The UK courier industry is one which continues to grow. Online shopping has seen the need for couriers increase significantly and there has been approximately 3.1% annual growth for several years now. There are over 200,000 people employed in this sector, many of whom are self-employed or running small enterprises. You can theoretically deliver parcels in your regular car and not legally be doing anything wrong but officially, it makes sense to have the right insurance in place. If you are employed by a courier company, they should sort this out for you but if you are self-employed or run your own courier business then it is important to look into your insurance cover yourself.
As a courier there are three main types of insurance which are essential:
Wheels are everything in the courier industry and so vehicle insurance is a number one policy. You may need additional cover beyond regular vehicle insurance if you are using the vehicle purely for business. It has to provide additional protection should something go wrong, especially when you consider a courier could be carrying valuable goods at any one time.
Goods in Transit Insurance
Goods in Transit Insurance is a specific kind of policy which is usually considered essential for couriers. It provides cover for the goods which are being transported on behalf of a third party (the recipient). Vehicle insurance will cover any damage or issues with the vehicle but it won’t cover its cargo and this is why goods in transit insurance is necessary. There are different goods in transit policies available to suit different kinds of courier business, as the level of cover a courier transporting livestock needs will differ greatly from the cover needed for someone delivering mail order parcels.
Public Liability Insurance
If your courier business is at all successful then you will regularly be coming into contact with members of the public and this comes with its own risks. Public liability insurance provides you with cover should you be responsible for an accident or injury to any member of the public, or their property, within the course of your work. Sometimes public liability insurance is covered as part of a goods in transit premium, or vice versa, as it is often the goods being transported which end up damaged or dropped.
Other Courier Insurance Options
There are other types of insurance you may want to consider as a courier, some which are compulsory and others which may provide you with a way of making a saving. Dependent on your business’ position you may need to consider:
Employers’ Liability Insurance
Anyone who runs a business in the UK and employs anybody from outside their own family must have an employers’ liability insurance policy with a £5million minimum cover on it. Dependent on how you recruit your drivers they may be considered self-employed so you won’t need this policy but it is worth double checking to be 100% sure as there are hefty penalties to pay if you don’t have employers’ liability in place.
If your business has grown quickly and is a real success, then you may have more than one vehicle involved. Once you have reached the stage of needing more than two vehicles then you may find you make a saving if you opt for fleet insurance instead of regular individual business vehicle insurance. Fleet insurance policies take into account your different vehicles and it works out as both cheaper and easier than individual policies.
Choosing to work in the courier industry without the right insurance can be dangerous, and in some instances is entirely illegal. Making sure you are properly insured helps protect your business, your customers and the general public.