The Complete Guide to Courier Insurance
When it comes to running a courier service, getting your hands on a set of wheels is essential. The next most important expense is the fuel to keep that vehicle on the road. Whatever you’re shifting or lift, it pays to be mobile.
But once you get your vehicle filled up and ready for the road, you’ll need to budget for a courier insurance policy. Just like the goods you move around, courier policies come in all shapes and sizes to suit a range of customer, however there are a few essential features which you just can’t do without.
Courier insurance will be one your biggest outlays, so it’s worth spending the time to find out what you’ll be spending your money on. That way, you’ll be able to make an informed choice as to what plan represents the best value for you and your company.
By making sure a policy suits your needs, you’re business will run a lot smoother and you’ll be able to easily handle any problems if and when they arise.
To help you get the best protection for your operation, we’ve put together this simple guide.
There are three main types of policy you should look out for, no matter what kind of operation you are running. You may be a sub contractor or a single operator, but you will need three key forms of courier insurance you’ll need before hitting the road.
A courier company depends on its wheels more than anything, so in order to keep your business moving you will require some form of vehicle cover.
It’s important to get the right form of vehicle cover for your courier service, whether you use motorbikes, cars, vans or small lorries.
All vehicle using UK roads require insurance, but standard vehicle cover is insufficient if you are using a car or van for business purposes.
Vehicles are essential to a courier service, so it’s important to take out cover which is not just affordable, but which also gives you the protection you need should something go wrong.
When it comes to vehicle cover as part of a courier policy, there are a raft of different options open to you.
It’s always a good idea to speak to your provider to make sure all the features you need are included in your policy.
Features such as replacement vehicle cover, glass cover, variable excess, legal costs and protected no claims bonus can all come in handy.
Make sure there are no hidden extras which you are paying for, but don’t really need.
When you take out van insurance, you may find that some providers may offer an all-in-one courier insurance package.
This could include useful features such as Goods in Transit cover and public liability cover. While this may seem a great solution to your needs, it’s worth finding out if you could purchase these extra forms of coverage separately at a cheaper price.
Vehicle cover can also come with certain exclusions, so it’s worth reading over the policy before signing on the dotted line.
Many providers may place certain restrictions on where you can drive and what kind of goods you can carry, while they may also be reluctant to provide cover for drivers under 25 years of age.
Goods in Transit insurance
Goods in Transit (GIT) insurance is designed to cover the good you are transporting for a third party. While vehicle insurance will cover the van or car you’re driving, GIT will cover loss or damage to any goods in the vehicle.
Courier services can carry many different kinds of goods on any given day, so it’s a good idea to know what sort of GIT policy suits your operation best.
One of the key things to be aware of is that GIT cover can come with exclusions. Typically, many providers won’t cover the transportation of livestock, hazardous goods and human remains.
Other exclusions may include goods moved during a house move. While a sofa being delivered by Ikea may be covered by GIT, a similar item being transported from house to house might not.
Insurers may also only provide partial cover for certain valuable items which they deem to be ‘theft-attractive goods’. These could include computers, iPads and other sought electronic goods. It some cases, insures may only cover you for half the value of such items.
Of course, when you’re running a courier service, it can be difficult to turn customers away. If you have been ask to carry goods which you suspect you don’t have sufficient coverage for, you can do one of two things.
Either ask the customer to take out cover themselves or contact your insurer to see if you can purchase the extra cover required as a one-off.
Public liability insurance
Hopefully, your courier company will see you come into contact with customers on a regular basis. However, dealing with the public can bring its own risks, therefore public liability is essential.
This product will cover you if you cause an accident, injury or damage to a person’s property in the course of your business operations.
Public liability insurance can come in handy if the goods you are carrying fall out or are dropped on the way to or from the vehicle and injure a member of the public of their property and may be available as part of a GIT plan.
Other features to look out for…
Employers’ liability insurance
Anyone running a business in the UK which employs staff must, by law, take out employers’ liability cover. The minimum amount of cover required is £5million
If you are a sub contractor, many of those working in the courier service may not technically be your employees. Sub-contracted worker could be classed as self-employed, so it’s always worth checking these details out.
Light haulier insurance
Light haulier cover is an option for couriers who make a small number of pre-arranged deliveries in a day. Light haulier cover can also save you money, so it’s worth investigating.
Even if you are working on your own, you should always make sure you have a legitimate form of cover as courier companies looking for sub-contract work out will look for this.
If you run a relatively large operation, you may be able to save money by taking out fleet insurance. This type of cover is usually designed for companies which run five or more vehicles. It’s cheaper and easier to process as you won’t have to deal with individual policies for each individual vehicle.
No matter what kind of courier cover you require, it pays to take your time and study each quote and policy carefully. Peruse the small print and find out exactly what you’re covered for and, perhaps more importantly, what you’re not covered for.
If you are unsure, or want to find out about extra features, talk with your provider and they’ll set you on the right road.