What insurance do I need to be a courier driver?

Written by Zego

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If you’re looking to become a courier driver, there are a few things you need to know. One of the most important is understanding what type of insurance you need to be a courier.

To be a courier driver, you’re legally required to have courier van insurance for your vehicle. Goods in transit and public liability insurance are recommended, but not always required.

Here we'll explain exactly what the different types of insurance are, how the different levels of cover protect you, and which factors affect the cost of your courier insurance.

What are the different types of insurance?

Usually called van insurance, courier insurance is a blanket term used to describe 3 different types of insurance that should be used when you're carrying out courier work.

Goods in transit insurance

Goods in transit insurance coverage provides protection for you and your customers' goods from theft, loss, or damage while in transit. It will help you to get compensated for any losses that occur while you’re working. Goods in transit isn't a legal requirement for courier work.

Public liability insurance

When you’re operating a vehicle, it’s important to remember that you are responsible for any damage you may cause. Public liability insurance provides cover to the public for property damage, injury and death.

Public liability insurance isn't a legal requirement for courier work.

Courier van insurance

Courier van insurance is a legal requirement which covers you for making multiple deliveries in your local area. Courier van insurance cover, sometimes called carriage of goods for hire, covers your work as a courier for pick and delivery of newspapers, packages, parcels and letters.

Courier van insurance won't cover you for high risk, hazardous goods or the transport of furniture for people moving house.

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Levels of cover

There are 3 levels of courier van insurance available:

Third Party Only

Third party only courier van insurance is the minimum level of cover you need. It covers damage to another person’s vehicle or property – but offers no cover for your own van. It’s the most basic level of cover, protecting you against damage or injury to third-party property, including other vehicles and people.

Third Party, Fire and Theft

Courier van insurance with third party, fire and theft gives you the same cover as a policy with just third party liability, but also covers losses due to fires, lightning strikes, explosions, thefts or attempted thefts. So in addition to being covered for any damages you cause to other people's property, you’re also safeguarded against theft or fire damage to your own van.

Fully Comprehensive

Comprehensive courier van insurance covers your vehicle if it’s accidentally damaged, either by you or another driver. It also covers theft and fire, as well as third party damage. So it offers all the coverage mentioned above, plus cover for damage to your own vehicle.

Do I need liability insurance?

To answer the question, “Do I need liability insurance?” you first need to know which one of these applies to you:

  • You’re self employed or externally contracted, and invoice for your work, or
  • You’re employed and paid a salary directly from a company

If you're self employed, you're not obliged to have public liability insurance. But it’s usually advisable to have so that you're not left out of pocket if something goes wrong.

If you're employed as a courier driver by a company like Amazon, DHL or Hermes, it's compulsory for your employer to have employer’s liability insurance, so that all the employees are covered while carrying out work as a courier.

As a business owner running a courier service, you must have employer's liability insurance as well as your standard business insurance. This applies even if your couriers only work on a casual or temporary basis.

What factors affect the cost of courier driver insurance?

There are a number of things that can affect the cost of your courier driver insurance:

  • Your age and driving experience
  • The type of vehicle you use
  • The amount of coverage you need
  • The type of goods you’re delivering
  • The delivery radius you work in
  • Where your park your vehicle overnight
  • Any previous driving offences

Your insurer will provide you with a quote based on your information, such as whether you're employed or self-employed, and the type of coverage you need.

What are the risks of not having courier insurance?

If you're involved in an accident while delivering goods without courier insurance, you could end up having to pay for the 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.

Will I have to pay an excess if I make a claim on my courier insurance?

An excess is the amount you agree to pay upfront for your own repairs in the event you make a claim. Something you will have agreed to when you got your insurance quote.

You won't have to pay an excess for a third party claim, and you won't have to pay an excess if you don't make a claim for damages yourself.

What are the common exclusions in courier driver insurance policies?

Exclusions in courier insurance policies will vary depending on the insurer, but typical exclusions include:

  • Furniture (when moving house)
  • Animals (livestock)
  • Hazardous goods
  • Human remains
  • Fragile goods

Does hire and reward insurance cover me as a courier driver?

Hire and reward insurance covers you whenever you make money as a delivery driver. That could be when delivering parcels, packages and food to different locations and addresses, and also when you’re transporting passengers as a private hire taxi driver.

Can I do deliveries with normal insurance?

Your standard car insurance policy will not cover you for courier work delivering parcels, packages or letters. You will need to have a separate courier van insurance policy to work legally as a courier driver. If you’re delivering food from a takeaway or restaurant, you’ll need a special type of insurance called hire and reward insurance.

Does Zego offer courier insurance?

Yes we do! To get a quote for courier insurance over the phone, give our team a call on 020 3053 9815.