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Haulage and courier insurance

Compare cheap haulage and courier insurance quotes to see if you could save

  • We help you compare multiple van insurance brands in one simple search
  • Choose between carriage of goods for hire or reward and haulage cover
  • Read our guide for more information on the right option for your circumstances


Compare haulage and courier insurance quotes

Key points

  • Decide whether you need carriage for reward or hire, or haulage cover
  • It's generally accepted that couriers do multiple drop-offs and hauliers drive a long way to deliver a single load, but different insurers have different definitions
  • Don't assume that things such as goods in transit and European cover are included on a policy
  • Read your policy documents with care and, if you're in any doubt, speak to the insurer

Delivery drivers, you are the lifeblood of the country; you ensure everyone gets what they need, when they need it.  

You get supplies to hospitals, flowers to our mums, shopping to our kitchens and our latest online purchase whims to us overnight. Whether you deliver as a full-time occupation or as a part time job you make the world go around.  

But do you have the right level of cover?  

All van delivery jobs require commercial van insurance. But it’s important to make sure you have the right type of policy to ensure you’re covered in the event of any damage, an accident or theft.  

Haulage or courier?  

There are three types of commercial van insurance: carriage of own goods, carriage of goods for hire or reward, or haulage.  

Delivery jobs require either carriage of goods for hire or reward, or haulage cover.  

More often than not, courier work will need to be covered as carriage of goods for hire or reward, but this is not a hard and fast rule.  

It’s generally accepted that couriers do multiple drop-offs and hauliers drive a long way to deliver a single load, but different insurers have different definitions. 

Once you’ve compared quotes, talk directly to your insurer and make sure they're clear on what your job entails so you agree on the cover you should have.  

What is haulage insurance?  

Haulage cover is for drivers who travel long distance journeys and deliver to just one destination per job.  

Depending on the provider, it can cover travel in the UK or across the continent and is the same type of cover used by bigger vehicles such as HGVs. 

More often than not, haulage policies cover commercial deliveries from suppliers to businesses, rather than direct to customers.   

“Haulage insurance policies have the same level of cover and benefits as carriage of own goods van policies but include additional cover associated with travelling distances to drop off a single load,” explains GoCompare’s motoring expert, Matt Oliver.  

“If you were to compare it to a car policy, it would be the same as the difference between a social, domestic, pleasure and commuting, and a Class 1 business policy.”   

What is courier insurance? 

Courier insurance is for drivers who make multiple deliveries of goods that are not their own, within a smaller localised area - these deliveries are often direct to the customer.  

If you work as a freelance delivery driver for a courier or delivery business, you’re likely to need this policy.  

Due to the increase of home delivery services and online shopping, freelance delivery work is on the rise and courier insurance is becoming more common.  

Need more information?

According to the 2018 Pitney Bowes Parcel Shipping Index, parcel deliveries alone in the UK rose by eight percent in 2017 to 3.2 billion and are expected to rise again. 

While courier and delivery companies provide this cover to their full-time staff, freelance drivers are usually expected to find their own whether they use a van, car or bike to make their deliveries.   

What’s the difference?  

The reason both types of policy exist, even though they cover very similar jobs, is down to how insurers calculate risk.  

All insurance premiums are calculated on significant factors such as the value and size of vehicle, age of the driver, where its kept overnight and how it's used.  

Every cover provider will have their own underwriting ratings, but courier work is largely considered a greater risk as driving short distances in built up residential areas involves more exposure to potential accidents than long distances to one set destination.  

Did you know...?

  • If your delivery vehicle weighs more than 3.5 tonnes you'll need HGV haulage insurance

Goods in transit   

Whichever policy you require, your cargo will also need the right level of cover.  

“Most goods will be covered by the company or manufacturer as they are the owners of those goods,” explains Oliver.  

“In some instances, the courier or haulage contractor may be required to have cover for the goods they are transporting.  

"This is likely to be a separate goods in transit policy which is much like legal cover or breakdown can be on car insurance, or public liability for business owners on a commercial vehicle policy.” 

Companies who hire couriers will often ask if they have goods in transit cover in place as it covers the contents of your van in the event of a claim.  

Be aware that there are often exclusions for extremely valuable goods such as glass, money, jewellery or fine art. Always talk directly to the insurer to make sure you’re covered at the right level.  

Insuring more than one van 

With commercial van insurance, you can only cover one vehicle per haulage or courier policy.  

However, there are specialist multi-vehicle policies for more than one vehicle and also fleet insurance policies to cover over four or five vehicles.  

Both often offer a slightly discounted premium as you're insuring more than one vehicle.  

As always, compare the benefits and talk to the insurer to make sure you have the right cover for the right job. 

By Dave Jenkins