More and more people are choosing to become a courier these days. Being a courier gives you the flexibility of self-employment and, as an increasing number of people are shopping online and via eBay, there’s an almost insatiable demand for people who can deliver parcels.
But it’s not as simple as just advertising your services and waiting for the phone to ring with your first booking. As with any business, if you’re going to operate as a courier, it’s important to make sure that you have the correct insurance in place to protect you against losses when the unexpected happens.
So, what insurance do you need?
Public liability insurance
Anyone working as a courier is going to come into contact with members of the public on a daily basis. And when you come into contact with members of the public, there’s a risk that something you do could result in them being injured or their property being damaged.
Although most people wouldn’t view couriers as being high risk, even the simplest of things can lead to expensive accidents. If you leave your bag on the floor while you’re getting a delivery confirmation signed, for instance, someone could trip over it. If that happened and someone broke their wrist as a result of the fall, the resultant compensation claim could easily cost £25,000 by the time their loss of wages, legal costs and other expenses were taken into account. For more Info please read: PLI insurance page
Employer’s liability insurance
Most couriers operate on a self-employed, one-man-band basis, but if you employ anyone, you’ll need employer’s liability insurance. This is similar to public liability insurance, although it covers injuries to your employees as a result of something that you’ve done, rather than injuries to members of the public.
Employer’s liability insurance is a legal requirement if you employ anyone. This is the case even if you only employ people on a temporary or casual basis.
Goods in transit insurance
When you’re carrying other people’s property, you’ll usually be responsible for any losses due to damage or theft while that property is in transit. Goods in transit insurance covers you against such losses.
Clearly it wouldn’t be practical to advise the insurer of each and every parcel that you carry, so most goods in transit insurance policies contain a limit that restricts the maximum value of each item that you can carry and the maximum combined value of all of the items in each consignment. It is important to make sure that you select the right limit so that you’re not underinsured in the event of a loss.
Unless you’re using a bicycle to do your deliveries, you’re going to need motor insurance. This is the case whether you’re using a motorcycle, a van or your private car.
Motor insurance is legally required if you use a vehicle anywhere that the public has access to. It covers you if you injure people or damage their property in an accident involving your vehicle that was your fault.
There are two types of motor insurance. Comprehensive motor insurance covers any damage to your vehicle, as well as any damage to other people’s vehicles. Third party, fire and theft motor insurance is cheaper, but as its name suggests, will only cover damage to your vehicle if the damage is caused by fire or theft.
It is important to note that most standard motor insurance policies will not cover you if you are using your vehicle as a courier because the policies contain an exclusion of cover when the vehicle is being used for business use. You need to tell your insurer that you will be using your vehicle as a courier to get the exclusion removed. An additional premium will usually be payable.