Business Insurance

None of the UK's Top Insurers Will Insure Delivery Driving

Drivers trying to earn extra money as a delivery driver or courier might be in for a shock. Odds are, their insurance company won't cover their driving, and their insurance could be invalidated because of their work. Here's what you need to know if you're considering delivery driving to earn extra money.

As seen on

{"items":["\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root\" rel=\"nofollow\" title=\"Evening Standard\" href=\"https:\/\/www.standard.co.uk\/\"\u003E\n\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--root \"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--image-container\"\u003E\n \u003Cimg alt=\"Evening Standard logo\" class=\"ShortcodeImage--image\" src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/nimblefins\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_120\/v1\/media\/eveningstandard-grey\" srcset=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/nimblefins\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_120\/v1\/media\/eveningstandard-grey 1x, https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/nimblefins\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_120\/v1\/media\/eveningstandard-grey 2x\"\u003E\n \n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/a\u003E","\n\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root\" rel=\"nofollow\" title=\"The Independent\" href=\"https:\/\/www.independent.co.uk\/\"\u003E\n\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--root \"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--image-container\"\u003E\n \u003Cimg alt=\"Independent logo\" class=\"ShortcodeImage--image\" src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/nimblefins\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_120\/v1\/media\/independent-grey\" srcset=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/nimblefins\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_120\/v1\/media\/independent-grey 1x, https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/nimblefins\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_120\/v1\/media\/independent-grey 2x\"\u003E\n \n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/a\u003E","\n\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root\" rel=\"nofollow\" title=\"The Times\" href=\"https:\/\/www.thetimes.co.uk\/\"\u003E\n\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--root \"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--image-container\"\u003E\n \u003Cimg alt=\"blank\" class=\"ShortcodeImage--image\" src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/nimblefins\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_30,q_auto,w_1600\/v1\/media\/thetimes-grey\" srcset=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/nimblefins\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_30,q_auto,w_1600\/v1\/media\/thetimes-grey 1x, https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/nimblefins\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,f_auto,h_30,q_auto,w_1600\/v1\/media\/thetimes-grey 2x\"\u003E\n \n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/a\u003E","\n\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root\" rel=\"nofollow\" title=\"The Guardian\" href=\"https:\/\/www.theguardian.com\/uk\"\u003E\n\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--root \"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--image-container\"\u003E\n \u003Cimg alt=\"blank\" class=\"ShortcodeImage--image\" src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/nimblefins\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_48\/v1\/media\/theguardian-grey\" srcset=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/nimblefins\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_48\/v1\/media\/theguardian-grey 1x, https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/nimblefins\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_48\/v1\/media\/theguardian-grey 2x\"\u003E\n \n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/a\u003E","\n\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root\" rel=\"nofollow\" title=\"Telegraph\" href=\"https:\/\/www.telegraph.co.uk\/\"\u003E\n\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--root \"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeImage--image-container\"\u003E\n \u003Cimg alt=\"Telegraph logo\" class=\"ShortcodeImage--image\" src=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/nimblefins\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_180\/v1\/media\/thetelegraph-grey\" srcset=\"https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/nimblefins\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_1.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_180\/v1\/media\/thetelegraph-grey 1x, https:\/\/res.cloudinary.com\/nimblefins\/image\/upload\/c_limit,dpr_2.0,f_auto,h_1600,q_auto,w_180\/v1\/media\/thetelegraph-grey 2x\"\u003E\n \n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/a\u003E"],"offsetPercentage":20}

Note: updated with further information from Direct Line at 2:50pm on 10 December 2020, and reader comments from January 2021.

None of the UK’s top car insurance providers will offer insurance policies to couriers and delivery drivers who use their cars for work, due to the additional risks of delivery driving. This could mean that someone driving for a company like Deliveroo, JustEat, UberEats or Amazon involved in an accident could find their insurer refusing to pay out, leaving the driver in a potentially devastating financial situation. It also means they might be driving illegally.

So what does this mean for drivers who are already insured and decide to take up a job as a courier or delivery driver to help pay this bills? Will they still be insured or are they at risk of having their cover voided due to their delivery work? We contacted the UK’s largest car insurance providers to find out. Here’s what we found.


Find delivery insurance.
Powered by QuoteZone.

Get Quotes



  • Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars on Reviews.co.uk
  • Fill out only one form
  • Note: Inexperienced food delivery drivers with 0 years of no claims may have difficulty getting a quote in the current market.

Do the UK’s Top Insurers Cover Courier and Delivery Work?

Our research shows that none of the UK’s largest 10 car insurance companies will cover courier or food delivery work. This means that drivers already in possession of a Social, Domestic and Pleasure (SD&P) car insurance policy with the likes of Aviva or LV who start using their car to deliver parcels, food or more could be driving uninsured and risk voiding their policies entirely.

Anyone paid to make deliveries (e.g., of food, parcels, etc.) must have a special type of commercial insurance called Hire and Reward (H&R), which the insurers view as specialist cover.

There is a product on the market called "top-up" Hire and Reward (H&R) insurance, which a driver can buy as supplemental cover that works in parallel with their SD&P cover. Zego is probably the most popular provider of this form of cover. Their SD&P insurance would cover personal driving (e.g., to the local shops, to see a friend, to go to an event etc.) and the top-up H&R insurance would cover their delivery driving. Unfortunately, this simply isn't an option for a large portion of motorists.

We asked the top 10 UK car insurers if they'll permit their SD&P policyholders to buy top-up H&R, and only 5 have confirmed via their press offices that top-up may be acceptable: Admiral, Ageas, Direct Line, Hastings and RSA (More Than). It's important to note that while these companies theoretically allow top-up, it's determined on a case-by-case basis, so you may find these insurers unwilling to accept you taking out H&R cover if they don't feel comfortable with it.

Drivers insured by the other major insurers could have their underlying policies invalidated if they were to buy top-up H&R cover and drive as a courier or delivery driver.

Note: Since initial publication we have had comments from readers who've been told they were NOT permitted to hold top-up cover from the following insurers: Hastings, Direct Line, Ageas and RSA. The press offices of these companies informed us it was acceptable. This shows how critical it is to reach out to your insurer, regardless of who they are, to see if they'll accept top-up on your policy. And if they say yes, perhaps it's wise to ask them to confirm this with you via email so you have it for your records.

Insurance CompanyOffer cover for delivery driving?Accept top-up/pay-as-you-go cover as valid?
Admiral
red x
question mark
Ageas^
red x
question mark
AXA^
red x
red x
Aviva
red x
red x
Direct Line^
red x
question mark
esure
red x
red x
Hastings^
red x
question mark
LV
red x
red x
NF Mutual^
red x
red x
RSA (More Than)^
red x
question mark

^ please see the methodology section and reader comments below.

In addition, we have also heard from Tesco Bank's press team that "customers can buy top up Hire and Reward if they need this cover for paid delivery work"—don't take our word for it, though, call them to confirm for yourself.

The question marks in the table above are important to note—just check our comment section below to see varying accounts for different insurers. Direct Line alone have NimbleFins readers both confirming and denying that top-up coverage is accepted after their experience with the insurer. Just another reason to do your own research and check with your insurer beforehand to avoid getting caught out.

Where does this leave delivery drivers?

For starters, all delivery drivers and couriers who are using their personal car for making deliveries need to have hire & reward insurance for delivery drivers.

They'll also need to inform their car insurer of their delivery or courier job—with great urgency if the driver has already commenced work. Not doing so leaves a driver in breach of their car insurance contract.

Some insurers may be able to adjust the policy appropriately to cover the additional risk of delivery work by offering hire & reward cover or permitting the use of top-up, PAYG hire & reward cover bought elsewhere. But even companies whose press offices have stated they'll cover top-up cover may NOT cover you. You must ask to confirm.

If your insurer won't permit top-up cover, a driver’s best bet is to consider cancelling their existing SD&P policy and getting an all-in-one policy from one of the UK’s specialist food delivery insurers, who design combined SD&P and H&R policies to account for the risks delivery driving can present.

While it may increase their overall cost of cover quite a bit, hire & reward is required if a driver is paid to make deliveries. Not only is driving without valid insurance illegal, but it can mean financial devastation if a driver has an accident and is not covered, not to mention the potential fines, points and risk of being disqualified from driving or seizure of the vehicle—plus, any of these will increase the cost of future car insurance long after a driver has stopped courier work.

Why this is becoming a bigger issue now

With the shift to online ordering due to Covid-19 well established, there has been a surge in delivery driving around the world. Retail shopping has seen an accelerated shift to digital channels and diners are ordering takeaways to support local restaurants during lockdowns, and even afterwards as many diners prefer to avoid crowded areas.

While on the bright side this means job opportunities for nearly anyone with a car, self-employed delivery drivers are facing a specific risk that is endemic to the UK car insurance industry—getting insured.

Why don't the big insurers cover delivery driving?

Car insurance companies are generally nervous about insuring delivery drivers. Delivery drivers are often on tight time frames (potentially rushing to meet an agreed delivery slot), plus they regularly venture down unfamiliar roads guided (and sometimes distracted) by an app on their device and frequently stop on busy roadsides to collect and deliver food and parcels. The risks are high, which means higher odds of accidents and insurance pay outs. So delivery driving is a 'specialist' cover.

Is it okay to have a top-up/PAYG courier insurance policy?

Top-up providers will tell you that the answer to this question varies from provider to provider, and we've found that to be the case as well. Critically, some insurers will not accept their policyholders using their vehicle for making paid deliveries, even if they've taken out top-up PAYG Hire & Reward cover. A policyholder who takes out top-up H&R cover against the guidance of their SD&P insurer risks being uninsured for an accident, even if the incident occurred when the driver wasn't on the road delivering. This means drivers have to be very careful about taking a top-up coverage alongside their existing Social, Domestic & Pleasure vehicle insurance to avoid voiding their SD&P coverage altogether.

There isn't necessarily a simple solution to this problem—the best thing to do is talk to your insurer before taking out a Courier insurance or Delivery Driver insurancepolicy and you'll be able to avoid taking any unnecessary risks while out on the road.

Does Business Class 3 insurance cover delivery work?

No—by most insurers’ definitions a Business Class 3 policy will not be sufficient to insure you for delivery work. This means that if you are doing delivery work with a Business Class 3 policy and are involved in an accident your insurer is unlikely to payout, and may even void your coverage entirely.

You may have found the definition of Business Class insurance a little bit confusing—Hastings, for example, define it as the level required for (if you) "clock-up a significant amount of miles as part of your job", which makes it sound as if delivery work would be covered, however this is usually not the case. Only a Commercial (or equivalent) level policy will be sufficient to insure you for delivery work.

While it's true Business Use Class 3 is designed to protect people who travel long distances, it's more designed for a travelling salesman who drives long distances to make unscheduled sales calls. It's quite uncommon these days.

Does Hire & Reward insurance cover delivery/courier work?

The answer to this question depends on how your insurer defines its Hire and Reward policies. Hire and Reward typically refers to the collection of insurances used to protect someone using their vehicle in return for payment, from furniture removals and hauliers through to couriers and delivery drivers. However, while delivery/courier work needs Hire and Reward cover, not all Hire & Reward providers will insure delivery drivers. This is one of the key reasons why getting your choice of provider is especially important—some insurers do offer Hire and Reward policies, but won't cover couriers or delivery drivers.

There are a few reasons why some businesses offer some form of Hire and Reward but don't cover delivery people—primarily regarding the risks around the timeframes delivery people drive to (often rushing to meet an agreed delivery slot), stopping by the sides of busy roads to collect and deliver food and parcels and regularly venturing down unfamiliar roads guided (and sometimes distracted) by the app on their device.

How much does courier insurance cost?

Our guide to the average cost of Courier insurance for cars, vans and motorbikes goes into a lot more detail, but our research indicated that a sample driver could expect an average cost of £143 per month for Comprehensive Van Courier insurance, £150 per month for Third Party Only Motorbike Courier insurance and roughly £220 per month for Third Party Only Car Courier insurance. That said, some experienced drivers will pay closer to £1k a year for car courier insurance.

Keep in mind that your quotes may be much higher or lower depending on your age, choice of vehicle and any prior claims or convictions you've had.

What next?

Our guide to Courier insurance has more information about the different types of policy for you to consider, so check it out if you have any further questions about the different levels of coverage for your car, van or motorbike. And since finding quotes for Courier insurance can be difficult, we've put together a guide on the average cost of Courier insurances to give you an idea of how much it might cost to be properly covered. Once you do have your insurance sorted out, check out our article on ways to earn more as a Courier/Delivery Driver.

We also deep dived into Hire and Reward insurance for food delivery specifically, so check out that guide if you'd like to know more about food delivery insurance specifically.

Methodology

We contacted the 10 largest car insurance companies in the UK to find out if they cover delivery or courier work. We initially spoke with their customer service reps, then we followed up to confirm what we'd learned with the respective press offices. At the time of writing, we have not heard back from the AXA or NFU Mutual press offices.The information we have presented for these companies reflects our calls with their customer service reps only and therefore has not been verified by the press office yet. Direct Line press office replied after publication, and we have since updated the information for them here.

Here are the responses we've received from the respective press offices:

Admiral

"Admiral doesn’t provide cover for delivery driving on our polices, however we do allow our customers to use top-up PAYG hire & reward insurance policies alongside their main insurance. They will be covered as normal while using their vehicle for social and commuting. If an accident occurs while delivering, the top-up insurance would step in and deal with this claim."

Ageas

"There is nothing in our policy wording to exclude a top-up policy, so if one of our customers wanted to add a top-up policy on top of their normal policy with us, they would still be covered when they are using their vehicle for non-business purposes, with the top-up covering them for the additional usage through their top-up policy provider.

It is important to note that top-up cover in isolation does not mean you can avoid having a standard policy for social, domestic, pleasure and commuting use. If customers are ever unsure on what their insurance product covers, they can always speak to their broker or insurer."

AXA

No response from the press team at time of writing.

Aviva

"We don’t accept top-up cover to Aviva car insurance policies in order to avoid any confusion for the customer that could come from having dual motor insurance (where two insurers are providing cover for the same vehicle). A common issue that might arise in this situation is a dispute over how a vehicle was being used at the time of an accident, which can create uncertainty as to which insurer would be liable for the claim.

More widely, we consider insurance for hire and reward, including couriers and delivery drivers, as specialist cover; customers looking for that type of insurance would be best served by contacting their insurance broker."

Direct Line

Updated:

"Whilst Direct Line do not currently offer policyholders the ability to add on additional cover to their standard policy to insure against using their vehicles for deliveries such as; Just Eat, Deliveroo, Uber Eats or postal deliveries. If they would like to use their vehicle for these purposes they are able to take out ‘top-up’ insurance with an alternative provider, to cover them when they are using their vehicles for business purposes.

Separate ’top-up’ insurance policies are offered by some delivery firms, as well as, alternative companies such as Zego, and provide cover over and above your standard insurance policy to protect drivers whilst they are using their vehicle for delivery purposes. This ‘top-up’ insurance will not invalidate a Direct Line customer’s personal policy, however, any claims which arise whilst the vehicle is being used for business purposes such as; deliveries would be payable by the ‘top-up’ insurer and not Direct Line."

esure

"In line with the majority of the market, currently esure do not provide cover for customers requiring insurance for courier or delivery work in their personal vehicle. However, we do keep this under review and may look at possible options in the future."

Hastings

"As with any change in circumstances or vehicle use, we would expect the customer to update us accurately and correctly, including any change in their occupation, to ensure they are correctly covered.

If a customer states the use of the vehicle as SDPC (social, domestic, pleasure, commuting) but they add a top-up insurance to their policy to cover delivery driving etc., they would still be covered for the SDPC use of their vehicle by their main insurer, with the top up insurer covering the business use required, i.e., for the delivery.

Top up policies offer temporary cover for the period the customer is working using their vehicle. However, if the customer has taken on additional part time work they must disclose this to their main insurer as any non-disclosure of information could affect a future claim."

Note: a reader who is a Hastings policyholder has informed us that Hastings won't permit Zego. Here's what they said, "Hi. Please be aware that Hastings DO NOT accept Zego as stated in your chart. I have just tried as they are my current provider and ivd recently signed up to Just Eat. They knew nothing about this thread so I'm not sure where the information came from."

LV

"Our car insurance policy excludes cover anyone for working as a delivery driver or courier, or using their car for hire and reward purposes. Likewise this isn’t something an existing customer would be able to expand their policy to include. If a customer chooses to buy a top-up/PAYG/hire and reward insurance policy elsewhere they would still not have cover under their LV= policy.

Every customer is different and before we take on anyone as a new customer, we have to take a number of factors into consideration, including what kind of job they do. This is because different jobs have different insurance requirements and we need to ensure that our policy can cater for those different needs, and is given to the customers that it is most suitable for.

It is worth noting that we automatically cover customers who use their car to do voluntary work, which can sometimes include deliveries, whether that be medication, medical equipment, shopping or other essential items. However we won’t cover customers who are being paid to do this, as it requires a different level of cover that falls outside of the terms of our policy."

NF Mutual

No response from the press team at time of writing.

RSA (More Than)

We spoke to the RSA press office over the phone, and they told us they are happy for policyholders to take out top-up H&R cover BUT the policyholder should inform them.


Find delivery insurance.
Powered by QuoteZone.

Get Quotes



  • Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars on Reviews.co.uk
  • Fill out only one form
  • Note: Inexperienced food delivery drivers with 0 years of no claims may have difficulty getting a quote in the current market.
Luke Masters

Prior to NimbleFins, Luke studied economics at Brunel University and worked at FreshMinds, Investigo and BMW. His work in data analytics, pricing, strategy and business development now help him write business insurance content to support SMEs. Read more on LinkedIn.

Comments