What’s the difference between a courier and a haulier?

delivery courier

Although there aren’t very many differences between a courier and a haulier, from an insurance perspective it’s essential that you are able to distinguish which of the two better suits you.

Despite the similarities between the two occupations, the way insurance providers calculate risk will differ. That’s why it’s important to explain the nature of the work you undertake to your insurance provider, in order for them to be able to determine which policy you will require.

Failure to accurately convey the work you undertake could invalidate your insurance in the event of a claim.

What is considered ‘courier work’

If you use your vehicle to carry and deliver other people’s goods then you will be considered a courier.

In fact, if you earn money by using your van, it is likely that you will need some degree of courier insurance.

If this is the case, you should state to your insurer that you need ‘carriage of goods for hire and reward’ as the primary use of the vehicle. This will ensure that the vehicle is indemnified whilst on the road.

You will be classed as a courier if your occupation includes delivering other people’s goods on a multi-drop basis.

The definition of ‘multi drop’ may vary from insurer to insurer, but generally this refers to over three drop-offs per day.

What is considered ‘haulage work’

The main difference between a courier a haulier is the number of drop-offs completed during a day.

Whereas couriers tend to do a number of small drop offs, a haulier is someone who does a maximum of three drop offs a day which usually consists of larger goods.

If you fit the haulier criteria, your vehicle use will be classified as ‘haulage’, rather than the ‘carriage of goods for hire and reward’ associated with being a courier.

Remember the definition of courier and haulier differs between insurer to insurer, so it’s important that you explain the nature of your work to your provider. They will be able to help you make an informed decision about the type of policy you may require.

Van and Vehicle Insurance

This guide is part of our series related to van and vehicle insurance, for more guides, or to get a quote, head over to our van insurance section.

If you need to speak to one of our in-house courier specialists, you can call us on 08081686868.

Note: We can cover all vans up to a maximum of 3.5 tonnes on a single vehicle policy basis.