Do You Need Business Insurance to Deliver Food?

Regardless of your employers, you need business insurance to deliver food. Below, we explain what food delivery insurance is, what policies you are legally required to have, which are just recommended, and what will affect the cost of your cover.

Connor Campbell Published on 15 June 2022.
Do You Need Business Insurance to Deliver Food?

Before you strap on your helmet, jump on your scooter, and start delivering pizzas, chicken tikkas, and pad Tthais, you’ll need to make sure you are properly covered. That’s because you need certain types of business or car insurance to deliver food in the UK.

The level of protection provided by the country’s major food delivery firms – that’s Just Eat, Deliveroo and UberEats – varies, so it is important to check how you are covered ahead of time.

Read on to find out what business insurance you need to deliver food, what food delivery insurance is, and how much it costs.

Does business insurance cover food delivery?

Since business insurance is an umbrella term for a range of different insurance products, it does technically cover food delivery. But – and it is a big but – only if your pre-existing business or car insurance package includes hire and reward insurance.

Hire and reward insurance is a specialist type of commercial motor insurance that is legally required if you are delivering goods in exchange for payment.

It is unlikely your insurance will include hire and reward unless you already work as a courier or delivery driver for a different service, such as Amazon or Evri.

You should check to see if your employer provides you with hire and reward insurance before taking out a policy yourself.

» MORE: What is business car insurance?

What is food delivery insurance?

Although food delivery insurance can be used as a blanket term to describe the various insurance products delivery drivers are both legally required, and recommended, to take out, it is also used as another term for hire and reward insurance.

What cover do you need for food delivery work?

If you want to work as a food delivery driver, then the following types of insurance are legally required.

Social, domestic & pleasure (SD&P) car insurance

You don’t only need social, domestic & pleasure car insurance to deliver food. Any car on the road in the UK is required to have car insurance, the most standard level being SD&P cover. This will cover you for the everyday use of your vehicle for non-work-related purposes.

» COMPARE: Car insurance

Hire and reward insurance

To be legally allowed to deliver food in exchange for money in the UK, you will need to take out a hire and reward insurance policy. It is possible to get insurance that combines SD&P and hire and reward insurance to cover both everyday use and delivery-related driving.

Like with standard car insurance, there are varying levels of hire and reward cover:

  • Third party only (TPO) – covers damage to a third party, but not your own vehicle
  • Third party fire and theft (TPFT) – covers fire and theft to your vehicle, alongside damage to a third party
  • Comprehensive insurance – covers damage to your vehicle, on top of fire and theft, and damage to a third party

Confusingly, hire and reward insurance cover has a number of different names, so be on the lookout for products called:

  • carriage of goods for hire and reward insurance
  • courier insurance
  • food delivery insurance
  • fast food delivery insurance
  • delivery driver insurance

It is important to note that hire and reward insurance does not cover the goods you are delivering. For that, you would need goods in transit insurance.

» COMPARE: Courier insurance

While the following policies aren’t legal requirements for food delivery drivers, they are nevertheless worth considering if you want a fuller level of protection. Some may be provided by your employers, so make sure you check first before seeking your own cover.

Goods in transit insurance

To cover compensation costs and legal fees if the goods you are delivering are lost, stolen or damaged, you would need to take out goods in transit insurance.

Goods in transit insurance isn’t typically required for food delivery drivers, due to the relatively low cost of the items involved. However, if you also work as a courier delivering more expensive products, for example if you work for Amazon or Evri, you will likely need goods in transit insurance.

Public liability insurance

Automatically provided by some employers, such as Deliveroo, public liability insurance is designed for if you accidentally injure or kill a third party, or damage or lose their property, during your work activities.

This would typically be while you are out of your vehicle picking up or dropping off food, although it may cover you all the time if you are making your deliveries on a bicycle.

» COMPARE: Public liability insurance

Personal accident insurance

Zipping around from location to location, making deliveries in potentially unfamiliar areas, leaves you just as much at risk as your vehicle or the food on the back of your bike.

That is why it may be worth considering personal accident insurance. It can help with lost income and medical costs if you are accidentally injured, fall ill l, or die both while you’re working and at other times.

Again, some employers may provide personal injury protection as standard.

How much is food delivery insurance?

Food delivery insurance is typically more expensive than personal car insurance, due to the extra risks involved, such as frequently driving to multiple locations, during busy periods, under time pressures.

Like with almost every type of cover, how much food delivery insurance actually costs depends on a number of variables, including but not limited to:

  • your location and working hours
  • the level of cover required
  • the excess you are willing to pay
  • your personal driving history
  • the type of vehicle you are looking to insure

There is a level of flexibility when it comes to the length of your food delivery insurance, however.

  • 30-day food delivery insurance: This provides cover for 30 days. This is useful if you only intend to work as a delivery driver for a short period of time.
  • Annual food delivery insurance: This provides cover for 12 months. If you know you will be making deliveries in the long -term, this might be the policy for you.
  • Pay-as-you-go food delivery insurance: Some providers offer pay-as-you-go insurance on an hourly basis.

To get the best food delivery insurance for your personal circumstances, make sure you do your own research and compare different providers.

Image source: Getty Images

About the author:

Connor is a writer and spokesperson for NerdWallet. Previously at Spreadex, his market commentary has been quoted in the likes of the BBC, The Guardian, Evening Standard, Reuters and The Independent. Read more

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