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Last Updated 13th August 2022 Eamonn Turley

In the new Gig economy, it is the couriers who have an ever growing opportunity for steady employment. To operate this on-demand service is the requirement of having couriers insurance to protect the driver, the vehicle and the packages from any type of mishap. The demand for courier insurance for cars has surged as demand alongside demand for van courier insurance. Both of these are forms of hire and reward insurance that is necessary for any courier business.

Courier insurance UK

Do I need courier insurance?

To legally operate as a courier or delivery person, courier insurance is required by UK law. This is classified as one form of hire and reward insurance. If a courier does not have this type of policy and is making deliveries with a regular social, domestic and pleasure private vehicle policy, any claim made from an accident while working will not be honoured.

What is courier insurance?

This is a commercial vehicle insurance policy that covers the vehicle and activities of a person who is being paid by a third party to deliver packages.

  • Road risk coverage can be full comprehensive or third party only.
  • Goods in transit is optional insurance to protect the packages being delivered.
  • Public liability will be protection if there is a claim made against the courier by a member of the public stating they have been harmed or their property damaged.

Is courier and haulage insurance the same?

The difference between a couriers policy and one classified as haulage is the number of destination or stops on the couriers route. A typical courier will have multiple stops on their route each time they depart with packages. A person hauling a load generally only has one destination where they off-load the contents of their vehicle.

What is the average price of courier insurance?

The average price cost of courier insurance will typically range from £800 to £3,000. Many factors that are considered in arriving at a cost. For a good driver with no points on their driving licence and use a small, economical vehicle, the annual premium can be as low as £800. The costs are determined by the risk the vehicle, the driver and the area of coverage pose to the insurance firm. The larger the vehicle, the more points a driver has and the high risk urban area where deliveries are made, a courier premium can cost annually up to £3,000 or more.

What type of insurance do you need for a courier service?

It is important to take note that standard car insurance is not suitable for couriers. If you are stopped or are involved in an accident without the correct insurance, you will be penalised with an IN10 conviction. This is a conviction for effectively driving without insurance and will make buying insurance very expensive, if not prohibitive, in the future. Please refer to driving with convictions for more details on conviction codes and insurance options for convicted drivers.

If you are intending to use your van or car to provide a courier service you will need specific car courier insurance  or van courier insurance.

Is business insurance the same as courier insurance?

Business insurance is not the same as courier insurance. Business insurance protects you when you travel on business between places of work or customer sites. It does not cover you to carry other people's goods for reward, which is essentially what a courier service provides. 

What vehicles need courier insurance?

Any type of vehicle can be used to make deliveries. All but one vehicle will require that courier insurance be obtained. This includes vans, cars, trucks motorcycles and scooters. The only vehicle that does not have to have this type of cover is a bicycle. If you operate more than one courier vehicle, have a look at our detailed guide on courier fleet insurance for more details.

What types of vehicle are good for couriers to use?

The right type of vehicle for a delivery driver to use is dependent on what they are delivering in terms of size, weight and area of the deliveries.

  • Motorcycles and scooters are ideal for use in high congested areas where the packages are small like important papers or ready to eat food.
  • Small cars and vans are suitable for neighbourhoods and suburbs for the delivery of ready to eat food, groceries, small packages and like items.
  • Trucks and large vans are used to deliver large, heavy and bulky items.

What should be remembered is the smaller the vehicle, which includes both its size and engine displacement, the lower the risk, which should translate to lower premium costs. 

Are there any optional covers for a courier?

The road risk insurance element of hire for a courier driver insurance policy is mandated by the government. The minimum cover is Third Party Only, which does not protect the driver or the goods they are transporting. The following are areas where cover is available and could be beneficial to the self employed delivery driver.

  • Goods in Transit is used when high cost items are being transported. For some agencies that hire independent couriers, it might be required. Ready to eat food couriers generally do not need to have this cover because of the low cost of food replacement.
  • Breakdown cover assists the courier by providing help when stranded on the road. This can also include the delivery of items the courier is carrying.
  • Public liability cover is protection if a case is filed in courts claiming the courier or their vehicle has caused harm or damage to them. When working with the public, this is advisable to have.

How can money be saved with courier insurance?

Saving money on courier insurance should be possible by reducing the risk to the insurance firm. Number one is not to be involved in any avoidable accidents, avoidable accident such as using your smartphone app whilst driving.  Below, we have listed several approaches to getting the best deal on courier insurance.  

  • Pay the premium annually will remove the interest payments people incur with monthly and quarterly payments.
  • Increase the excess amount, the amount that you would be liable for in the event of  claim against the policy.Park the vehicle off the street and in a locked building when not in use.
  • Be a good and safe driver and consider installing a telemetric device to prove it.
  • For self employed couriers, advertise your services on the side of a vehicle. This reduces the risk of the vehicle being stolen.

Courier Insurance FAQ's

Why is courier insurance expensive?

Courier insurance is more expensive than regular vehicle non-commercial social, domestic and pleasure insurance due to the higher level of risk to the insurance provider. Drivers that provide a delivery service are on the road constantly during working hours, and most have a deadline to meet. This increases the risk of the driver being involved in an accident. They also drive during the worst hours of traffic and into the late night hours. 

Is Monthly Courier Insurance Available?

You can choose to pay on a monthly basis, which will enable you to terminate a policy should you only need temporary or short term couriers insurance

Is courier insurance the same as van insurance?

Unless the van insurance policy explicitly states that the van can be used for hire and reward, then it is not the same as actual courier insurance. Van insurance for business use will not cover you if you subsequently use your van for hire and reward, as you need specialist hire and reward insurance

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