The Covid-19 pandemic has led to deep and varied changes in the courier industry. Some of these changes have benefited couriers but others have caused challenges that need to be adapted to. The risk profile of the courier industry has changed because of the pandemic and this means that couriers insurance is now more important than ever. This article explains how Covid has impacted the courier industry and how very important it is that couriers protect themselves with appropriate insurance.
The pandemic and the associated restrictions imposed by governments have greatly promoted the growth of online shopping and deliveries. This in turn has led to a surge in demand for courier services. Overall this has been a positive thing for the courier industry, creating more jobs and increasing revenues. The increased demand has its challenges however. If a courier business is already operating at maximum capacity any business interruption can lead to delivery delays. Delivery delays can lead to loss of customers, insurance claims against the courier business, extra costs in overtime wages and the risk of employee burnout.
Insurance is especially important to protect courier businesses in times like this. Business interruption insurance is particularly necessary because any disruption can easily cause delays and the above mentioned issues.
Supply Chain Issues
Covid has tested supply chains around the world – many to the breaking point. Whether it is delays at ports, transport workers in quarantine or factory shutdowns, supply chain problems impact the courier industry negatively. It is harder than ever to predict delivery times for goods and this can lead to frustrated customers and increased risk of liability for the courier. The courier industry has adapted to these issues by increasing the tracking of parcels to allow customers to easily check for themselves where their goods are. Updates in the delivery time estimates are increasingly being given to customers through automatic notifications.
Insurance is very important in this area too because extended delays can lead to insurance claims for lost or undelivered parcels. If the goods are not insured with goods in transit insurance the financial burden will weigh entirely on the courier company.
Increased Hygiene Requirements
Couriers usually interact face to face with many people around the city over the course of their workday. Now, with the virus in the community, hygiene practices for couriers are more important than ever. Many courier businesses have adapted to this by increasing their training in hygiene practices. Couriers now commonly carry hand sanitisers in the courier vehicle and avoid touching their faces. In many cases they also utilise personal protective equipment such as gloves and masks. In order to prevent the spread of the virus through their courier service, many couriers are reducing their person to person contact by maintaining social distancing and not requiring signatures upon delivery.
Insurance is very important to help couriers manage risks associated with covid hygiene. Insurance can protect the business against costly public liability claims made against it.
Couriers Sick or Isolating
The courier industry relies on people. The covid pandemic and government restrictions have meant that people have had to be on sick leave for longer than usual. This can either lead to loss of revenue if the business is interrupted and also to higher costs for the worker’s sick leave combined with the cost of paying for replacement workers.
Insurance can protect businesses from financial harm in these scenarios. If business operation is impaired then business interruption insurance can maintain the income for a set period of time. Personal accident and sickness insurance can support the worker who is unable to work due to covid sickness.
Couriers in Food Delivery
Food delivery was already increasing before the pandemic and this trend has increased by leaps and bounds since. In many places restaurants were closed for dine in or had severe restrictions on how many people they could seat. This meant that restaurants depended on food delivery to stay afloat during the pandemic. Even now people are enjoying the convenience of having their groceries, meals and beverages delivered to their homes or workplaces.
Couriers dealing with food have many of the same insurance risks that couriers who deliver parcels do except with the increased risk of harm caused to the public through food contamination or spoilage. These couriers can be protected from such risks by policies such as public liability insurance and goods in transit insurance.
Couriers in the Medical Sector
Delivery of medical supplies has also become an important growth sector in the courier industry during the pandemic. Transport for ordinary pharmaceuticals as well as covid related samples and vaccines has been widely utilised. The customers in this industry may be anything from hospitals, clinics, testing facilities, pharmacies to the public in their homes.
Courier work in this industry comes with increased risk of harm to the courier or to the public. There is also higher risk of financial loss to the courier if the medical goods in transit are damaged or lost due to high degree of harm or expensive damage that could occur if, for example, temperature control was not maintained during the transport of body tissue. Insurance is therefore extremely important for couriers involved in the medical sector to pay for legal costs and compensation when something goes wrong.