PolicyPlan ‘Courier Van Insurance’ – are you insured?

A few words of warning about the popular PolicyPlan ‘Courier Van Insurance’ policy offered by many brokers, including Coversure and Business Choice Direct, The policy is managed by PolicyPlan Limited, PolicyPlan is an appointed representative of Staveley Head Limited. These policies have been worrying me for a while now and I really don’t think I’ve made enough fuss about it.

Put simply, if you have a PolicyPlan ‘Courier Van Insurance’ policy it appears to me that there’s a good chance that you’re driving completely uninsured if you carry some completely innocuous goods which same day couriers are often asked to carry. That’s uninsured for motor risks – not just for Goods In Transit.

The PolicyPlan ‘Courier Van Insurance’ policy is a joint Motor/GIT policy and they’ve carried all the common GIT exclusions over to their endorsement ME21 (or ME21a) which renders the whole policy void (including compulsory motor insurance) if you carry certain goods. Worse still, the list of goods you’re not allowed to carry has obviously just been copied from the common exclusions on GIT policies aimed at hauliers, rather than same day couriers.

So, while it might make sense for the insurer to limit their GIT liability in the case of a whole artic load of mobile phones, computer chips, or even shoes, this whole policy (including compulsory third-party motor insurance) is completely invalidated by a courier delivering a single mobile phone, laptop, hard-drive or a book of stamps. Really.

Goods which you’re ‘forbidden’ to carry under the policy include:

Time-critical human and/or animal organs, tissue or blood,
Money, securities for money, negotiable instruments,
Saving stamps,
Unused postage stamps,
Fine arts,
Hazardous goods over the ADR load thresholds,
alcoholic spirits, processed tobacco or tobacco products,
furs, clothing or footwear,
non ferrous metals,
domestic audio visual equipment or Accessories,
cigars, cigarettes and tobacco excluding raw leaf tobacco,
computer hardware or software,
mobile phones or other portable communication devices,
microchips, microprocessors, central processing units, system boards, memory boards, memory, sound or video cards or hi-tech components of a similar nature designed to be used in or in connection with computers or other electronic devices but not when they are fitted in such a device,
Goods in connection with the removal of household, office and factory furnishings and equipment
(including scrap, site clearance and/or waste disposal).

I know from conversations I’ve had with various same day couriers that they’re either completely unaware of these restrictions or they’ve wrongly assumed that the restrictions apply only to the Goods In Transit section of the policy.

The fact that many experienced couriers, never mind the new owner-drivers buying these policies, are completely unaware of the implications of these restrictions on the carriage of commonly-carried goods makes it clear to me that the ‘specialist’ insurance companies and brokers involved in providing the policies are failing in their duties to their clients and leaving them exposed to uninsured liabilities and possible prosecution for driving without insurance.

I don’t know the scale of this problem but I doubt the policy has been written for the benefit of just 10’s of couriers – there are more likely to be 100’s or 1,000’s, both working for the nationals and through platforms like CX, who are uninsured when carrying perfectly normal, and harmless, items.

“Sorry sir, we can’t collect the shoes you left in your hotel room last night. It would invalidate our driver’s insurance cover.”

If anyone representing any of the companies offering these policies wishes to disagree with my interpretation of their terms, or wishes to explain why so many of their clients seem unaware of the fundamental unsuitability of these policies to the same day courier industry then feel free to comment. If I’ve misunderstood anything I’ll be happy to apologise.

Posted under Courier Financial Issues, Insurance for Couriers

Posted by Alec at 10:13 am, May 31, 2018

1 Comment so far

  1. Uninsured courier added on  June 2nd, 2018 at 22:10

    I’m in my secomd year with policyplan and I had no idea I wasn’t insured to carry this stuff. I regularly deliver blood for the NHS and often do things like mobiles and computers. I’m shocked that I’ve been driving round with no insurance even though this is a proper courier insurance policy. My main employer has even checked my policy both years and not said anything.

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