Insurance For Couriers Can Be Complicated
The courier industry is expanding rapidly as more and more shopping is done online. Furthermore, it seems that it will grow even faster now that everyone is in lockdown: people are buying online for the simple reason that they can’t get out to the shops, because the shops are not open. Having found how easy it is, many of these people will continue to shop online even though they may not have done so much up until now.
Online shopping has many benefits. You don’t have to drive to a shopping centre and hope that there is somewhere to park. You don’t have to spend hours traipsing around different shops to find the products that you need. There is far greater choice online, and you can sit at your kitchen table and browse hundreds and thousands of products, find the one you need, pay for it, and have it delivered tomorrow. No wonder couriers are so busy.
Of course, couriers do need to make certain that they have all the appropriate insurance in order to protect themselves against any liabilities and make the most of the available work. Most couriers are well aware that they need insurance, but there is some confusion as to exactly what it is that they need. One of the most common questions is the difference between courier insurance and goods in transit insurance.
As a courier, there are certain legal requirements regarding insurance which mean that a courier must be covered for any damage that he causes to others. Technically, this means that a courier could get away with investing only in third party, fire, and theft insurance. That covers any damage to third parties, and damage to the vehicle caused by fire or theft, obviously.
However, there are two problems with that, one of which is that most standard insurance specifically excludes business use. The courier would need to tell the insurance company that he was using it for business and no doubt pay an additional premium for the privilege.
However, if there is damage to the courier’s own vehicle, he would have to pay for it himself. Serious damage could mean that he is out of business just like that. So it is common sense to get comprehensive insurance to over all eventualities. A courier spends all day and every day out on the road, so the possibilities of an accident are far greater for him than your uncle Jim who only does 8,000 miles a year. Certainly, comprehensive insurance costs money, but it is just an overhead of the business, along with fuel and servicing, and all businesses have overheads. Furthermore, with most policies you can pay for them monthly, so it doesn’t have to be a lump sum.
Courier insurance can also cover you for injury if you are involved in an accident and can’t work for a few weeks. Getting the right policy also means that it will be dependent on the services provided. A courier could be required to transport flowers or home goods in a small van, or industrial machinery in a larger one.
Goods in transit insurance is a different matter. A courier is responsible for the goods that he is transporting while they are in his possession and they could be subject to loss, damage, or theft. Furthermore, a courier may be delivering a small item worth £20 in the morning and in the afternoon have one on board that is valued at £800. This is especially true when working for companies such as Amazon or eBay who are selling a vast range of products.
Policies can vary considerably so it is worth a courier taking the time to see that his needs are fully covered. For example, he could be making a delivery, and someone somehow manages to steal his van. Four hours later it is found 20 miles away but is now empty. The courier is responsible to the client for the total value of the loss. That is why it is essential to be certain that he has the right cover.
If you work as a courier, at The Insurance Broker we can provide cover from a wide choice of insurance companies, so talk to us and we will make sure that we provide you with the one which keeps you fully covered.