What is hire and reward insurance?
If you use your car or van for commercial purposes, it’s likely you’ll need hire and reward insurance. Often also called courier insurance, hire and reward policies offer a specialist type of cover. It’s a legal requirement for anyone who uses their own vehicle to drive people or goods for work.
It’s important to note, a standard commute to work doesn’t require specialist insurance, and is usually covered by your car insurance policy. If you’re moving people or goods for a fee, however, you’ll need to buy a hire and reward policy.
Hire and reward insurance is typically broken down into three categories:
- Courier: cars, vans and haulers moving and delivering parcels and goods
- Taxi and chauffeur: picking up people and their luggage
- Food delivery: collecting and delivering food, including takeaways and groceries
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What does hire and reward insurance cover
Hire and reward insurance is essentially specialist car or van insurance. So you’ll be able to choose from the same three levels of cover for standard car insurance:
- Third party only – minimum cover for any injury or damage caused to other people or their property.
- Third party, fire and theft – third party costs, plus repairs or replacement for your vehicle due to fire, theft or attempted theft.
- Comprehensive – third party, fire and theft costs, plus repairs or replacement for your vehicle, even if you caused the incident.
It might sting, having to buy a more specialist type of insurance to cover your work, but hire and reward insurance is designed to cover the additional risks of driving for work. These can include spending more hours on the road, especially during rush hour and night time. They also take things such as driving on unfamiliar roads and rushing to meet delivery deadlines into account. Finally, there’s also the likelihood of more wear and tear on your vehicle as your annual mileage goes up.
What vehicles does hire and reward insurance cover?
In terms of the vehicles covered by hire and reward, or courier insurance, it’s quite flexible:
- Taxis & minicabs
- Motorbike or moped
If you’re delivering food or parcels by bicycle, it’s not a legal requirement for you to have any kind of insurance, let alone hire and reward insurance. However, as you’ll be spending more time on the roads, especially during busy periods and night time, having third party or bicycle insurance can be a really good idea.
What hire and reward insurance doesn’t cover
Frustratingly, hire and reward insurance typically doesn’t cover the goods you’re carrying in your vehicle. For example, if your van is broken into and the goods you’re delivering are stolen, the cost to repair or replace your vehicle would be covered, but you’d have to pay to replace the stolen goods. You can, however, purchase Goods in transit cover as an additional policy.
Who needs hire and reward insurance?
Hire and reward insurance is a legal requirement for anyone using their vehicle to carry goods or people for a fee. Drivers who need courier insurance include:
- Taxi drivers
- Private hire drivers
- Food delivery drivers
- Couriers and parcel delivery drivers
- Hauliers or removals people
- Funeral and wedding car drivers
If you have two jobs that both require the use of your vehicle, for example, if you’re a taxi driver who also delivers food, or a chauffeur who drives wedding cars on the weekend, you’ll need to inform your insurance provider. Most courier insurance policies will only cover you for one role, so you’ll need to speak with them to get cover for both.
How much is hire and reward insurance?
The price of your policy will vary depending on your age, your driving experience, where you live and where you park. It’ll also be based on your annual mileage, your vehicle type and even the goods you carry.
Can you buy temporary or pay as you go hire and reward insurance?
Yes, you can. Some insurers offer flexible policies for casual workers. These allow you to log on and off, giving you cover as and when you need it. You do need to be organised, though, and remember to start your cover each time you work.
If you need the cover regularly, these policies aren’t the best value, and it’s more likely you’ll get a better deal by buying a monthly or annual policy. As ever with insurance, your best bet is to compare quotes to find the right cover for you.
Is it a legal requirement to have hire and reward insurance?
Yes, it’s a legal requirement for drivers carrying people or property for a fee to have hire and reward, or courier insurance. You can buy a normal car or van insurance policy, then ‘top up’ with hire and reward cover, or you can buy a fully comprehensive hire and reward insurance policy.
What type of insurance do I need to deliver food?
To deliver food via motorised vehicle in the UK, you must have hire and reward insurance. If you’re delivering food by bicycle, you don’t legally need any form of insurance, but it’s always a good idea!
Will my employer buy my hire and reward insurance for me?
This comes down entirely to each employer and your contract with them. If you’re freelance or a sole trader, it’s likely you’ll need to sort out your own insurance, however, it’s worth asking your employer before you buy a policy.