Helping you find the right courier insurance package
Today there are many different types of courier business and many types of business that use couriers, and not all of them will be immediately obvious. Put very simply, a courier is someone who delivers ordered goods – which can include simple messages as well as parcels, packages and letters – and whose progress can be tracked until final delivery. There are, however, many different types of courier operating today in the UK.
Who qualifies as a courier?
As well as the classic image of a man on a motorbike or in a small van delivering packages, there are also small business owners who work from home, delivering goods in their own vehicles. These people might not necessarily view themselves as couriers, therefore they might not realise that they need courier insurance. Of course, sometimes it’s more obvious, such as with regional and national companies that actually identify themselves as courier companies, such as DHL, TNT or Hermes.
Today, with the rise of online shopping, there are more goods being shuttled backwards and forwards and couriers are more common and more popular than ever before. The vast range of goods that must now be delivered is also at an all-time high, with everything from everyday groceries to books and clothes to electronic goods and emergency medical supplies such as blood or plasma needing to get from A to B as quickly as possible.
With so many items in transit for so many different reasons, sometimes it’s difficult to distinguish between courier work and, for example, haulage. Similarly, many businesses are convinced they only need their vehicle to be covered by Class 2 Business Use insurance, but this may not actually be the case. As there are so many different types of business classification, it is very important that you understand exactly what kind of business you are and make sure that you have the appropriate cover.
Ensure you have the correct cover…
Not having the correct insurance can have serious consequences for your business, with just one random road accident ruining your reputation or even your company as a whole.
Smarter Insurance can help you avoid this by making sure you have the right insurance to cover your exact requirements. We can offer you a package that covers you for all eventualities, tying together insurance on vehicles and goods, as well as liability insurance. As specialists in courier insurance, we offer:
- Quick quotes, excellent rates and instant cover
- Cost-spreading opportunities
- Discounts for fleets of couriers
Speak to a member of our team today
At Smarter Insurance, we provide standalone insurance policies for all different kinds of courier, from independent, self-employed couriers to established companies, and arranging for the right cover could not be simpler. Give our team of courier insurance experts a call today to receive a quick quotation and to put your mind at rest, knowing you’re covered and can weather any storm that might come your way.
Give us a call on 03334 000610 from 8.30am to 6pm, Monday to Friday and we’ll be more than happy to help.
Do I need courier insurance if I use a bike or motorbike?
If you are using a bike or motorbike as a courier vehicle then you will still require courier insurance and public liability insurance.
When people think of courier insurance they typically refer to lorries or vans but the industry has changed in such a way that insurance for cars, motorbikes and bikes has become increasingly popular.
If you are couriering goods you will need insurance for the items themselves irrespective of the vehicle you are using to deliver them. So you will require courier insurance even when you are using bicycles and motorbikes. You will also need public liability because you still pose a risk to the public when driving any vehicle for courier purposes.
Bikes and motorbikes are now mainly used to transport goods within inner city areas because they are more efficient than cars and vans and can reach locations that other vehicles would struggle to access or park in. Driving in these inner city areas poses an increased risk and such vehicles lack security which means thefts are considered more likely. You may wish to speak to a specialist insurer to make sure your courier insurance covers bikes and motorbikes and the price may vary accordingly.
What are telematics and do I need them?
Telematics is a method by which computerised information is transmitted across long distances. It can send information such as location, how long you have been driving and driving speed. Telematics is used in black box insurance but also by couriers to give their customers updates on their deliveries.
Tracking has become hugely popular over the last few years and now most large courier companies such as Hermes and DPD provide the option to track all of their parcels down to the hour they will be delivered in and the name of the driver. This is useful for customers when parcels need signatures or if a parcel is late or lost. It can be especially beneficial for fleets when goods are being shipped from abroad as delivery estimates are less reliable so this allows for frequent updates.
Not all individual couriers will require telematics but most large courier companies now supply this information to improve customer satisfaction and reduce complaints and enquiries. Telematics come independent of insurance but insurers may favour a company with telematics because packages can be tracked back to the seller and losing parcels is less likely.
What does courier liability insurance consist of?
Courier liability insurance can be broken down into public and employers liability insurance. It aims to cover you in the instance that something happened to a member of the public, their property or a member of staff.
All couriers will require public liability insurance because if you are on the roads making deliveries then you will undoubtedly encounter members of the public. This insurance covers you if you were to harm a member of the public or their property with the goods or the vehicle and they were to make a claim against you.
Large courier companies will also require employer’s liability insurance as any company that has one or more employees requires £5 million worth of employers liability insurance by law. However if you are working for yourself and use the courier exchange system to deliver goods you will not require employer’s liability insurance.
Am I covered to transport all types of goods?
Most basic insurance policies will only cover you to carry basic parcels, envelopes, crates and boxes. There are many exclusions with standard policies which means you are not covered to transport goods such as livestock, liquids, hazardous materials, perishables etc.
This restrictions exist because these items tend to pose a greater risk to the public or the driver. Also more expensive items lead to larger claims when lost or damaged, which may not be covered by your premium. Some items are also harder to put a value on if anything did happen to them such as livestock and food so it is harder for the insurers to put a value on the pay-out.
If you do plan to be couriering these items then you will require an extended policy. For example electrical items such as TVs and laptops may not be covered because these are more desirable and theft is more likely. It is always important to check with your insurance provider to make sure you do not transport anything that would invalidate your cover.
What is the courier exchange?
The courier exchange has introduced a new method for obtaining courier jobs. It is a process whereby couriers bid for jobs online. There are websites that have live listings of all the parcels that need delivering in certain locations and by certain dates. These are open for large companies to bid on and also to individuals looking for courier work in their spare time.
Most of these websites require you to register and create a profile with details such as your insurance policy, goods in transit insurance document, method of payment, where you would like to deliver, preferences for same day or long distance deliveries etc. Some of sites will have a registration fee but others are no win, no fee.
The courier decides on the price they will offer to do the job so they can charge prices that suit them. However there is a competitive element as the seller will typically go with the cheapest offer (unless reputation precedes this).
If you are looking for courier jobs then it may be advised to set up an automatic bidding process and book in as many deliveries as possible. The feeds are live so jobs will come online as and when the seller puts out the advert. This does mean you will need to regularly check online for new jobs or set up a notification system.
Am I covered for house moves under my courier insurance?
House moves are not covered on a typical courier insurance policy. This is because you may be moving high value and high volume of goods and there is a greater risk of accident or theft during a house move than a standard courier job. You may also be carrying some items that are not covered in a standard policy such as electricals. If you were to have an accident during a house move this could be a very expensive claim to deal with so making sure you have the appropriate cover is important.
It is possible to contact your insurer to request a one off extra coverage to avoid losing the business. This will cost you but your insurance would be deemed invalid for a removal job without notifying your insurance providers. You can also buy house removal courier insurance as an entirely separate product if you think you may be doing this type of business on a regular basis.