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Goods in transit insurance for removals

Goods in transit insurance for removals

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Last updated: 01 March 2022

If you deliver goods for customers over long distances and to a single location, for example home removal companies, then you'll need goods in transit insurance. Compare quotes here. 

What is goods in transit insurance?

Goods in transit insurance covers a client or customer's property or goods while they're travelling from one destination to another. This cover, also known as freight liability, pays out if the items are lost, stolen, or damaged during transit.

It can typically be added on to the insurance policies held by couriers, removals companies, or haulage businesses. Businesses may also take out goods in transit policies to protect goods as they make their way to customers.

Do I need goods in transit insurance for removals?

When you transport goods under a hire and rewards contract, including if you’re operating a domestic or commercial removals firm, the responsibility for those items is yours. That means you’ll be left out of pocket if those items are lost, stolen, or damaged en route. You’ll therefore want goods in transit insurance to protect both yourself and your clients.

Clients will want the reassurance that they’ll be reimbursed if something goes wrong, and will likely ask about your insurance coverage before signing a contract. Few home movers or businesses will agree to have their items transported by you without this protection in place.

You’ll also want to be protected against any claims those clients could make if their possessions are damaged, lost, or stolen whilst under your care. Without insurance, those claims could be ruinous for a removals company.

If you’re the home mover whose possessions are being transported, goods in transit insurance isn’t suitable for you. Rather, you’ll want moving insurance, which may be included in your home contents insurance. Your removals company may, however, pass on some of the cost of their goods in transit cover as an additional item in your quoted price.

What is covered by goods in transit insurance?

Goods in transit insurance primarily covers the items you’re transporting for clients against loss, theft, and damage.

Crucially, goods in transit insurance typically does not protect the vehicle you’re transporting the goods in. For that, you’ll need a separate auto insurance, or courier insurance, policy.

Goods in transit insurance can also be bought as part of a wider removals insurance policy, which may include the following protection, either as standard or an add-on:

  • Carriage of own goods: Covers the goods owned by your removals company, such as dollies, furniture sliders, ropes, and lifting straps.
  • Employer’s liability: Protects your removals business against any legal or compensation expenses related to claims from your employees, including for injury on the job. Employer’s liability insurance is a legal requirement for any business with employees.
  • Public liability: Covers legal and compensation expenses if a member of the public claims against your business for personal injury or damage to their property caused by the operations of your business.
  • Storage cover: Covers a client’s goods while they’re being stored for a short period of time. If you need to store the items for longer than a few days, you’ll likely need specialist storage insurance.
  • European cover: Extends your cover to protect goods while you’re transporting them in Europe.
  • Cover for removals by a fleet: Extends your cover to protect goods being transported by all vehicles in your company’s fleet.

Do I need public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance is a key component of insurance for a removals company. 

Public liability insurance protects your removals business against claims related to:

  • Accidental damage to a third party’s property caused by your or an employee in the course of your removals work.
  • Injury to someone caused by your or an employee in the course of your work.

It doesn’t, however, cover damage to a client’s goods you are transporting. For that protection, you’ll need goods in transits cover.

For example, if in the course of transporting a client’s piano, it falls off your lorry and smashes up a parked car, damage to the car will be covered by your public liability insurance. Meanwhile, damage to the piano will be covered by your goods in transit policy.

Am I covered for European removals?

Many removals companies want to offer their services to house movers and companies relocating to Europe. However, your UK removals or goods in transit policy won’t cover your business and the items it’s transporting across the continent, unless it specifically includes European cover.

This might be included in your policy as standard, or it can be purchased as an optional add-on for an extra charge on your premium. So, make sure you read the fine print before you accept a job transporting the possessions of a family relocating to Italy.

How much does furniture removal insurance cost?

Furniture removals insurance ranges widely in cost, depending on a number of factors, including:

  • The level of cover you want
  • Whether you’re a sole trader or limited company with several employees
  • How many years of experience in removals you have
  • Any add-ons to the policy (e.g. tool cover, European cover etc)
  • The level of excess you set

A sole trader with years of experience, a high excess, and relatively low public liability cover may pay as little as £10 per month for cover. But a large removals company with several employees and a fleet of vehicles making trips across Europe may pay several hundreds of pounds for furniture removal insurance.

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Lauren Smith

Author: Lauren Smith

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