Delivery of fish and chips in the west of the island is in limbo due to difficulties in getting delivery insurance.

David Matthews, who owns Peel Fisheries Chippy, Cod And Castle and Quayside Fish & Chips, has said that he has contacted more than 50 insurance companies to get fast food delivery insurance, and has still been unsuccessful in getting a quote.

He said: ‘We wanted to get into the delivery business after the summer when the business slows down a bit.

‘We thought it would boost our trade, and give the community something that everyone wants.’

‘So we invested heavily over the summer in new tools with online ordering systems, we bought a car, knowing that we were going to start delivering, but we have found the formality of getting insurance is impossible.’

The fast food delivery insurance protects drivers and the cars they use, when they are making deliveries.

A letter was issued in September last year by the Isle of Man Constabulary to takeaway business owners, which said: ‘Legally any person conducting any such deliveries on behalf of the business must have the appropriate, and correct, level of vehicle insurance in place to cover this activity.’

It said that delivery drivers are not necessarily covered under business use, and added: ‘It is therefore vitally important that you, or your drivers, review their insurance policies and where necessary disclose to their insurance company that the insured vehicle(s) are being used for delivering food, as any false claims (accidental or otherwise) given to an insurance company may render a policy invalid, and could lead to potential criminal offences.’

Whilst Peel Fisheries Chippy offered takeaway during the pandemic, and had insurance at the time for that, it stopped takeaways after the third lockdown, and did not renew its policy at the time.

Mr Matthews said: ‘A lot of the takeaway businesses now that deliver have an existing policy.

‘If you haven’t already got an existing policy, you cannot get a new one.’

He added: ‘We are literally ready to go, we have drivers lined up, cars, tills set up at the back, an extra phoneline, but we don’t have the insurance.’

A spokesperson for DFE said: ‘The Department for Enterprise is aware of the issues experienced by some local businesses regarding their ability to secure fast food delivery insurance for delivery drivers.

‘Since it was brought to our attention the Department has been working with local brokers and insurance companies to better understand the barriers to obtaining this product and to explore the options available for a solution.

‘It is our understanding that this issue is not unique to the Isle of Man, and that the Channel Islands and the UK are similarly affected.

‘The Department is committed to working with the local insurance sector to support a resolution, recognising the value that local deliveries provide to the community.’