Do Food Delivery Drivers Need Special Insurance?
Absolutely, yes – food delivery drivers definitely require a special form of insurance for their vehicle to drive in the UK. Conveniently, it’s often referred to as food delivery insurance. Still, you might also see it as courier insurance or hire and reward – they all mean roughly the same thing, but hire and reward generally refers to the specific part of a food delivery/courier insurance policy that covers you to deliver food/goods in return for payment (and can be sold separately in a bespoke hire and reward policy).
You may be wondering why food delivery drivers need special insurance, and while the reasoning isn’t too complicated, it’s always good to understand why you’re taking out additional insurance:
- Spending long hours on the road
- Driving more miles than the average driver
- Parking roadside on busy roads to collect/drop off food
- Regularly driving in unfamiliar environments
Keep in mind that it’s illegal to drive in the UK without the correct insurance, so you’ll want to make sure you’re properly covered before accepting your first delivery. Suppose the threat of license points, fines, and potential disqualification from driving wasn’t enough (it absolutely should be). In that case, apps like Deliveroo and UberEats will also want to see proof of your food delivery insurance before allowing you to complete the sign-up process.
What is food delivery insurance?
Food delivery insurance is a specialist form of vehicle insurance designed to protect your car, van, or motorbike while you’re on the road delivering takeaways. It’ll help keep you covered from the additional risks food delivery drivers are exposed to, such as driving for long stretches without a break and parking in difficult roadside locations. It’s a must-have if you’re a driver and you’re using your vehicle to deliver food.
It comes in two forms – full-time food delivery insurance policies, which will usually include your social, domestic & pleasure (SD&P) insurance within them (meaning you’re insured whether you’re working or not) and part-time/top-up hire and reward insurance for food delivery drivers, which sits ‘on-top’ of your existing SD&P cover (meaning you’ll need to have a separate SD&P policy before signing up).
Both have their benefits – a full-time policy means you’ll be covered at all times, and you won’t have to worry about the awkward middle ground between signing in and accepting your first delivery. (There’s some confusion online as to when top-up insurance actually kicks in versus when your SD&P provider would still be responsible. There isn’t a simple answer to this, it depends on the insurer, but a full-time policy negates this risk entirely.)
Top-up/pay-as-you-go policies can be extremely cost-effective, especially if you (like the average Deliveroo driver) work under 15 hours per week or don’t see yourself delivering food for the long-term. However, a large number of the UK’s top insurers won’t accept drivers using top-up coverage, and if you do drive using top-up, then you’re at risk of having your policy voided altogether.
How much does food delivery insurance cost the UK?
A full-time food delivery car insurance policy is likely to cost around £220 per month for third-party only cover (TPO) and roughly £260 per month for comprehensive cover for a typical driver. Pay-as-you-go/top-up cover is likely to start from around £1 per hour, but don’t be surprised if it ends up as high as £3 per hour if you drive a powerful vehicle, have less experience on the road, or don’t hold a ‘no claims bonus’.
The cost of food delivery insurance in the UK is driven by exactly the same factors that your regular social, domestic, and pleasure insurance is (such as age, vehicle, annual mileage), so there are many ways you can save if you’re finding quotes are too high. Just like regular coverage, installing a black box or any form of telematics can help insurers keep track of your driving, giving them the confidence to offer you lower prices, and as with any insurance, make sure to compare as many providers as possible to get the best price on the market.
Can delivery drivers claim the insurance on taxes?
Yes, as a self-employed delivery driver, you’re able to claim deductions on your insurance. Additional services/fees you’re able to claim include parking charges, your mobile phone contact, other forms of insurance (such as public liability), and vehicle maintenance.
To do this, you’ll need to fill out a self-assessment tax return. There are a few things you’ll need before filling one out, and while the process can be daunting at first, it is designed to be as easy as possible. Here are the most important items of note:
- Personal details (NI number, bank account details if you’re expecting a refund)
- P45/P60’s from any employment during the year
- Details of all annual incomes
- Student loan certificates
- Tax return from the previous year (if you were self-employed)
The deadline for filing your tax return is 31st January each year. A tax return running from the tax year starting 6th April 2020 to the 5th April 2021 would need to be filed by the 31st January 2022, for example.