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Courier insurance is important if you drive a van, car, bike or truck to deliver goods in transit to your valued customers.

Working as a courier has its perks and flexible hours means you can fit the job around other commitments. But whether you’re delivering goods full-time or part-time, it’s vital to have the right insurance in place before you take to the road – here’s what to consider.

What is self-employed courier insurance?

It’s insurance aimed specifically at self-employed couriers and covers the increased risk of an accident happening because you’re:

  • Driving in all weathers
  • Delivering multiple items with frequent stops
  • Carrying goods that could make you a target for thieves.
Why do I need self-employed delivery driver insurance?

Standard car insurance, van insurance or motorbike insurance may not be enough to cover your activities as a courier because standard vehicle insurance typically only covers driving for social, domestic or pleasure purposes. Some policies might also cover you to commute to a single place of work, but not for deliveries goods for customers.

In fact, using your vehicle to deliver goods in exchange for payment is classed as a commercial ‘hire and reward’ journey, which falls outside the scope of private vehicle insurance policies so you won’t be covered if you do have an accident. It means you could find yourself responsible for repair costs and expensive compensation claims. Policies which cover you against these costs are commonly referred to as hire and reward insurance.

What does self-employed courier insurance cover?

Policies vary according to the terms and conditions set out by the insurer, but you’ll be able to choose from one of three levels of cover:

  • Third party only – compensates other people for injury or damage that occurs in an accident. This is the minimum level of insurance you can have by law but remember – policies won’t pay to repair your vehicle.
  • Third party, fire and theft – includes third party only and will also compensate you if your vehicle is stolen or damaged by fire.
  • Comprehensive – provides third party, fire and theft cover and will also pay to repair or replace your vehicle if you have an accident (even if the accident is your fault). This is the highest level of cover available.

Some courier insurance providers might also offer a range of optional add-ons – for example:

  • Breakdown cover – for roadside emergencies or assistance.
  • Courtesy car or van – if yours is being repaired because of an accident.
  • Legal expenses cover – pays for professional advice and court costs.

You should bear in mind that some courier policies will include these features as standard whereas with others, you may need to add them for a small fee.

Does self-employed courier insurance cover the goods I’m carrying?

This will depend on what’s included in your specific policy. To insure the items you’re carrying, you’ll need something called goods in transit cover.

Some insurers automatically include this add-on with their courier policies, while most others will allow you to add it for a small fee.

What vehicles can I buy self-employed courier insurance for?

Whether you use your car, van, motorbike or even your bicycle, you should be able to buy courier insurance to suit you. When you start your quote, you’ll be asked about the vehicle you use so that the policy you take out reflects your needs.

How much does self-employed courier insurance cost?

Costs can vary depending on the level of cover you choose and whether you decide to add on any extra features. Insurers will also need to take into account factors that are unique to you, for example:

  • The vehicle you drive – larger or more powerful vehicles generally cost more to insure as they can be pricier to repair and could be a greater target to thieves.
  • Your driving record – points on your licence can increase the cost of insurance.
  • Your age – drivers aged 24 and under are statistically more likely to be involved in a road accident which can push up premiums.
  • Your location – insurance can be more expensive if you live in a busy or built-up area compared to quieter locations.

When you compare different self-employed courier insurance, it’s a good idea to double check the features included rather than be swayed by price alone.

Cheaper policies might look like a bargain but there could be a number of limits or exclusions (events that aren’t covered). On the other hand, expensive policies may offer more comprehensive protection with fewer limitations and conditions – giving you better value for money.