.

How do police detect uninsured delivery drivers?

Police use Automated Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) to automatically check national insurance databases. This allows them to quickly identify any uninsured delivery drivers.

They can also look for certain telltale signs, like a food storage box on the back of a scooter or a driver delivering food to an address.

Do I need courier insurance if I'm on a bicycle?

Yes, if you use your bicycle to make food deliveries in exchange for payment, you will need hire and reward insurance.

What if you were uninsured without knowing?

If you’re involved in an accident while delivering goods without delivery driver insurance (whether you know it or not), you could end up responsible for paying for any damage.

You could also face legal fines or compensation payouts if you’re sued following an accident. To keep yourself protected, you need the right delivery driver insurance.

What options does Zego offer?

We offer a range of delivery insurance options so you can get the cover that’s right for you. For car delivery drivers, we offer hourly, monthly and annual policies, making it a flexible option for part-time and full-time delivery work.

For scooter delivery riders, we also offer pay-as-you-go, 30-day and annual cover options. So whether you’re working full-time or for just a couple of hours per week, we have a policy designed for you.