The self employed courier insurance minefield

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If you’re getting started as a courier, and using your own vehicle to transport parcels, you’ve probably struggled to find insurance which covers you during working hours. The phrase you’re probably fed up with hearing is “Hire and Reward”. Essentially, the courier company is hiring your services and rewarding you for them. Don’t confuse this with haulage insurance, which is really only intended for long distance transport companies who don’t make multiple stops en route.

Working on a Hire and Reward basis is seen by mainstream insurers as a high-risk experience, which is why you won’t be covered under a regular insurance policy. You must declare that you’re delivering multiple parcels.

It’s very important to get the correct cover for your vehicle while you’re working as a courier. If you find yourself involved in damage, theft or loss, a conventional policy won’t be enough to help. Courier risks are very different to those of a motorist who uses their vehicle solely for social, domestic, pleasure or commuting purposes. A courier would obviously clock up higher mileage each day, making multiple stops along their route, and their cargo could be anything from a box of chocolates to a large piece of antique furniture.

Getting the right cover is just as important if you’re using a van, rather than your own car, to deliver parcels. Van policies themselves are intended for commercial purposes, but not necessarily for couriers. They’re a general policy, covering people who use their vans for work, such as plumbers, gardeners and builders, and don’t cover risks specific to those using their van to deliver parcels.

Some couriers who rely on people to use their own vehicles, like Hermes, offer a discounted scheme, where drivers pay 55p per day to be covered for third party only while dropping off parcels. Other models include covering an employee’s car under a workplace insurance policy during work hours, effectively giving the car dual insurance. In all instances, you must still notify your regular insurer that you’re working on a hire and reward basis.

If you’re looking for insurance for a courier business, we can’t emphasise enough the importance of insuring through a company who understands that a courier needs protection against your career’s risks, and you can be sure that the experts at Total Insurance will do that.