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Last updated
May 15th, 2024

What is goods in transit insurance?

If transporting items or products from a factory or workshop to a business premises, retail outlet or private property is part of your job, you might consider goods in transit cover.

Goods in transit insurance is a type of business insurance that can protect you and your business against claims if property or goods get damaged, stolen or lost while being moved from one place to another while the vehicle is moving. It does not cover accidents that take place before departure or after your arrival.

Do I need goods in transit insurance?

Cover for goods in transit insurance might be useful for the likes of courier services and removal companies.

It is not a legal requirement like employers' liability insurance is if you employ people, but not having it might lead to significant disruption to your business. This includes:

  • Financial loss - if you don't have good in transit insurance then your business is entirely responsible to pay for the loss, damage or theft that may occur while goods are in transit

  • Operational disruption - If goods are lost or damaged this could lead to delays in being able to fulfil customer or client demands

  • Reputational risks - If lost or damaged goods becomes a consistent issue, it can damage your business' reputation and relationships you might have with customers or clients

How much does goods in transit insurance cost?

The cost of goods in transit insurance will vary depending on your business.

It’s always a good idea to shop around and compare different quotes to find the best deal, but there are also some things you can do to lower the cost. 

For example - having a black box policy, increasing your voluntary excess, investing in your vehicle’s security and being accurate about the value of your goods can make the insurance cheaper. 

You might also consider taking out a package business insurance policy to cover the rest of your business activities, streamlining the costs

Goods in transit policies will take into account various factors, all of which may have an influence on the premium you'll pay for the policy.

These factors include: 

  • The type of business you run

  • The level of cover you need

  • Your business’ annual turnover

  • Whether you pay annual or monthly premiums

  • The number of employees you have 

What does goods in transit cover?

Goods in transit cover is designed to protect your business against claims arising from the transportation of goods. From weather damage and infestation to something falling off the vehicle during transit, damage to goods comes in different forms. Insurance can cover items, stock or products that are:

Damaged during loading and unloading

There's a risk of damage during the loading and unloading process.

Lost

Items can easily get lost when moved around the country.

Damaged during transit

Bumpy roads, sharp turns and sudden braking can all damage goods being transported.

Stolen

Goods on the move can be targetted by thieves.

How does it work?

If you have goods in transit insurance and you realise that goods have been damaged while being transported, there are a few steps you should take:

  • Contact your insurer as soon as possible - any delay may impact the outcome of the claim

  • Submit a claim form - be sure to supply proof of the damage or loss. You can usually find this form online via your insurer

  • Submit evidence - you'll need to show that you owned or were responsible for the goods you're claiming for - for example delivery orders can prove the goods were in the vehicle at the time of the incident

When won’t you be covered with goods in transit insurance

While goods in transit insurance helps safeguard a wide range of business activities, there are some circumstances where your insurance won’t cover you. It's really important to understand any exclusions and limitations of a policy so your business doesn't get caught out.

Here are some examples of what won't be covered:

  • The items being transported are confiscated or requisitioned, for example by customs or the police.

  • Theft of, or damage to, your items or stock happens while stored at a rental.

  • The vehicle (or vehicles) used to transport goods is a road tanker or exceeds 7,500kg (gross vehicle weight).

  • You are transporting items that we can't cover, like banned substances, controlled drugs, dangerous goods, vehicles or livestock.

If your vehicle is damaged as a result of fire or accidental damage, goods in transit insurance does not cover the vehicle itself but the cost for hiring a replacement vehicle can be covered.

Goods in transit claim examples

A vehicle break-in

You’re doing an overnight delivery and stop at a service station, where you've locked your vehicle and secured the stock properly while you grab a coffee. In your absence, your van is broken into and the stock is stolen.

Lost cargo

When you’re making multiple transfers or moving large quantities, things sometimes go astray. When this happens, your goods in transit policy is designed to cover the cost of the missing items.

A dropped item

From time-to-time, things get dropped. It’s that simple. Your insurance could help, provided that you can demonstrate it was an accident rather than negligence.

Goods in transit claim examples

A vehicle break-in

You’re doing an overnight delivery and stop at a service station, where you've locked your vehicle and secured the stock properly while you grab a coffee. In your absence, your van is broken into and the stock is stolen.

Lost cargo

When you’re making multiple transfers or moving large quantities, things sometimes go astray. When this happens, your goods in transit policy is designed to cover the cost of the missing items.

A dropped item

From time-to-time, things get dropped. It’s that simple. Your insurance could help, provided that you can demonstrate it was an accident rather than negligence.

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

Goods in transit cover and courier insurance each have a different purpose, despite appealing to similar businesses.

Courier insurance is usually made up of a number of different covers to protect against the risks faced by a courier business, whereas goods in transit cover is typically bought as an add-on to an existing policy.

Goods in transit vs courier insurance
Goods in transit insuranceCourier insurance
Is my cargo protected during transit?YesNo
Is the driver and vehicle protected?NoYes
Is it a legal requirement?NoYes, if you're a courier

FAQs

Do I still need commercial vehicle insurance?

Yes, the appropriate motor insurance is a legal requirement. Goods in transit insurance doesn’t cover the vehicle itself. You can compare van insurance here.

Is business insurance a legal requirement?

Typically, business insurance in the UK is not a legal requirement, save for some exceptions. 

Under certain circumstances, employers' liability insurance can be a legal requirement for businesses employing full-time, part-time, or temporary staff.

One point you might consider to determine whether you need business insurance: what impact would an uninsured claim have on the finances of you or your business?

Will it cover goods while they are at a depot?

No, it won’t cover goods while they are being held at a depot, rather than in your vehicle. GIT insurance only covers goods while they are in transit, so you’ll need separate insurance to cover them at the depot.

Can goods left in a vehicle overnight be insured?

Goods stored in a vehicle overnight can be covered as long as everything is secured properly. Full details can be found in your policy documents.

Can I cover goods being transported abroad?

Yes, you can find cover that includes goods being transported to Europe as well as policies that  have full international shipping cover.

Will my goods be insured in any type of vehicle?

Some policies are specifically designed for certain types of vehicles. Check your vehicle is included in the policy before you sign the contract.

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

You should have public liability insurance if your business interacts with members of the public. This type of policy covers legal costs if a member of the public’s injured or their property is damaged in the course of your work. 

Goods in transit insurance only covers you if items you’re transporting are lost, stolen or damaged.

Can I get a goods in transit insurance policy for a fleet?

Yes, but there may be limits to how many vehicles you can cover and maximum cover limits. For this reason, make sure you shop around to find a policy that suits your needs and business. 

You can also take out goods in transit insurance as an add-on to your general fleet insurance.

What’s the cost of goods in transit insurance?

The price of goods in transit insurance may vary depending on things like, how many employees you have, the level of cover you choose and your business turnover.

What level of cover do I need?

The level of cover depends on the risks your business faces. Check the specific policy for details, or speak to the insurance provider.

What are the different types of business insurance?

Public liability insurance

This covers damage caused by your business to a third party or their property. A third party is typically anyone not employed by your business.

Professional indemnity insurance

This covers claims made due to failings in the products or services provided by you or your company.

Employers' liability insurance

Employers' liability insurance provides cover to UK employers against legal liabilities and costs if staff become ill or injured due to their work. It's a legal requirement.

Tradesman insurance

Tradesman insurance lets you build the right cover for your trade - with insurance available for everything from tools to injuries, accidents and more all in one package.

Self-employed insurance

Self-employed insurance helps you protect yourself from being out of pocket from legal action, data breaches or personal injury - whether you work from home or head out to visit clients.

What are the different types of business insurance?

Public liability insurance

This covers damage caused by your business to a third party or their property. A third party is typically anyone not employed by your business.

Professional indemnity insurance

This covers claims made due to failings in the products or services provided by you or your company.

Employers' liability insurance

Employers' liability insurance provides cover to UK employers against legal liabilities and costs if staff become ill or injured due to their work. It's a legal requirement.

Tradesman insurance

Tradesman insurance lets you build the right cover for your trade - with insurance available for everything from tools to injuries, accidents and more all in one package.

Self-employed insurance

Self-employed insurance helps you protect yourself from being out of pocket from legal action, data breaches or personal injury - whether you work from home or head out to visit clients.

Why Superscript?

We make it quick and easy to find, buy and manage your business insurance.

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Insure the goods in your vehicles and team
One policy can be used to insure the goods transported in up to five vehicles. You can also add cover for your employees if you need it.
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Hassle-free claims
If you need to make a claim, our five-star rated claims team (based in the UK) aims to get you back up and running as soon as possible.
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Choose what you need
Build the insurance policy you want by picking the covers you need and leaving the ones you don't. Concerned about deterioration of stock? There’s an option for extra protection for that too.

Learn more about our business insurance partner

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We qualify, quantify and offer insurance using data, analysis and technology, and we serve a wide range of business types — from dog walkers and dieticians, to landlords and locksmiths. Enro Ltd t/a Superscript is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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About the author

Lucinda O'Brien
Lucinda O'Brien has spent the past 10 years writing and editing content for regional and national titles. She applies her industry knowledge to ensure readers can make confident financial decisions.

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