Courier Insurance can be Extremely Complex
Since we have had lockdown the demand for couriers has grown. More and more people are shopping online, partly because they have to because they cannot get out, although that has changed in recent weeks. Now we can all go back to the pub, for instance. However, in very recent days we have had the resurgence of local lockdowns in parts of the country, and if you have been following the news, it appears that there could be more to come, up until Christmas and beyond.
Then there are still a lot of people who simply don’t want to go to the shopping centre, preferring to stay at home and buy from e-commerce sites. The demise of the high street was already in full flow before Coronavirus struck, but there is no doubt that it has accelerated. All of which means that if you run a courier operation, whether a one-man business or whether you employ people as well, your services are going to be in ever greater demand. In fact, it is probably one of the few industries in which growth is booming.
Of course, many people acting as couriers work for big e-commerce sites, but whoever you work for, you need courier insurance, and there seems to be a certain amount of confusion about it. For instance, what is the difference between courier insurance and transport insurance in the UK, or goods in transit insurance as it is also known?
To start with, courier insurance covers you for harm or damage that happens when you are working. Obviously, you are required to have vehicle insurance for harm or damage that you may cause to other road users, known as third party, fire, and theft, but as a courier you need more. You need to cover damage to your own vehicle and also coverage for yourself if you are involved in an accident and are injured and unable to work for several weeks.
Courier insurance works both ways, covering damage and injury to others, and also to yourself. However, the types of courier insurance available can vary considerably, so you need to work out the criteria that you need to cover. At The Insurance Broker, we can help you with that. For instance, you might be working for Amazon or a similar company and delivering small items of no great value. By the same token, as a courier you might have a Ford Transit and be delivering office machinery around the country for a manufacturer. You could also be delivering goods that are flammable or may have other factors that make them more dangerous in the event of an accident.
All of these can affect the type and amount of insurance cover you need. The point is that you need the correct insurance to provide the cover that you are legally required to have together with enough to cover any other situations.
Then there is the question of transport insurance in the UK, or goods in transit. As a courier, you are responsible for any loss, damage, or theft of your customer’s property while it is in your hands. What can be difficult – especially if you work for big e-commerce sites – is that you can find it hard to estimate the value of the goods that you may be required to transport from day to day.
This is where things can get even more complicated because, if you are involved in an accident which is not your fault, you should be able to claim compensation from the other party. However, your customer, who owns the goods you are transporting is not interested in that. They want compensation for their loss from you, since the goods were in your hands when the damage or loss occurred. So you need to make certain that you have sufficient cover.
Furthermore, policies can vary in their terms, such as having a limit on the maximum value per item as well as the maximum value per load that you have on board. There may also be differences in premium according to the type of goods that you are transporting. For instance, flammable materials will no doubt attract a higher premium than others. Living things such as plants may be more liable to damage than a box of drill bits.
This is why, if you need insurance for goods in transit, you need to talk to us at The Insurance Broker so that we can provide the cover that you need.