Any individual who operates a vehicle on public roads in the UK has to, by law have standard motor insurance. If your business involves carrying goods with the intention of delivering them, then you need to carry Courier Insurance cover. For this, normal car insurance policy is inadequate.
Often times, the term ‘carrying goods for hire or reward’ come up when speaking about this type of cover.
Haulage Insurance and Courier Insurance are sometimes mixed up. If the service that you provide involves multiple pick-ups and drop-offs each day, then Courier Insurance is the type of cover that you need. Haulage generally involves dealing with the same customers on a regular basis. Most often, a contract is involved. In many cases, there will regular appointments for pick-up and delivery, and the company will know in advance exactly what goods they will be handling. A courier, on the other hand, will need to transport who knows what, often at a moment’s notice.
The type of vehicle used for the two are very different. While a courier will use cars, vans, or even a motorbike, haulage companies are more likely to use Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGV).
There is cover available for many types of courier services including sole proprietors, business partnerships, charities, and others.
As is the case with standard car insurance, there are three main types of Courier Insurance cover.
Third Party Only (TPO)
Third Party Fire and Theft (TPFT)
Regardless of the type of cover you choose, you will be required to pay an excess. This is the amount of money the insured is required to pay towards any claim that is made for which they are responsible for. This also applies to any accident that is deemed to be your fault. Typically, the lower the excess, the higher the premium cost.
The decision is of course is ultimately yours. With so many providers out there, going it alone quite often is not the best idea. Using a qualified broker that is knowledgeable of the many intricacies involved in obtaining the proper Courier Insurance for your exact needs, is generally the best bet. Remember, cutting corners here can leave you a poor standard of cover.
While there are generally no restrictions on the number of drivers you are allowed to have on a policy, be aware that most insurance companies will issue policies that place conditions on who can drive the vehicle. The premium cost is directly affected by not only the age, but the claims history of any named drivers on the Courier Insurance policy.
Make yourself aware of the different options available when it comes to drivers on your policy. As is most often the case, the more drivers, the higher the premium. Most common types of cover include:
There are some Courier Insurance policies that do not provide cover for drivers under a certain age, or those with prior driving convictions.
Some insurers may take into consideration no claims history on an individual’s private car or van policy.
Most firms these days are known to use a small or mid-size diesel van due to its both reliability and fuel economy. Small lorries are also used however, any vehicle weighing over 3.5 tonnes may require haulage cover.
Regardless of the vehicle you choose, it is always a wise idea to carry ‘goods in transit cover. This will provide protection for the goods you are transporting in the event of damage or theft.