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Courier car insurance

Courier car insurance

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Last updated: 01 March 2022

If you drive your car for delivery jobs, whether that's parcels or fast food, you need to have the correct courier car insurance in place.

What is courier car insurance?

Courier car insurance refers to specialised policies for cars used for deliveries, including parcels and takeaway food, directly to customers. These policies differ from private car insurance cover because they account for the unique risks of using your car in a courier business: longer hours on the road, frequent stops, and the chance it will be targeted by thieves for its valuable cargo.

Courier car insurance policies provide the same levels of cover as standard car insurance: third-party liability, theft, fire, and damage to your vehicle. But they may also cover the goods you’re carrying, whether they’re online orders for customers or furniture you’re transporting for home movers. 

Do I need courier car insurance?

Increasing numbers of people are using their own vehicles to make deliveries, often through platforms like Deliveroo, Hermes, and Yodel, either as a main job or for extra income. But although you’re using your personal vehicle, the car insurance policy you already have in place won’t cut it when you start working as a courier. 

Private car insurance doesn’t cover the goods you'll carry as a courier, or the risks of carrying them and spending many hours on the road, making multiple stops at customer homes. In fact, using your vehicle in a courier business without proper cover can invalidate your private car insurance policy, meaning your claims may be denied and the policy cancelled.

Even if you’re only using your car to make deliveries part-time and the rest of the time using it in ordinary life, you’ll still need to have courier insurance in place. Many companies hiring self-employed couriers require you to hold the appropriate vehicle insurance, or they'll automatically opt you into a policy they provide. However, don’t rely on this as these types of policy may be limited and more expensive than ones you can find yourself.

What is covered under courier car insurance?

Firstly, courier car insurance will cover the standard eventualities that private car insurance policies do. This includes third-party cover - paying out if you damage someone else’s vehicle or property while behind the wheel. That’s a legal minimum required for any vehicle on the UK’s roads. 

Most policies include other protections too: cover for the theft of your car, its damage in a fire, and, with comprehensive policies, damage to your own vehicle, including in accidents you may have caused. Cover for theft is particularly important for courier cars: criminals often target vehicles they know are laden with valuable online orders, particularly in the run-up to Christmas.

On top of that, some courier car policies cover the goods you’re picking up and dropping off in the course of your work. These may include items ordered by hundreds of customers and totalling thousands of pounds. Sometimes this cover is offered as an optional add-on to a courier car insurance policy.

Other add-ons may include:

  • Breakdown cover: Possibly offering roadside assistance, towing, and a courtesy car.
  • Personal possessions cover: Covers your own possessions while they're in the vehicle.
  • Courtesy car: Providers a vehicle whilst yours is being repaired, so you can keep working.
  • Legal expenses: Covers any legal expenses that emerge from an accident involving your vehicle while it's being used in courier work.

Types of courier car insurance

Within the category of courier car insurance, there are policies tailored to the way you use the vehicle and the goods you’re carrying:

  • Hire and reward courier car insurance: Hire and reward policies are a type of goods in transit insurance, covering the loss, theft or damage of goods your vehicle is carrying for delivery at many locations. It’s diffrerent from haulage insurance - covering goods transported a long distance for delivery in one place - although the two are often confused. 
  • Self-employed courier car insurance: Some policies will be catered to self-employed drivers using their own vehicles for courier work. If you’re employed by a courier company and using the vehicle they provide, your insurance will typically be arranged by them.
  • Top-up delivery insurance: If you’re only working part-time as a courier and using your own car, top-up delivery insurance may be the most suitable type of courier car cover. Also known as pay-as-you-go (PAYG) delivery insurance, these polices work on top of your private car insurance to cover your vehicle when you’re using it for deliveries, with cover charged by the hour.

How much does courier car insurance cost?

The premiums for courier car insurance are often more expensive than those for private car insurance because of the mileage logged by courier vehicles, the higher risk of theft of the vehicle and its contents, and the cost of insuring the goods it’s transporting.

However, the price of courier car insurance varies widely and will be affected by the following factors:

  • The level of cover, including whether the contents you’re delivering are insured
  • The type and value of the goods
  • The mileage you cover as a courier
  • The vehicle, including its value
  • Your age, address, and driving record

Top-up delivery insurance can be more affordable for part-time couriers. This policy is a pay-as-you-go add-on to private car insurance and typically costs between £1 and £2.50 per hour.

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Lauren Smith

Author: Lauren Smith

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