Are you a professional driver?

Home delivery has become a boom business! Thanks partly to companies like Amazon, who sell just about every product known to mankind, we have got used to the idea of clicking on a couple of links where we want to buy something, and expecting it to be delivered the following day. Much better than the old way of spending half a day searching for hard to find items in the shopping precinct.

As a result huge numbers of people are now employed as couriers, or delivery drivers, bringing to our doors all sorts of products from beefburgers to building materials. It is absolutely vital that these people have adequate insurance – not just to protect themselves but to comply with the law. This is where the form of insurance known as carriage of goods for hire and reward insurance comes in.

This is often called courier insurance, but this is not strictly correct. Courier insurance is indeed a type of hire and reward insurance which is designed especially for people who set off in the morning to make several deliveries during the day. Insurers see them in a different way to drivers who take just single loads to drop off at a single destination. They also differentiate between people who deliver products such as fast food, to those who make parcel deliveries. These differences are the reason why it is absolutely vital that drivers make certain that they have the right insurance, since it is very easy to buy an unsuitable policy, and then find out only to late that they are not insured!

so, buying hire and reward insurance is not the same as buying a car insurance policy for commuting to and from work or just running to the shops. For routine car insurance it is possible to get quotes from price comparison sites but drivers who deliver goods for a living need a more specialised policy. Insurers will want to know, as usual, something about the drivers' motoring record, postcode and kind of vehicle that is to be driven, but also they will want to know what type of goods are to be carried, where the are likely to be carried to and how many deliveries per day a driver will be expected to make.

For these reasons it is essential for drivers that carry goods to get professional advice when buying insurance. the penalties for making a mistake can be severe; and not only can there be heavy fines and driving licence complications if a driver is inadvertently uninsured, and is caught by the police; but there can also be drastic financial problems for anyone who is involved in an accident.

The police have been criticised many times for being overzealous in prosecuting professional drivers who have, perhaps through no fault of their own, ended up with the wrong insurance policy but to be fair the consequences of having an accident and then having a claim refused by the insurer can be very distressing; not only for the driver concerned but also from anyone else who is injured or has property damaged during the accident.

Getting quotations for carriage of goods for hire and reward insurance is not difficult and can often be carried out completely online. A good insurer will not just produce the first policy that springs to mind, but will use experience to find not only a policy which completely covers the type of work that a driver/courier will be doing, but one which is affordable as well.