Courier van insurance

Find out what van insurance for courier drivers includes and how to save on your policy.

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If you use your van to deliver goods, you will need more than just a basic van insurance policy. Courier van insurance covers you to legally drive your van on UK roads, but you can also add business related elements like goods in transit cover, public liability and employer’s liability to the policy. We’ve looked at how it works and how you can save money on your cover.

What is courier van insurance?

Courier van insurance is specialist cover that’s required if you make regular deliveries to customers in a particular area.

How does courier van insurance work?

At its core, van insurance for courier drivers is similar to standard motor insurance for vans. However, what sets it apart is the different add-ons that are available and that are designed for courier drivers.

The specifics of the cover will vary by provider, but a good courier van insurance policy will offer a package of benefits and options. Some policies cover goods locked in your van overnight, and some provide a courtesy van that you can use to get back on the road if your vehicle is out of action.

What is goods in transit cover?

Goods in transit cover protects the items in your van while you are out on your deliveries. This is often an optional extra and requires an additional premium.

When you take out a policy, make sure the goods in transit cover is high enough to meet the value of the goods you’re carrying. Note that there is likely to be a maximum cover value for individual items, as well as an overall cover limit for each cargo load. Check your policy details to see how much you’re allowed to carry to still be covered.

There might also be other limitations, like cover not extending to items that were damaged because they weren’t packaged properly. Read the policy details and exclusions carefully before you purchase it.

Do I need courier van insurance?

You must have at least the minimum level of motor insurance (third party only) in order to drive any vehicle legally on UK roads.

However, if you operate or work as part of a courier service, then you’ll need to take out specialist van insurance for courier drivers. This is because most motor insurance policies don’t cover business use, which means your cover won’t be valid if you use your van in a commercial capacity.

Goods in transit cover is not a legal requirement, but it’s highly recommended. If you don’t have this cover and your van is involved in an accident, you will have to pay for any damage caused to the goods that you’re transporting yourself. Depending on the value of the items, this can lead to a very large bill.

What levels of cover are on offer?

In most cases, you’ll be able to choose the same levels of cover on offer for standard van insurance policies:

  • Third party only. This is the minimum level of cover that all UK drivers are required to have by law. Often the cheapest option, it only protects you if you cause harm to other people or their property, and doesn’t protect your van against any type of damage.
  • Third party, fire and theft. This policy offers all the same benefits as third party cover, as well as protection for your van against fire and theft. It can be a good option if your van is old and might not be worth repairing in case you have an accident.
  • Comprehensive. This is the most complete form of insurance you can get, so if you’re looking for top cover, this is the option for you. Specifications vary by provider, but comprehensive van insurance covers you for most eventualities, except for those outlined in your policy exclusions.

For courier van insurance, you will then be able to add business related elements on top of this cover, like goods in transit cover, public liability and employer’s liability.

What’s the difference between courier and haulage?

The main difference between courier and haulage is the type of deliveries you make. Couriers usually make many deliveries of small packages each day. The deliveries tend to be concentrated in a specific area.

Haulage work involves the delivery of larger goods, like heavy machinery, which usually means the drivers only make a small number of deliveries per single day. Haulage work also often involves delivering items further afield.

Is hire and reward cover included under courier van insurance?

Some policies will include hire and reward insurance, which protects the goods you’re delivering for other people. You’ll need to select “haulage use” when taking out a quote for this to be included. Hire and reward cover is vital for couriers, as it protects what is essentially other people’s property against theft and damage.

How can I get cheaper courier van insurance?

The cost of your insurance will be affected by many different factors, like your age, driving experience and location. The make, model, age and mileage of your van will also make a difference, as well as when you drive it and the type of goods you transport. However, there are some ways in which you can keep the cost of your courier van insurance low:

  1. Be a good driver. Some providers may offer a black box policy, which rewards good drivers with cheaper premiums. If you’re not comfortable with placing a tracking device in your van, you can still save money by keeping to the rules of the road. Making a claim will raise your premium, whereas staying claim free for longer will add to your no-claim bonus.
  2. Increase your van’s security. Certain elements, like parking your van in a secure place, having an active alarm and a tracker will all make you less of a risk for the insurance company, which can lower your premium. Having a dashcam installed can also help with this.
  3. Check that you’re not already covered. While you are legally required to have at least third party cover for your van, make sure you don’t have both standard cover and courier cover. Both policies will cover the same thing, so you only need one. If you use your van to deliver goods, keep the courier van cover and get rid of the standard policy. If you have a separate business insurance policy in place, it might include public liability cover and employers liability, so you may not need to add this to your policy. Goods in transit might also be included.
  4. Shop around. While not every provider will offer courier van insurance, many do. Make sure to get quotes from as many different providers as you can, as they will offer different benefits and prices. Another thing you can do is opt out of auto-renewing your policy. Check for the best price every year, as this can change.

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