When it comes to insurance, couriers, hauliers and parcel carriers want a deal that really delivers

In such a cost-sensitive industry, price is obviously key. But whether a single self-employed motorcycle courier, or operator of a van fleet, its equally if not more important that you’re properly protected by effective and appropriate cover.

Fresh competition always helps keep a market on its toes and so the recent arrival of  Principal Insurance to the sector should be welcome news to those searching out a well-rounded deal.

The Manchester-headquartered specialist insurance group is growing fast, powered by an extensive portfolio of niche policies which includes dedicated courier and fleet insurance schemes.

Whilst only founded in 2011 with motorcycle insurance its first specialism, Principal is this year set to broker policies worth some £20m. Already serving over 40,000 policyholders it is forecasting that number will rise to between 60-7000 by the end of the group’s financial year this October.

Specialist courier cover sits within Principal’s Commercial Insurance division. Led by Dave Titterington its offer includes designated hire and reward and goods in transit policies for motorcycles, vans and sub-7.5 tonne trucks.

Titterington has a simple answer to why Principal has emerged so swiftly as a notable player in the courier and wider van insurance sectors. “We’ve got a team here that both really understands the market and will invest the time necessary to understand what the customer actually needs,” he says. 

“Price is always going to be absolutely central to the purchasing decision, but couriers also want the confidence to know they have the right cover in place, that if something should happen their insurer will be there for them. It can be business-critical so it’s not something people want to cut corners on.”

To that end Principal works with a broad panel of insurers to ensure it can offer cover for a variety of risks. These include the likes of Ageas, Anjuna, Aviva, AXA, Equity Red Star, Highway and PolicyPlan. As a result the Principal team can meet everything from relatively everyday demands, such as road cover for any employee, to more complicated risk such as motoring convictions.

The type of vehicle for which the team can arrange cover is equally diverse. Bike couriers will no doubt appreciate the group’s motorcycle background which means commercial nous is backed by extensive knowledge of the huge variety of machines employed to handle both city and inter-city drops.

When it comes to four and four-plus wheels, then Principal can sort cover for box, tipper, curtain slider and refrigerated vans and trucks. That’s your Peugeot Partners and Vauxhall Combis, through your Mercedes Sprinters and Transits and on to, say, a DAF LF or MAN TGL.

“We take great pride in the range of risks for which we can arrange cover,” says Titterington. “Because we’re specialist we’re used to dealing with and resolving queries that might be beyond the reach of a general broker.”

By Alison