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What Insurance Do I Need to Be a Courier in South Africa?

Online shopping is on the rise in South Africa, and with that rise comes an increase in the need for couriers. Back in the day, the big guns took the most shots. Companies like DHL and The Courier Guy dominated the industry. Nowadays, smaller courier companies are on the rise, competing to deliver orders from online retailers like Takealot and Amazon.

Statistics show that the courier industry is booming. You can get a piece of the pie and earn a little extra money using your own car or you could choose to open your own courier business. You may even be an established courier company that is looking for more experienced drivers to handle the increase in business.

Either way, understanding the insurance needs of a courier company in South Africa is vital. From choosing the right insurance providers to getting the right types of cover, here’s everything you need to know.

How to Get the Right Insurance Cover or Your Courier Business in South Africa?

Getting the right cover for your company’s needs can be tricky. Our site makes it much easier. You don’t have to decide between affordable insurance and enough coverage. Instead, fill in the form at the bottom of this page, and our unique technology will match you with the ideal insurer for your needs. Best of all, they contact you!

Because we don’t want you to end up paying for cover you don’t need or expose your business to the risks of being underinsured, we’ve put together a guide to insuring your courier business. We’ll detail the types of courier insurance you may need, the costs involved, insuring, and any additional cover you may need to consider.

What Are the Basic Insurance Needs of Couriers?

As a courier, you’ll likely need cover for your vehicle, cover for the goods you transport, and public liability insurance at the least. You can choose to get a policy for each of these separately, or an insurer can create a portfolio for you that includes these cover types. South Africa boasts a wide range of options for your cover.

1. Insurance for Courier Vehicles

Many car insurance policies exclude vans and vehicles used for business. It’s important to speak to your business insurance provider about comprehensive insurance for the type of vehicle you use. Some policies offer cover specifically designed for the vehicle you drive when picking up and delivering parcels, newspapers, and letters. This type of deliveries insurance cover is essential for any courier.

Couriers spend more time on the road, so your policy’s monthly premium may be influenced by the use of the vehicle. This is because you are on the road longer than the typical driver as a courier, and therefore, at a higher risk of being in an accident.

Remember to let the insurer know you’re using the vehicle for courier work. If you fail to inform them and you get into an accident, they may refuse to pay your insurance claim. This could cost you much more than paying a slightly higher premium will.

Types of Courier Car Cover in South Africa:

Most business insurance policies offer three levels of cover:

  1. Third-Party Insurance is the most basic form of cover. It only covers the costs of claims for damage, injury, and loss from a third party in the accident. It won’t cover damage to your own vehicle.
  2. Third-Party, Fire & Theft Insurance covers third-party claims as well as loss or damage due to theft and fire. it is a more affordable option than a fully comprehensive plan, but gives you cover for certain costs related to your own vehicle. Since theft can be a big problem in South Africa, getting this type of cover makes sense.
  3. Comprehensive Business Vehicle Insurance offers business owners the most cover and often pays out for damage to your own vehicle and for acts of nature such as hailstorms.

2. Goods in Transit Insurance

The above types of insurance don’t cover the goods you are transporting. The items you deliver and the risk you pose to other road users should be covered by a goods in transit policy. This type of cover protects the goods you transport up to a predetermined value.

If they get lost, stolen, or damaged, this policy comes into play. Even if you have comprehensive insurance for stock in transit or goods in transit, the policy will come with some exclusions. Depending on the insurance group, exclusions could be based on geographic locations or the conditions surrounding the loss or theft.

Often, this type of cover is optional, but many businesses will insist that you have it before allowing you to transport their goods. And it makes sense. If something happens to the goods you are delivering, you may need to pay for it.

Do you know if you will be held liable for goods damaged during transit? Can you afford to cover these costs? If not, you need goods-in-transit insurance.

3. Public Liability Insurance

The third type of cover any courier may need is public liability insurance. This is because couriers frequently work with the public on a daily basis. If you are found liable for damage, loss, or injury to a person or their property, they could claim against you. These claims can cost a lot more than most people are able to pay. This type of insurance protects you against such claims.

With public liability cover, you can claim legal costs and the cost of compensation if the claim against you is successful. Insurance companies offer public liability cover as part of a business portfolio rather than personal insurance cover. You can choose to get public liability insurance as a standalone product or as part of a larger business portfolio in your professional capacity.

Other Types of Courier Business Insurance to Consider

Employers Liability Cover

Are you running your own courier business? If you have any staff complement or employees, having employers liability cover could benefit you and your company. This type of cover protects you from claims made by employees for damage, loss, or injury if an accident happens at work.

Fleet Cover

If your courier company has five or more vehicles, you could save on your monthly insurance premium by taking out fleet insurance instead of getting comprehensive cover for each car one at a time. Fleet cover often allows you to insure multiple drivers for each vehicle, and you pay only one premium instead of many.


This information was published for informational purposes alone and should not be construed as medical or legal advice. The information contained within this publication is accurate at the time it was published.

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