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    Protection if someone is injured or their property is damaged because of your business.

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    Legal fees and compensation payments if you make a mistake in your work and a client suffers a financial loss.

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What our Nerds say about goods in transit insurance

HENRY

BUSINESS NERD

Your goods, or the items you’re transporting for another company, are never more vulnerable than when they are on the move. You can make as many safety provisions as you like but, even if they’re wrapped in six layers of cotton wool and bubble wrap, your cargo could still be at risk. Luckily, there is goods in transit insurance for this.

Whether you are a courier transporting someone else’s goods or you need to protect your stock when it’s being moved from your warehouse to your shop, goods in transit insurance can ensure you’re compensated for any loss, theft, or damage to the goods, as well as protecting your business against any legal claims for injury or damage to members of the public or their property while you’re out on a delivery.

Here, we explain what activities and situations are covered by goods in transit insurance, as well as what isn't covered, and how to find a suitable goods in transit policy for your needs.

What is goods in transit insurance?

Goods in transit insurance provides financial protection against loss, theft or damage to goods on the move. Whether you’re a courier delivering items to customers, or you’re moving your own business stock or equipment from one place to another, your policy can be tailored to your specific circumstances.

The key point to be aware of is that goods in transit insurance will only cover your cargo while it’s being moved from one place to another. Your goods will no longer be protected once they are in storage or have arrived at their location. For this, you’ll need business contents cover.

What is goods in transit with public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance is frequently packaged alongside goods in transit insurance in one policy or available as an optional add-on. For example, courier insurance will often include both options.

It’s useful because the transportation of goods poses many risks to third parties and their property. For example, a pedestrian could trip over a box left on the pavement and break an arm, or a glass door could be shattered by an item as it’s carried into a building. In these instances, public liability insurance would cover any legal expenses or compensation costs.

If you employ someone to deliver or transport your goods, you are legally required to insure them under employers’ liability insurance, as employees won’t be covered by public liability insurance.

» MORE: A guide to business liability insurance

Do I need goods in transit insurance?

There is no legal requirement for you to have goods in transit insurance. However, if you want to work as a courier under a hire and reward contract (which is legally required for drivers who are paid to carry goods or passengers), you probably won’t be able to work without proof of goods in transit cover.

Regardless, whether transporting your own or someone else’s goods, the financial implications of a lost or damaged shipment could be crippling. That’s why anyone involved in moving items from place to place should consider taking out a goods in transit insurance policy.

» MORE: Business insurance: Do you need it?

What does goods in transit insurance cover?

Goods in transit insurance covers goods only while they are being transported from one place to another and under what’s called your ‘custody and control’. Typically, you’ll be covered for:

  • theft of goods
  • lost goods
  • damage that occurs due to accidents in transit
  • damage that occurs while loading or unloading

Many providers will allow you to tailor your insurance package to your specific needs.

What isn’t usually covered by goods in transit insurance?

An important point to bear in mind about goods in transit insurance is that there can be different ways to define what ‘in transit’ means. In particular, incidents that occur during loading and unloading can be open to interpretation, so you should clarify the exact limits of your liabilities with your insurance provider before you take out a policy.

Additionally, goods in transit insurance will usually have some exemptions to protect your insurance provider from having to pay out when you are clearly at fault or when the risk is too great. These could be for the following reasons:

  • You use poor or insufficient packaging.
  • Perishable goods have deteriorated due to a change in temperature such as a broken refrigerator.
  • You are transporting money, livestock, dangerous goods, or goods with a high risk of theft (unless agreed with the provider).
  • Goods are stolen from an unattended vehicle, which wasn’t securely locked.
  • Goods are confiscated by the government.

You should also be aware that the vehicle you use to transport the goods won’t be protected. You’ll need separate commercial vehicle insurance for this. Some providers may allow you to purchase a plan that includes both policies, however.

How much does goods in transit insurance cost?

The cost of your policy will be dictated by your cover limit. Goods in transit insurance is usually available with a variety of maximum cover limits depending on your needs. This could be anything from £10,000 to £5 million, or more.

Likewise, you can choose how much public liability cover you need, with limits usually ranging from £1 million to £5 million. The higher your cover limits, the higher your monthly premium.

How to choose the best goods in transit insurance for you

Once you’ve assessed your specific requirements and you’ve decided on maximum cover limits for your goods in transit and public liability insurance, you’re ready to find a policy, and you can start by comparing quotes at NerdWallet.

Simply click 'start your quote' and follow the step-by-step process.

Goods In Transit Insurance FAQs

How much is goods in transit insurance in the UK?

The cost of goods in transit insurance is dictated by your cover limits. For example, a policy with a maximum goods in transit cover of £50,000 and £5 million in public liability will have a lower monthly cost than a policy with £5 million in goods in transit cover and £10 million in public liability.

» COMPARE: Public liability insurance

Do I need goods in transit insurance for food delivery?

You don’t need to have goods in transit insurance for food delivery, although it might be considered a good idea. However, you are legally required to have hire and reward insurance.

Is goods in transit the same as hire and reward insurance?

Goods in transit insurance is not the same as hire and reward insurance. Goods in transit covers the actual goods you’re transporting against loss, theft or damage, whether your own or someone else’s, whereas hire and reward insurance covers your vehicle for the activity of being paid to transport people or goods.

About the author

Henry is passionate about helping individuals and businesses stay informed. Over the last 8 years, he’s written for startup and small business sites, with a focus on finance, insurance, and websites. Read more

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