Should a courier have insurance?

By: Sarah Arrow

Date: 2 November 2009

Any type of vehicle can be used to deliver cargo, freight or precious items. Most commonly you will see small vans, although once upon a time it was lots of motorcycles.

What happens if someone causes you to have an accident? Or you hit another vehicle? How will your business operate if your main tool for work is out of action?

When starting a courier business, insurance can seem like a big expenditure. People know exactly what they are getting when they buy a van, but insurance can be a bit fuzzier. For example, do you really need insurance at all to be a courier? After all it's only delivering stuff.

The answer to that question is a resounding yes, it's essential for a courier business to have insurance. What type of insurance is down to the business owner. Insurance for couriers comes in several types:

Goods in Transit Insurance covers the potential damage of goods on the vehicle whilst in transit. Goods in Transit doesn't cover all goods, so check what your policy covers.

Light Haulage Insurance offers similar cover to courier insurance and goods in transit but for a limited amount of drops per day, often 3.

Hire and Reward Insurance covers you for the carrying of other parties' goods.

At the very least you need hire and reward insurance. It may not give you as much 'cover' as the other options but to be without insurance is a situation that may cost you business. Customers are reluctant to let their goods be transported and delivered without insurance no matter how safe you think you are!

It's quite common for glass, fine arts, ceramic, antiques and second hand goods to be uninsured under the 'goods in transit' or courier  insurance policies.

These need to be specified as add ons to your policy when you talk to your broker. Make sure you find out what is excluded and whether it is financially beneficial to have these added on before you buy your insurance policy.

If you decide to trade without insurance, stop for a moment and think... How will you pay if your clients goods are damaged in an accident? How will you continue with your business?

Sarah Arrow

Sarah Arrow is co author of the Complete Courier guide which is an essential guide for self employed couriers looking to start their own courier business. It can be downloaded from



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