Goods in transit and public liability insurance are both designed to pay out if a customer claims compensation from you.

We look at what both insurance types cover so you can decide if you need it.

What is goods in transit insurance?

You can use goods in transit insurance (GIT insurance) to protect your business from losses caused when you transport or deliver goods. The cover applies if they are stolen, lost or damaged, including by accidental collisions.

Your standard car or van insurance might not cover any goods you carry. Goods in transit insurance is mostly used by businesses that specifically transport items like haulage companies and couriers, giving peace of mind that they'll have help in recovering the cost if things go wrong.

Your policy will specify a maximum cover amount. If it were set at 10,000, you could get a maximum payout of 10,000 (minus the excess) if the stolen or damaged goods you were carrying were worth that much or more.

Watch out for restrictions - some policies exclude "theft-attractive items" like tablets and mobile phones, while others specify a weight restriction, so will only pay out a certain amount per kilogram of lost cargo. If you're carrying goods that don't weigh much but cost a lot, the payout could be far too small to cover your costs if your policy includes a weight limit.

What is public liability insurance?

If your business involves contact with the public, you can use public liability insurance to protect it from third party claims for injury or for damage to people's property.

If a customer slipped on a wet floor or damaged their car on a pothole in your car park, it could pay out to cover any compensation costs. It can also include more serious accidents, injuries and even death too.

Choosing your policy

Both types are available separately, but it can be cheaper to get them as part of a wider business insurance policy that also includes your other insurance needs like contents and buildings cover.

Choosing the level of insurance you need depends on the amount of risk your business brings. If you frequently transport high value goods or allow the public onto a dangerous site or into risky situations (such as if you're an extreme sports instructor), you'll need more cover than an office based accountancy firm might.

Use our comparison to find several online quotes that will provide enough cover and benefits to ensure that they'll pay out enough if you need to claim.

Once you've found a few suitable policies, pick the one with the lowest premiums and a manageable excess.