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The courier industry insurance requirements are unenforceable because:


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The insurance requirements are unfair and therefore unenforceable terms.

 

  • First, it cannot be correct that the service provider expects the customer to protect – (essentially them, the service provider) – from having to bear the cost of compensating for their own negligence or the criminality of their own employees. This is effectively requiring the customer to pay for the service provider' s breach of contract.

 

  • Second, the service provider is required to use reasonable care and skill – and the insurance requirement amounts to contracting out of their duty.

 

  • Third. The insurance requirement imposed by the courier industry is intended to remove your rights under the Consumer Rights Act that the service provided to you should be carried out with reasonable care and skill. The insurance requirement effectively grants you that right only if you pay an additional fee and this amounts to an attempt to restrict or exclude the courier's liability and is contrary to section 57 of the Consumer Rights Act 2015. (It is worth pointing out that the courier industry insurance requirement is different to warranties and extended warranties – because extended warranties supplement your statutory rights. The courier industry insurance requirement is a very clear attempt to deprive you of your statutory rights unless you pay an additional fee.)

 

  • Four, where an item is stolen, not only is it a criminal act but also it is an act of conversion – which is a tort. It is unfair to require the customer to be responsible for the torts of the service providers own employees.

 

  • Five, the service provider is a large well resourced company and is the better loss bearer.

 

  • Six, the service provider would be able to obtain insurance on extremely advantageous rates compared to the premiums which are required from their customers.

 

  • Seven, it is anti-competitive in the sense that requiring the customer to take out what is effectively a warranty, removes the motivation from the service provider to improve their systems or to be more diligent about who they employ.

 

  • Eight, the customer has no choice in the sense that everyone in the industry is doing it so it is not possible to go to another provider and select a service without that provision.

 

  • Nine, the courier industry does have a choice.  They have an alternative way of dealing with this. 
    It wouldn't be beyond the wit of the service providers to structure their tariffs differently so that an insurance element is still included but is simply presented differently as part of the basic delivery cost. This would mean that the tariffs would be rejigged – and nobody would ever be denied compensation because some kind of insurance element would be built into the system. (Let's face it, this is how insurance works anyway – it's all about loss distribution.)

 

  • Ten, (and of course we will never discover…) It would be interesting to know how much of the insurance premiums is actually spent refunding customers for their lost and damaged items, and how much is simply profit for the service provider. (Given that they deliver millions of parcels every year, I'll bet you it's a nice little sideline.)
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