If you use a van for work, you need to make sure the insurance policy you have is right for you and your business. For many people, a van's primary purpose is to safely and securely transport goods from one location to another, often as part of a delivery service.

Your main insurance policy helps protect you, your van and other people (third parties) in the event of an accident, but it is unlikely to protect the items you are delivering if they are damaged, lost or stolen. For this, you will need Goods in Transit insurance.

If you're a delivery driver or courier, goods in transit insurance could provide more peace of mind than a simple business van insurance policy  which may not provide the level of cover you need. It helps cover goods or equipment that are being moved from point A to point B, meaning that, in a worst-case scenario, you shouldn't be liable for damages to or loss of the goods.

Who needs goods in transit insurance?

Couriers and Delivery Drivers

Most obviously, goods in transit insurance will probably be a must-have for those who deliver items for a living. Many customers will insist on only using delivery companies who have this type of cover in place and will ask to see a copy of the policy before doing business with you, so make sure you've got everything lined up before you pitch for that new account.

Delivery of purchased goods - online shops

Online retailers often ship a high volume of goods to various locations. If the retailer also delivers the goods themselves, then without goods in transit insurance, the financial burden of lost, damaged or stolen items could fall entirely on the business. These policies are crucial during peak seasons, like Christmas, when shipments could significantly increase.

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Moving business premises - loss and damage cover of equipment

If you're moving to a new business premises and undertaking the move yourself, you may be hauling more than just furniture. You'll likely transport valuable equipment and other items you'd like protected. Goods in transit insurance for a removal can ensure critical assets are covered against potential loss or damage. 

Warehouses collecting goods for storage

Warehouses often act as intermediaries that hold goods before they reach their final destination.

There's a risk of damage or loss that comes with moving goods to and from a location, making goods in transit cover an essential consideration for warehouse operators.

Fast food delivery drivers

It may seem unnecessary for fast food delivery drivers to have goods in transit courier insurance.

However, consider scenarios where a large catering order is lost or damaged. The financial implications can be significant, not just in terms of the food's value but also in reputational damage.

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What does goods in transit insurance cover?


Theft is a significant concern for anyone transporting goods. Goods in transit cover can help to provide financial protection if items are stolen while the vehicle is in motion, temporarily unattended, or even during loading and unloading (depending on your policy). There could be exclusions though, particularly if vehicles are left unsecured while temporarily unattended. Make sure you check the policy wording to see what is and isn't covered.


Sometimes, goods can get lost due to misrouting or administrative errors. Loss coverage will help to ensure financial protection. It can be particularly important for businesses that deal with high-value goods, where the financial impact of loss could be substantial.

Damage caused by accidents during transit

Goods in transit cover can include anything from minor damages due to abrupt braking to significant damages resulting from a vehicular accident. It could mean you're not left covering the costs out of pocket, which may be damaging particularly for smaller businesses.

Damage caused during loading, unloading or transit

It's not uncommon for accidental damage to occur when loading and unloading goods. More comprehensive protection plans extend their coverage to include specific activities, which can be crucial for those dealing with fragile or expensive items.

Public liability

Goods in transit and public liability insurance often, but not always, go hand in hand. Public liability can provide additional protection for you from third-party claims if your activities cause injury or property damage. If your chosen Goods in Transit insurance policy doesn't include Public Liability insurance, this may be available separately from your insurance broker as a policy ad-on.

Employers liability

If you employ others to drive or handle the goods, employers' liability insurance provides a financial safety net for you and your staff. It helps protect against claims from employees who may get injured while handling goods. If your chosen Goods in Transit insurance policy doesn't include Employers Liability insurance, this may be available separately from your insurance broker as a policy ad-on.

Delayed items

Delays can be costly, especially when transporting time-sensitive goods like perishable items. Some goods in transit insurance policies cover the costs incurred due to delays.

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What do I need to look out for when buying goods in transit insurance?

The terms around loading and unloading

Not all goods in transit van insurance policies cover the process of loading and unloading. Read the policy booklet before purchasing to understand whether these activities are included.

The terms around refrigerated items, livestock and high-value items

If your business transports specialised goods like refrigerated items, livestock, or temperature-controlled foods, you need a policy specifically covering these items. Standard policies may not offer this coverage or come at an additional cost.

Your trailer

If you use a trailer for transportation, check whether it's covered under the same policy or if you need to purchase separate trailer insurance.

Your own items used to protect the goods, such as straps, ropes, tarpaulin sheets and fastenings

Items like tarps, straps, fastenings and ropes are often used to secure goods during transit. As with goods, these items can also be damaged or lost, and replacing them can be costly. If this applies to your business, check if the goods in transit van insurance covers ancillary items.

Customers’ property

It may sound obvious, but if you're a contractor or a removal firm, you might be transporting property that belongs to your customers. Check that your policy covers customers' property as well as your own goods.

The driver’s personal property

Some policies offer coverage for the driver's personal belongings, which can be useful in scenarios where the driver needs to stay overnight with the vehicle. It provides an extra layer of protection against theft or damage.

Storage cover

Goods are sometimes stored temporarily in a warehouse or depot during transit. Check if your policy includes storage cover, which would protect your goods during these interim periods where the vehicle is likely to be unattended.

Transporting goods abroad

If your business involves international shipping, ensure your goods in transit van insurance covers international routes. Some policies offer this as an add-on or as part of a more comprehensive package.

Hazardous goods

Transporting chemicals or flammable items comes with its own set of risks. If your business requires the transportation of these or other types of hazardous goods, you may need specialised goods in transit cover. Speak to your insurance broker to ensure you get the cover you need.

How much does goods in transit insurance cost?

Goods in transit insurance costs can vary widely, depending on several factors.

The value of the goods you're carrying

The higher the value of the goods you transport, the higher the premium is likely to be.

Insurers often ask for an estimated value of your typical loads to provide a more accurate quote. 

The routes you are working

Where your business operates can also affect your premium.

You may face more costly premiums when working in areas with a higher frequency of accidents or theft. Some insurers also consider distance, with longer routes taken potentially attracting a higher policy premium.

Your claims history

A history of frequent claims might significantly increase your insurance premiums. 

Whether you want to pay monthly or annually  

Paying annually can often secure a discounted rate. However, monthly payments can offer flexibility for businesses with fluctuating cash flow.

Your no-claims bonus

A no-claims bonus is a discount given by insurers to policyholders who have not made any claims during consecutive years of holding similar insurance. Having this can significantly lower the cost of your goods in transit insurance.

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What exclusions do goods in transit insurance typically have?

Avoid unpleasant surprises when making a claim by understanding the exclusions in your goods in transit insurance policy before you buy.

Loss as a result of poor, defective or insufficient packaging

Some insurers may not cover for damage or loss if goods were poorly packaged. To help secure a valid claim, following industry standards is essential. 

Shortage in weight

A discrepancy in the documented weight and the actual weight of the goods claimed for could lead to your claim being rejected. Always double-check the weight and keep accurate records to avoid such an exclusion.

Loss because of deterioration or variation in temperature

Perishable goods or items that require a controlled temperature may not be covered if they deteriorate due to temperature changes.

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Insurance description

Dangerous goods, money, livestock and high theft-risk goods

Some policies explicitly exclude certain goods, like hazardous materials, money, livestock, or items susceptible to theft. Specialised insurance policies should be sought for these types of goods in transit.

Theft from unattended vehicles

Typically, standard policies will not cover theft if the vehicle is unattended without proper security measures being in place.

Confiscation or requisition by a government or public authority

If customs or government agencies confiscate your goods, it is unlikely you will be able to claim this loss on your goods in transit policy.

What level of cover do I need?

You can help avoid overspending simply by choosing the right level of goods in transit cover.

RHA Conditions of Carriage

If you're a member of the Road Haulage Association (RHA) or frequently work with companies that are, you'll need to consider the RHA Conditions of Carriage.

These conditions set out the minimum levels of responsibility and liability for hauliers, and your insurance should at least meet these standards.

CMR conditions

The Convention on the Contract for the International Carriage of Goods by Road (CMR) sets out the conditions for international road transportation. If you transport items across international borders, you'll need a goods in transit van insurance policy that complies with CMR conditions. Be sure to speak with your insurer as they'll be able to advise you on the best policy to meet your individual needs.

Full Value

For maximum protection, you might opt for a policy that covers the full value of the goods you're transporting; this is often the best option for high-value items. Premiums for this level of cover will likely be higher of course.

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How can I lower the cost of goods in transit insurance?

Reducing the cost of your goods in transit insurance doesn't necessarily mean compromising coverage. Here are some strategies to consider:

Improving your vehicle's security

Equip your vehicle with advanced security systems, like alarms or a GPS tracker. Your vehicle will be less attractive to thieves, and insurers may consider lower premiums for you than would otherwise be the case.

Accurately assessing the value of goods you're moving

Overestimating the value of your goods can result in higher premiums. Accurately assess and declare their value to avoid paying more than you need.

Change your excess

Increasing the amount you're willing to pay as an excess in the event of a claim may help lower your premiums. However, ensure the excess is an amount you can comfortably pay out-of-pocket if needed.

Pay annually

Some insurers offer discounts for paying your premium annually rather than monthly. If your cash flow allows it, consider making a single annual payment to take advantage of these discounts.

Why you should compare insurance quotes with us

Comparing quotes from different insurers can help you find the best deal and is a great way to see what the market in general might be offering. We work with some of the UK's leading van insurance providers, helping to save you money and time with our simple one-form process. Give us a try and see the results for yourself!

Is goods in transit insurance required by law?

No, this type of insurance is not a legal requirement in the UK, although your van must have valid insurance in place to be used on the UK’s road network at any time.

However, many businesses and clients will insist you have this type of insurance before working with you. It's a way to protect both parties from potential financial losses.

What’s the difference between goods in transit insurance and courier insurance?

Goods in transit insurance specifically covers the items you transport from one location to another. Courier insurance is more comprehensive and will help cover the vehicle used for transportation, the driver, and the goods transported.

Do I need public liability insurance as well as goods in transit insurance?

Whether you need both goods in transit and public liability insurance depends on your specific business and how often you interact with others.

Public liability insurance is designed to protect you against claims made by third parties for injuries or property damage, while goods in transit insurance covers the items you are transporting. Having both types of insurance may provide a more comprehensive safety net.

Does goods in transit insurance cover goods left in the vehicle overnight?

Yes, typically, but this depends on the specific policy which will obviously vary by provider. Some policies offer coverage for goods left in a vehicle overnight. Still, there may be conditions such as the vehicle being parked in a secure, locked compound and not left on the road or a private driveway.

Will goods in transit insurance cover goods transported outside the UK?

Some policies offer international coverage, but you must check the terms and conditions. If you frequently transport goods outside the UK, look for a policy that includes international transit.

I’m moving home – do I need goods in transit insurance?

Goods in transit insurance for removals will help protect your belongings against damage or loss. Reputable removal companies will know this and will include this in their service, but it's always good to double-check. Don’t be afraid to ask, they will be used to it!

Does goods in transit insurance cover items stored in the depot?

No, it only covers items transported inside a vehicle. Once outside the vehicle, other insurance may apply so always ensure you’ve got protection whilst the goods are in your responsibility.

Is goods in transit insurance the same as haulage insurance?

No, they are not the same. Haulage insurance is a broader type of insurance that may include goods in transit cover, vehicle insurance, and liability insurance. It's designed for businesses transporting goods over longer distances that often involve multiple stops.