Demand for couriers is at an all-time high. Thanks to lockdown the popularity of online shopping has soared and this year consumers will spend around £144bn online. That’s an awful lot of goods that require an army of delivery drives. Is it any wonder then that we’ve received a surge of inquiries for cheap courier insurance quotes?
What’s been interesting has been how many people have asked us for so-called ‘lifestyle’ courier insurance quotes. It’s estimated that lifestyle couriers make up around 20% of UK parcel deliveries and that figure is set to rise sharply as online shopping continues to thrive.
Lockdown and furlough definitely helped drive the rise. Suddenly people found themselves with time on their hands while companies large and small were crying out for delivery drivers. With the freedom to work when you want and to be your own boss, it was an attractive option for many, and given the current shortage of drivers, pay and conditions are set to improve. But how do you become a lifestyle courier? What type of insurance cover does a lifestyle courier need? And what do you need to look out for to ensure you can make money?
In this new blog from Coversure Redditch, the courier insurance specialists, we’ll look at all of this in detail and give you some helpful tips on finding work and, more importantly, making that work pay.
Insurance For Lifestyle Couriers
One of the big attractions of becoming a lifestyle courier for many people is that they can use their own vehicle. If you have a car or a van then you can drive to the depot, load up with deliveries and be on your way, right?
Well, no, actually.
A lot of lifestyle couriers don’t realise that if you’re making paid deliveries then your standard car or van insurance will not cover you. In fact, you could invalidate your insurance altogether and be liable for a hefty fine and points on your license.
If you want to become a lifestyle courier you will need to take out courier insurance. This doesn’t need to be expensive and it will help keep you and your business on the right side of the law.
At Coversure Redditch we can offer new couriers an introductory discount of up to 65% and free goods in transit cover*. You can get a cheap courier insurance quote from Coversure Redditch here.
Goods In Transit Insurance
Something you’ll soon learn as a courier is that time is money, and you’ll often find yourself under pressure to deliver the goods. In such an environment – particularly on the UK’s increasingly congested roads – accidents will happen and goods will be damaged. You may be liable for the cost of any damage to these goods – a liability that can soon make your business uneconomical. This is where goods in transit insurance comes in.
With goods in transit cover, the packages you carry will be insured against loss or damage and are even protected if left in your vehicle whilst parked overnight. Goods in transit cover can cost less than a pound a day and you can even get it free when you take out a courier insurance policy with Coversure Redditch.
Where Can You Find Courier Work?
So, you and your vehicle are properly insured, you have some time, so all you need now is some work. But where do you find it? Demand for couriers has never been higher and there are many ways to easily find work. Popular ways include:
• Amazon Flex – Amazon Flex is Amazon’s lifestyle courier service. They pay between £12-£15 per hour and they now have depots all over the UK. You’ll need an iPhone or an Android phone as they work through an app but other than that you should be all set
• Check out recruitments sites and job boards – leading recruitment sites such as Indeed and Monster have plenty of delivery driver jobs. Specialist courier forums such Courier Exchange and the Lifestyle Courier Forum can also be a good source of work
• Go directly to the courier companies – DPD, Hermes, and Yodel are just a few of the big-name couriers who are always looking for an extra pair of hands with an extra set of wheels
• Google for local independent courier firms – if you’d prefer some local, seasonal driving, then Googling for local businesses wanting work done can be a good idea. Unlike the big organisations smaller businesses can struggle to meet demand and they can also be more flexible as a result
What Are The Pitfalls Of Being A Lifestyle Courier?
The gig economy is riddled with tales of people being exploited and lifestyle couriering isn’t immune to this. The Guardian has reported on the levels of low pay that some couriers receive and the hours they need to work. Doing this kind of work can be a great way to earn as and when you please, but it’s worth doing the following before you start:
• Do the maths – is your car or van going to be large enough for you to get enough parcels in it to make it pay? If you’re spending half your time driving to and from the depot to complete your deliveries then you’re not going to make much per hour. Equally, you need to consider not just your time and fuel but other costs such as courier insurance and wear and tear on your vehicle. And remember, you’re self-employed: so, factor in no holiday pay or sickness benefit
• Do you have the time to make it pay ? – while this sort of work is all about working when you want to, to make it pay you’ll need to put in enough hours? It’s also worth factoring in where you live and the area your round will be in. If you’re in a city or urban area then getting 80 parcels done in a day can be – traffic permitting! – relatively easy. If, however, you’re working in a rural area where the deliveries are widely spread and the roads poor, those 80 parcels can take a whole lot longer to get shot of!
• Be aware of charges – this has been one of the most controversial aspects of this sector of the delivery industry. Some large firms have threatened drivers with the loss of their rounds if they can’t make it in, while others have even demanded money for lost work if the driver could not complete their rounds. Given the current driver shortage, such sharp practices should be a thing of the past, but beware…
Is Being A Lifestyle Courier A Good Option?
If you’re looking to make a little extra cash, don’t mind hard work, have a vehicle, and are prepared to get the right cover to stay legal, then becoming a lifestyle courier can be a good option. There’s no shortage of work out there and having the freedom to work when you like is always a great bonus.
Like Some Courier Insurance Help?
Well, we hope that’s given you some idea as to how you become a lifestyle courier. If you would like to know more about getting the courier insurance cover you’ll need to work, or would like some help getting the cover that’s right for you, then please contact us. You can call us on Redditch (01527) 757 585, email Coversure Redditch, or get a courier insurance quote here.