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If you are using your van to provide a delivery service, you need special cover referred to as courier van insurance. The delivery sector has seen steady growth over the years with increasing dominance of online shopping. In 2020 with the onset of COV19 it expanded even further and continues to grow in 2022. With this growth, the number of van delivery drivers has grown to meet the demand.

What are the new changes to courier van Insurance?

With the increase of demand for same-day delivery of items, more couriers began using vans so that they can take more parcels and items on their routes. Vans are classified as a commercial vehicle in the UK, but with them being popular in making deliveries for a third party, hire and reward cover became more popular and necessary. Since a van is a commercial vehicle, the pay as you go delivery insurance used by car owners is currently not available for van owners.

Courier Van Insurance

Hire for reward cover allows for the courier-van to be used to deliver items. The cost of courier van insurance will depend in part on the type of items that you will be delivering. As such, it is important to correctly inform your broker of the intended use of your delivery van when applying for insurance.  If down the line you wish to expand and delivery a different category of item, you must inform your broker in advance to get approval. 

  • Fast food Deliveries have a time allotment that must be made.
  • Parcels and letters have a larger cover area and many destinations which means more time on the road.
  • Grocery deliveries are considered low risk due to no time constraint and generally, covering only a small area is common.
  • Medicines and other essential goods are also low risk due to no time constraint and generally, covering only a small area is common.
  • Haulage is the type of  delivery service that only has one destination on their route.
  • Transporting people is technically classified as a hire and reward service, but there are already specific  policies for them that include both public and private hire insurance policies.

When taking out a Hire and Reward insurance policy, the owner must know their cover area, the times they will be making the deliveries, how many destinations will be on the route, the types of items being transported and any constraints like time allotments to make the deliveries. The more specific the owner in the description of their duties, the easier it is to get the type of cover needed.

What types of courier van insurance is available?

Three basic types to choose from.

  • Third Party Only is the minimum level required by UK law. This does not protect your van if it is involved in an accident.
  • Third Party Fire and Theft only protects your van if it is stolen or damaged by a fire.
  • Comprehensive cover provides cover to have your vehicle repaired and your medical bills paid along with the other party’s when involved in an accident.

What are the additional types of cover available for courier-van insurance?

Goods in Transit cover is the only policy that will protect the items while they are in transit in the possession of the courier. This is an add-on that many couriers have, especially those that transport expensive items like electronics. The coverage is protection if the transported items are lost, stolen or damaged while in transit. This type of add-on is not economically feasible for fast food delivery drivers since the cost of replacement is not much and most restaurants will absorb this cost.

Public liability cover is recommended for anyone operating a business that deals directly with the public, like couriers. This protection can be up to £5 million worth of coverage if any third party files a claim that they have been hurt or their property damaged by you.

Breakdown cover is a convenient add-on to have, especially for those with older vans. This cover has varying levels of protection that include roadside assistance to get you back on the road. If that is not possible, most cover will include a towing service to the nearest garage. 

Legal Assistance cover is used when you need to take legal action against a third party to recover a loss. This cover can be up to £100,000 to take care of the legal fees, loss of income, damage to the property in the courier-van or damage.

Employer's liability insurance is required for any courier business that employs one or more employees. This insurance is required by UK law. 

What are the requirements to be a courier driver in the UK?

Most brokerage firms require the courier to be between the age of 25 and 75 years old. Some insurance firms do insure couriers as young as 19, but at a higher rate. They must also have a valid UK driving licence and be a permanent resident of the UK.

7 ways to save money on courier van insurance

The path to saving money is to reduce the risk you pose to the underwriter. With courier van insurance, the smaller the vehicle is physically with a small displacement engine, the lower the risk. Spend time researching the different van body types to select the one best suited to the courier service that you intend to provide, and if possible, add some future proofing.

  • 1. Make your van easily identifiable : Since the courier is operating a business service, they should place an advertisement for their business on the side of the vehicle. This helps reduce the risk of it being stolen since it is unique and can easily be identified by the police.
  • 2. Black Box : The addition of a telemetric device, such as a black box and or dashcam, evidence of how safe the driver operates the vehicle is provided.
  • 3. Secure Lock-up : The courier-van should also be parked securely in a garage or secure building when not in use. This reduces the risk of it being stolen or damaged.
  • 4. Compare Prices at Renewal Time : The age of easy comparison makes it easier to find the best deal on courier van insurance come renewal time. Some brokers may give you a loyalty bonus, but others ave their best deals for new customers.
  • 5. Don't over insure : When taking out a courier van insurance policy, provide the insurance firm with all details with no omissions. This will enable the broker to tailor a policy to your exact requirements. This is the path to getting the best type of insurance coverage you need so that you will not be paying for areas of cover you do not need or won’t use.
  • 6 Install a GPS Tracker : If your van is stolen, a GPS tracking device will make it much more likely it will be recovered quickly.
  • 7. Drive Safely : Building up a good NCB will help you find the best deals, brokers will charge more for drivers that have a history of making claims.

Courier Van Insurance FAQ's

Will business van insurance cover me for delivery of goods?

It is important to understand that you need a special type of cover to provide a delivery or hire and reward service using your business van or private van. Providing a courier service without courier van insurance is the same as driving without insurance. The results can be serious and can even result in a conviction. If convicted, you will end up paying a premium for convicted van insurance if even quoted for insurance.

What is a courier fleet policy?

If you have more than one vehicle providing a delivery service, you may wish to consider a courier fleet insurance policy. These should work out cheaper, but not always. Best advice is to get quotes for fleet and separate polices and do some comparisons. 

If I have courier van insurance, can I use my van for other purposes?

A courier van policy will specify what you are covered for, typically this will be the delivery of a certain class of items, example packages or parcels. If you wish to start delivering a different risk category, you must contact your broker to see if you are currently covered or need to extend your cover.

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