Demand for courier services in the UK is undoubtedly on the rise, as more than half (55%) of UK consumers shop online, with the most popular online purchase being fashion and apparel. This resulted in an astonishing 4.1 billion parcels being delivered nationwide in the 2020-2021 period, up almost 50% from the previous year. Alan Inskip writes
This rise in demand for home deliveries is also evident in the latest figures for new light commercial vehicle (LCV) registrations. More than 350,000 new LCVs were registered in 2021, up 21% on the previous year, and ending with the best December for the sector since 2015 with an 8% increase.
In a time of immense economic uncertainty, this boom in demand for courier services has created essential employment opportunities and has helped new start-up businesses (and those forced to shut their doors or significantly reduce their footfall) to gain quicker access to a wider market.
It has also created a more convenient experience for online shoppers, who are becoming increasingly demanding. In fact, the vast majority (82%) of consumers are not prepared to wait more than five days for their product to be delivered after ordering it online, with one in nine (11%) saying that anything longer than two days is a deal breaker.
This places tremendous pressure on the entire value chain, but especially on the courier, who is expected to meet challenging delivery deadlines from both the seller and the consumer. With more products being delivered within increasingly strenuous timelines, there is always the risk of an accident, which can have a severe impact on the entire value chain.
Flexible insurance that adapts to rapidly changing demands within courier services
Courier drivers are legally required to purchase courier insurance to cover the vehicle for business use. This provides cover for first party and third party damages while transporting goods. But traditional fixed-term courier insurance, much like other fixed-term commercial and personal insurance policies for that matter, can often prove to be frustratingly inflexible when it comes to policy duration.
In an increasingly digitalised economy, flexibility and agility is an essential trait for any courier, and temporary courier insurance adds value by fitting entirely in line with the demands of the business during peak and quiet times.
Couriers do not need to commit to amending their annual policy for additional drivers and risk raising their premiums in uncertain trading conditions, while self-employed couriers who work on an ad-hoc basis can get fully-comprehensive cover for just the time required – from one hour to 28 days.
In an age where consumers demand instant gratification, couriers can’t afford to be held back by a cumbersome and time-consuming insurance application process. Advanced InsurTech ensures that it takes just 90 seconds to get comprehensive temporary courier insurance via a digital quote and buy process, thereby enabling couriers to scale up or down quickly without incurring long-term costs.
Alan Inskip is the founder and CEO of Tempcover