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A Buyer’s Guide to Courier Insurance
With more people choosing to take up work as couriers and delivering parcels, courier insurance has never been more popular or more necessary. Whether you’re looking to earn more income to make ends meet, or you’re starting a courier delivery service, you’re going to need courier insurance.
Why Do You Need Courier Insurance?
Consider the wide variety of goods transported by couriers today. This can include anything from computer parts and groceries to books and emergency supplies, and everything in between.
And what happens if a courier is involved in an accident and is at fault? He and his business won’t be protected. In fact, he could just end up losing his business just for the lack of good courier insurance coverage.
If you’re in need of courier insurance but aren’t sure where to start, then you’ve come to the right place. We’ve created this guide to help you find the type of insurance you need, how to find cheaper courier insurance and more. Let’s get started!
Types of Courier Insurance
Because there are all types and sizes of courier companies, the insurance industry has created different types of courier insurance policies to meet their needs.
These days, couriers may own their own businesses and be self-employed. Then there are mid- to large-range companies that have many vehicles and drivers. Then there are couriers who may be self-employed, but work parttime for a larger courier company. In addition, some couriers may use their own private cars/vans/motorbikes or use company vehicles. This is why the insurance industry has created different types of courier insurance.
Getting the right type of coverage is critical for your courier business. Here are some things to consider when looking to buy a courier insurance policy:
Courier vehicle insurance is important to make sure that your vehicle or fleet of vehicles are fully insured. Here, the best type of insurance is comprehensive—this covers everything and includes a no claims discount. You’ll get more value for your money with a comprehensive insurance policy; however, these do tend to cost quite a bit more. In addition, you’ll also choose between the third party only, third party fire & theft policies.
The coverage you choose will also depend on the vehicle, if others are using the vehicle, and more. Policies for vans and motorcycles only used to transport goods vary from policies to cover cars, which are also used as personal vehicles.
Goods in Transit Insurance
Basic courier insurance policies usually only cover the transportation of parcels, newspapers, and small packages. The policies place limitations on what can be carried and determine the value of the goods being shipped. So, before buying this type of coverage, you’ll need to be sure and ask about what items can be carried and the limit on the value of goods in transit.
You’ll find there are separate policies for protecting more expensive goods in transit, or those items not usually covered, such as food, livestock, liquids, hazardous materials, and perishables. You’ll need to make sure to get the right type of coverage for your business, so don’t hesitate to ask questions about policies you’re checking out.
Public & Employers Liability Insurance
If you have a business that has more than one employee, then you’re required by law to have employer’s liability insurance. The minimum level of coverage required is £5 million. In addition, you may want to consider Courier Liability Insurance, which protects you and your staff if one of your vehicles and/or drivers is involved in an accident that causes injury or damage to property.
If you’re a self-employed courier, then you’ll need to invest in Public Liability insurance, even if you don’t have anyone else working for you. This type of coverage protects you if you’re involved in an accident that causes damage in public areas while delivering goods to homes and businesses.
Public liability insurance also protects you in case you’re involved in a situation that causes harm to a person or their property, which is the result of you working to transport and deliver goods.
What Type of Coverage Do You Need?
This will depend on whether or not you’re self-employed or employed by a courier service. If you’re employed by a company, chances are they will take care of the courier insurance coverage. However, that may not always be the case.
In some cases, the courier may be self-employed and need to send invoices to receive payment. They are not paid on a fixed date (usually) and are responsible for paying their own taxes and national insurance.
Are you a Gig Economy Courier?
More and more people are taking on work as a gig economy courier. This means they are usually self-employed and may work for startups such as Uber, Deliveroo, and Jinn. Couriers in this type of work need to protect themselves and their vehicles. So, if you work for a startup as a freelancer or contractor, then you’ll need to consider these questions:
- Can you select your own clients and work hours that are best for you?
- Does the amount you earn to cover all your expenses, including taxes, insurance, vehicle upkeep and still leave a profit?
- Is your employment status open to interpretation?
If you work for a company that declares you as self-employed could be breaking the law. You can only be categorized as “self-employed” if you’re free to accept work from other clients. A self-employed person should not be exclusively contracted to one specific company. If you’re in this situation, then you are responsible for your own vehicle and for all legal requirements. This includes being responsible for the type of insurance coverage for your work.
When you’ve determined your work status – if you’re self-employed or employed – then you’ll be able to take the next step and choose the right type of insurance.
So, these are the basic considerations you’ll need to determine before choosing the right type and level of insurance for your courier delivery service business. It’s not only legally required, but it’s imperative for your own sake and for your business to have the right protection. Otherwise, you could end up losing your business—it only takes one accident to cause dire financial hardship for you and your company.
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