Vans used for courier work need to be covered by a special type of vehicle insurance called hire and reward. Courier van insurance (a type of hire and reward) is a specialist product designed to cover vans used to carry parcels and other goods in exchange for payment.
Regular van insurance is not sufficient for vehicles being used for courier work. Any vehicle used for hire and reward purposes (such as courier work) must be covered by this special type of insurance. If a van is not covered by a courier hire and reward policy but used for courier work, then the insurance company will likely invalidate the policy when they find out.
In the case of a claim (e.g. a road traffic accident), the insurer would therefore not cover the claim. However, this also means the motorist would be driving the vehicle illegally, as vehicles must be covered by a minimum of third party liability insurance to protect other motorists and their vehicles.
Courier van insurance, like other forms of vehicle insurance, is available in three levels of cover in the UK:
- Third Party Only (TPO)
- Third Party, Fire and Theft (TPFT)
TPO is the minimum level of cover required by law; it only covers damage or injury to third parties (e.g. other people). TPFT is third party cover plus protection for the insured vehicle in case it’s lost or damaged due to fire or theft. Only comprehensive policies cover damage to the insured vehicle due to an at-fault road traffic accident. That is, if a courier van is damaged in an accident, only comprehensive courier van insurance will cover the repair costs to the van (or the replacement valuation in case of a write off).
In addition to the third party liability cover provided by a courier van insurance policy that protects against injury or damage to third parties related to the driving of the vehicle, couriers may need to supplement their vehicle insurance with a separate public liability insurance policy. This type of business insurance protects in case an accident occurs away from the van (e.g. while a package is being dropped off at a customer’s doorstep, that results in injury to the customer or a passer-by, or their property).
How much is courier van insurance?
According to insurance experts, NimbleFins, courier van insurance costs start from around £1,700 for a typical driver. However, costs can range from around £1,450 up to £2,150 or more for a comprehensive level of cover. Interestingly, they found that it can be cheaper to insure a van for courier work than to insure a car. And drivers who are considered ‘high risk’ (e.g. young drivers or drivers with any motoring or non-motoring convictions) are likely to pay even more.
Where to get courier van insurance
Getting courier insurance for a van can be a bit more complicated than buying van insurance for other types of business-related driving. Due to the risks involved in courier driving, fewer insurance companies in the UK offer courier insurance. For example, many of the UK’s largest vehicle insurance companies don’t offer courier insurance. That said, it’s usually easier to get courier insurance for a van than a car.
Courier insurance can be found from a number of household-name sites, however. For example, insurers like AXA and Admiral offer courier van insurance. And sites offering comparison services like Compare the Market, Go Compare, MoneySuperMarket, NimbleFins and QuoteZone all offer courier van insurance quotes. In addition, there are specialist brokers like Acorn Insurance who can help drivers find courier van insurance.
Brokers and comparison services (who access both direct insurance companies and specialist brokers) can be especially useful for ‘higher risk’ drivers such as those with driving or non-driving convictions, learner drivers and others who are having trouble finding an affordable policy from a direct insurer.
Cheap courier van insurance
To find a cheap courier van insurance policy, it pays to compare prices across a range of providers. This can include insurance companies that work directly with customers like AXA and Admiral and brokers who work with multiple insurance companies. To save time, a comparison site can be used. The motorist fills out just one form in most cases and can receive quotes from many courier insurance providers. This can be more time-efficient than filling in individual quote forms for each different insurance company or broker.
To help secure a discount on courier van insurance, some of the following tips can be used to secure a more affordable price:
- Be accurate when estimating the annual mileage
- Making annual payments instead of monthly payments, as monthly payments usually incur a finance charge.
- Be a safe driver as accumulating points will surely increase the cost of vehicle insurance
- Drive a standard vehicle that is not valued too high (more expensive vehicles cost more to insure)
- Consider fleet courier van insurance when insuring more than one vehicle