What is courier insurance?
Most drivers know they need insurance, but do you know exactly what you need? There can often be confusion with the term ‘Courier Insurance’. Some consider it to relate to the vehicle and others, the goods in the vehicle. The reality is that both apply, however, one is legally required and the other is not.
Let’s start with the most important…
Hire & Reward Insurance- A legal requirement
If you drive a vehicle and carry other people’s goods or materials for work, you’ll need Hire & Reward insurance as a legal requirement. Hire & Reward insurance simply means that you are being employed (hired) and then paid (rewarded) to transport people or goods. It is not just Couriers that need this cover; Taxi drivers, fast food delivery people and coach operators (to name but a few) also need hire and reward insurance.
Couriers spend a great deal of time on the road, which involves starting and stopping the vehicle regularly, whilst visiting different locations. Add to that the time pressures involved working to tight schedules and it is easy to understand why courier drivers are at a higher risk of accidents than other drivers. That is why specialist cover is needed even if you are using a car or a motorbike to make the deliveries Both self-employed couriers and courier businesses need adequate protection.
To be clear, normal car insurance or a van/commercial van policy with business cover will not cover your courier work. If you have an incident with the wrong insurance, you may well end up with your vehicle not being repaired, points on your licence and you risk incurring other potential fines or penalties.
Courier Van insurance protects your vehicle and is available on a third party, third party fire and theft, or comprehensive basis.
Are you covered properly?
If you work overseas, you will need to ensure that your policy covers you specifically for this. If you are carrying Goods In Transit or Cargo abroad, you will need CMR insurance, which is a type of cover which allows hauliers and couriers to legally carry goods within Europe. Also, be aware that some policies set a restriction on mileage, so don’t get caught out by driving over this limit and risk invalidating your cover. It is important to make sure that you are covered by the correct insurance, not just for your vehicle (Hire & Reward or Light Haulage), but also for the goods that you carry, via Goods in Transit cover as well as other liabilities.
What is Goods In Transit Insurance?
Goods In Transit cover protects the goods or cargo you carry against loss or damage whilst you transport them, no matter how big, small or unusual. It is not a legal requirement but your employer/contractor may demand this cover before you can accept work from them and they might be quite specific on their required cover levels – so please check. It is a very good idea to protect yourself against any claims for any loss, theft, or damage.
Goods in Transit cover can be quite complicated with a variety of stipulations, which is why it is important to talk to people like the team at Business Choice Direct, who understand the ins and outs of this sector.
In addition, check you are covered for high-risk or hazardous goods, even if you are carrying them without knowledge. If you sub-contract to a firm they may want you to have this cover. Some Courier Insurance policies come with Goods in Transit cover automatically but some do not. In addition, many policies restrict what you can carry, their level of cover and do not cover items such as the drivers proof of delivery device. So, check with BCD to make sure any inclusive policy is right for you.
So, to summarise; a courier van insurance policy protects you as the driver and your vehicle. Goods in transit insurance covers the goods you are carrying as cargo.
Don’t wait till it’s too late, get the cover you need today. It’s simple, quick and hassle free.
If you’re using your van for work as a courier, then it’s also sensible to get Public Liability Insurance, in case you cause any damage or injure someone which could lead to a claim for compensation.
It can be confusing so it pays to talk to the experts to guide you. For jargon free advice and a tailored approach that fits your needs, talk to one of our knowledgeable and experienced team.