Responsible delivery drivers know they need insurance and they're careful behind the wheel; but there a lot of harebrained clowns out there, some dishonest rogues, and a whole host of routine work and traffic problems. So, without spending a fortune, what do they really need to insure against; and what, realistically, are they unlikely to need?
Perhaps we should first consider, at the risk of depressing you (sorry!):
Which risks do delivery drivers face on a daily basis?
- Road accidents
- Poor weather conditions
- Road construction and detours
- Traffic congestion
- Reckless or distracted drivers
- Pedestrians and cyclists on the road
- Poor road conditions, such as potholes or debris
- Bad visibility
- Animals in the road
- Delivery to unsafe neighbourhoods
- Dangerous dogs at delivery locations
- Unsafe or broken pavements
- Narrow or winding roads
- Heavy traffic
- Confusing road signs
- Poor lighting on the road
- Unsecured loads on other vehicles
- Difficult or limited parking
- Lack of loading or unloading facilities
- Overloaded or overweight vehicles
- Strain or injury from heavy lifting
- Slip and fall injuries
- Workplace violence from angry customers or thieves
- Robbery or theft of the delivery vehicle or packages
- Stress and mental health issues from job demands
- Long working hours leading to fatigue
- Lack of breaks or rest periods
- Difficulty in finding delivery locations
- Delivery to remote or isolated areas
- Difficulty in communicating with customers who speak a different language
- Delays in receiving payment from customers
- Technical problems with delivery equipment, such as GPS or communication devices
- Delayed or cancelled deliveries due to unforeseen circumstances
- Lack of job security
- Poor working conditions, such as uncomfortable seating or inadequate heating or cooling
- Inadequate training on safe driving practices or handling of toxic materials
- Improper maintenance of the delivery vehicle
- Exposure to extreme temperatures while loading and unloading
- Excessive noise levels while driving or unloading
- Risk of damage to delicate or fragile items during transport
- Inability to handle certain delivery requests due to limited resources or company policies
- Difficulty in finding appropriate packing materials
- Difficulty in tracking packages during delivery
- Difficulty in delivering to customers who are not home
- Damage to packages during delivery
- Difficulty in obtaining customer signatures for proof of delivery
- Delivery to customers who refuse to pay or sign for packages
- Difficulty in handling returns or exchanges
- Difficulty in dealing with unhappy or dissatisfied customers
- Poor communication with management or other team members
- Inability to take breaks due to high workload or tight delivery schedules
- Inability to maintain work-life balance owing to long working hours and time away from family
Wow. It's not a bad life, though, for all that.
So what insurance is actually essential?
Firstly; vehicle insurance. Yes we all know that at least third party cover is a legal requirement (comprehensive may be far better) but since you are paid to deliver goods that belong to other people you need a class of insurance called Hire and Reward (sometimes called Courier, Delivery, or even Haulage insurance) too. However not just any old policy will normally be enough; it has to cover the type of work you do, the area you work in, the products you carry, and all the other factors so beloved by insurance underwriters. This is why off-the-peg policies are so rare; many policies are tailor-made.
Secondly; Goods in Transit cover; OK this is not a legal requirement but it would take a brave or over-confident delivery driver to work without it. Items get damaged; lost; stolen. Sometimes they can be very valuable and you don't want to have to pay for them yourself; the right insurance could save you from high blood pressure.
You may have no choice in this anyway. The majority of people you carry goods for will expect you to have it as a matter of course; and since it can often be bundled with Hire and Reward it doesn't necessarily cost a lot.
Thirdly; how about Public Liability Insurance? Yes you are careful but if someone trips over a box you have unloaded (not always accidentally, sadly) or slips in some liquid you allegedly spilt then you could get sued. Fair enough the likelihood may be low but potential claims for personal injury can be massive; it's a type of cover that's well worth thinking about.
And fourthly; have you thought about Personal Accident/Disability cover? if you can't work you may not get much of an income (if any) and delivery drivers are particularly susceptible to back and other muscular strains because of the nature of their work. Lifting a heavy box the wrong way can result in a lot of pain and a long stay off work; it would be good to know that the bills would still be paid if you fell victim to illness or injury.
What about all the other dangers listed above?
Well you can insure against just about anything these days but most drivers settle for the first and second types of cover, some for the other two as well, and a minority have more personal risks that they want to insure against. So, decide what cover you want, and click the button above to get quotes via our partners, Prudent Plus.