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Published 18 May 2023
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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.

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Before you jump on your scooter and start delivering pizzas, chicken tikkas and pad thais, 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.

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?

If you already have business insurance, it will only cover food delivery if your policies include 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.

Check if your employer provides you with hire and reward insurance before taking out a policy yourself. The level of protection provided by the country’s major food delivery firms – Just Eat, Deliveroo and UberEats – varies.

» MORE: What is business car insurance?

What is food delivery insurance?

Food delivery insurance can be used as a blanket term to describe the various types of insurance food delivery drivers can or must have. Essentially, it’s also 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, the following types of insurance are legally required.

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

You must have 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. But this isn’t the only insurance you require.

» 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.

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

  • Third party only (TPO) covers injury you cause to any third party and damage to their vehicle, but not your own vehicle.
  • Third party fire and theft (TPFT) covers fire and theft to your vehicle, alongside injury or car damage to a third party
  • Comprehensive insurance covers damage to your vehicle, on top of fire and theft, and injury or vehicle 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.

Other types of food delivery insurance

While the following types of cover 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 before getting 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 deliver 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 offers protection 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.

» MORE: Public liability insurance explained

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, become permanently disabled, 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. This is 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:

  • your location and working hours
  • the level of cover required
  • the excess you are willing to pay
  • past claims
  • the type of vehicle you are looking to insure
  • the excess you agree to pay at the start of any claim 

» COMPARE: Van insurance quotes

There is a level of flexibility to the food delivery insurance you can get. As well as annual policies, some insurers offer shorter-term cover, such as 30-day food delivery insurance or even pay as you go.This might be a useful option if you only intend to work as a delivery driver for a short time.

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

Image source: Getty Images

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