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…or maybe we should title this article “what they SHOULD tell you”...or even “what they should SELL you”

Hard as it may seem getting a correct or worthwhile courier goods in transit insurance policy isn’t as easy as you think.  A few factors are involved in this and not all are down to you.

Firstly, let’s remind ourselves what goods in transit insurance is:

“…covers property and goods against loss or damage while in transit from one place to another or being stored during a journey.”


The average policy, particularly for couriers, has a value or limit of around £10,000.  This means you can carry up to £10,000 worth of items under your policy conditions and the maximum payout of goods carried will be £10,000 (minus the policy excess which is usually £250). 

The insurance policy you take out is your responsibility but more often than not, and here at Goods In Transit Direct, we come across this far too often, is that many companies are more than happy to insure you knowing that some policies, for want of a better phrase ‘aren’t worth the paper they’re printed on’. This does seem a strong statement but a good and reputable company will know that couriers can carry any and every type of package.

Plus, in our opinion, why sell a policy without mentioning any important clauses or exclusions that are completely relevant to your trade?  Surely the first thing any customer would do if a claim is declined due to one of these clauses is to go back and complain to the broker or company who sold it them???? 

So anyway, you’re in need of a goods in transit policy and are looking for, or have been told by the company/contract you are looking to work for, to get cover at a £10,000 limit.  Simple enough you think?  Not always the case.  You may phone round many companies and come across some very different prices.  This is where the differences occur:

* Theft attractive items- if a policy excludes theft attractive items then for 95% of couriers and delivery persons, forget it.  There are ‘economy’ policies out there and these are fine if they fit your requirements, for example the pick up and delivery of newspapers from depots to retailers but many items you’ll deliver could be classed as theft attractive i.e. electrical items and catalogue goods.

* Weight restriction policies e.g. “£15 per kilo“- possibly our biggest gripe with these type of sales.  Yes you’ve asked for £10,000 worth of goods in transit insurance but maybe you didn’t read the small print and we’re pretty sure the company/broker didn’t inform you that it’s based on £15 per kilo. The best example of this we can think of is the new iPhone.  These items don’t even weigh a kilo, fully boxed and packaged, yet can cost upwards of £500. Even at 1 kilo the most you’ll get paid out is £15! Well actually this is still incorrect as you forgot to take the excess off!

* Dual Manned Vehicle - exactly what it says on the tin.  For your items to be covered the vehicle needs to manned at all times by two people.  One to deliver and one to man the van.  If you hear of self-employed couriers who operate, or can afford to operate like this, then we’d love to know.

* Unwitting items cover - these days, with the massive increase in the delivery in internet bought goods (clothes, computer games, mobile phones) many items will be classed as theft attractive.  Your policy may cover you for theft attractive items on an ‘unwitting item’ basis but a description may be on the box, invoice or delivery note.  In some cases the retailer’s name may be on the packaging, for example Play.com (computer games, dvd’s), Next (clothing retailer). In fact many companies have the name of their company on the packaging and this will at least infer what’s inside….you can’t say you weren’t warned!

OUR RECOMMENDATIONS: As with all and any insurance policies, check your documents and also check with the company to make sure they understand your needs and requirements.

The Goods in Transit Direct Team