Like all things in life, the courier business is not without risk. Couriers actually face substantial risk in certain key areas and if these risks are not mitigated or insured against they can give substantial harm to the courier, the business, the customer or the general public. All risks can be guarded against to some degree and thankfully most can be covered under couriers insurance, cyber liability insurance or other insurance types. 

This article explains the most common risks that couriers face, how the risks can be reduced and how they can be insured against.

1. Injury to the courier

The courier worker is the vital centre of the industry. They physically collect, sort, drive and deliver goods around the country. Every courier business also depends on somebody to do the office work. Injury or sickness can remove these essential people from work and bring the business to a standstill. 

This can be prevented by strengthening and preserving the health of couriers. Couriers should receive a physical health check before they are hired because it is a physically demanding job. They should also not work if they are too tired or not in a fit state of mind to drive since this could be potentially dangerous. If heavy items are to be moved, couriers should use appropriate equipment to do so safely and without strain.

Insurance can cover personal accidents and injury meaning that the costs won’t have to be entirely carried by the courier business. Insurance can also cover income protection for couriers who are out of work and life insurance can also protect their loved ones if the worst happens.

2. Injury or damage to the public

This is an important risk that the courier industry faces. This is because the courier spends most of their working life out and about in public and the cost of damage to the public can be immense.

This risk is mitigated mostly by improving safety on the road. Couriers need to have the right licences for the vehicles they are driving and to keep those vehicles in good condition. Couriers would also do well to have dash cams and driver tracking software installed. These can be used to defend the courier’s driving in the event of an incident and they also promote safer driving through the awareness that driving behaviour is being monitored and recorded.

Public liability insurance is there to cover these kinds of risks. There is also commercial motor vehicle insurance to cover the vehicle related incidents.

3. Risks to the courier vehicles

Courier vehicles face a number of different risks. These include accidents and breakdowns, theft or vandalism.

These risks can be reduced by good vehicle maintenance and safe driving. Risk of theft or vandalism can be reduced by parking in secure areas.

Commercial motor vehicle insurance can cover the cost of repairs and replacements. It can also cover the cost of hire-vehicles to replace a courier vehicle so deliveries can continue.

4. Theft of goods

Thieves know that courier vehicles often carry valuable goods and look for opportunities to get their hands on them. 

Risk of theft can be partially prevented by increasing the level of security you have. Always lock the vehicle when you are not accessing its cargo bay. Consider upgrading the number and quality of your locks. If storing packages overnight ensure that they are in a secure facility.

Public liability insurance can protect your business financially against the risk of theft of goods.

5. Damage of goods, fire or flood

There is a risk that the goods can be damaged in your possession. They could become damaged in the vehicle or as you move them. They could also be damaged in the storage facility through fire or flood.

Reduce the risk of damage by securing the goods with straps while in the vehicle and on trolleys. Protect the goods by wrapping them in something protective such as bubble wrap or blankets. Make sure your storage facility has working fire alarms and try to store packages off the ground.

Public liability insurance can also cover these risks.

6. Legal risks

Courier businesses, like all businesses, faces risks of legal trouble including being sued, receiving fines or even being shut down.

These risks can be reduced by taking a number of important steps. Firstly, ensure that your business complies with all related regulations whether national or local. Secondly, make sure that you have clear legal documents for service agreements and employment agreements. Lastly, have a legal professional review your legal position and related documents and follow the best advice. 

Legal problems can be extremely expensive. Thankfully, many legal risks can be insured against so that your business won’t have to bear it all. 

7. Cyber risks

Courier businesses rely on their online presence and use it to market themselves, conduct business and communicate. If something interrupts the online side of the business, everything else will suffer together.

Protect against online risks by avoiding copyright breaches, by using virus protection software and following good practices of cyber security. You may benefit from consulting with cyber security professionals if your business is an appealing target for hackers.

Believe it or not, these risks can also be insured against under a cyber liability insurance package. This sort of insurance can cover many costs associated with online risks including defence of legal claims, recovering or replacing data and loss of revenue due to interrupted business.