Food Delivery Driver Car Insurance [FAQ] Washington State
Will Your Insurance Cover Food Deliveries?
You’re out husting some cash in the new gig economy by delivering food on-demand using an app on your phone. You accidentally drop your phone and while reaching for it you only take your eyes off the road for a second. What you don’t realize until you feel the impact is that the car in front of you stopped suddenly when the light turned yellow.
Both your car and the car you hit have quite a bit of damage. Much more than just the bumpers. The other driver appears to be hurt pretty bad too, having to be taken to the hospital by ambulance on a stretcher.
Now comes the moment of truth. Do you have the right kind of insurance? Do you have enough insurance? What happens if you don’t?
What you need to know about food delivery car insurance:
Food Delivery Car Insurance – Frequently Asked Questions
What Kind of Insurance Should Food Delivery Drivers Have?
The company that you are working for isn’t required to provide you with insurance or with their insurance information; they only are required to tell you that you need to have auto insurance.
If you’re thinking about taking a job delivering food, there are a few things you ought to consider before accepting the position.
Will You Be Using A Company Vehicle To Deliver Food?
If you will be driving a company-owned vehicle, liability for an accident is the responsibility of your employer. Of course, any tickets you might get are on you. So go ahead and clock in and start driving … just be careful.
Will You Be Using Your Personal Vehicle to Deliver Food?
Regardless of what kind of delivery driving you do, if you are being paid to deliver it, a personal insurance policy is not designed to provide commercial auto coverage. To cover using your car for a business purpose such as being a delivery driver, you need a commercial car insurance policy.
Without proper insurance, you could be held personally responsible for any injuries and damage you cause while driving for work. A commercial policy is needed for food delivery, freight delivery, courier delivery, and any other delivery driving service for a fee.
If you are using your personal vehicle to make deliveries, it is considered a business use, not personal use and your personal car insurance policy most likely will not provide you any insurance coverage. You need to have what is called a commercial auto insurance policy.
Even if the employer’s policy covers the liability to the other person, remember their policy will not provide protection for you. Damage to your car is not covered and injuries you sustain most likely are not covered unless you can file a Labor & Industries claim.
Why Is Food Delivery Not Covered By My Regular Insurance Policy?
A personal policy is simply that, insurance coverage for your personal driving needs. Delivering food for a delivery service like UberEats, GrubHub, Doordash, Instacart, or Postmates or for a local restaurant like Jimmy Johns or the local pizza shop is not classified as personal use. Drivers who are doing deliveries spend a lot more time on the road and may even have delivery time expectations put on them by the delivery companies which increases the chances of an accident, which, in turn, means the insurance company will be paying out more for claims.
Insurance companies charge higher rates for commercial use because delivery drivers are on the road more and therefore are more likely to be in an accident and file a claim. But without proper insurance coverage, you would be responsible for paying any repairs and medical bills both for yourself and others if you have an accident.
What if I don’t tell my insurance company I am delivering food?
Simply not telling your insurance agent that you are using your car for delivery does not magically provide coverage. Even claiming you talked to your personal car insurance agent about delivery coverage does not change the wording of your personal car insurance policy. Insurance policy wording is not subjective. The wording in the policy determines the insurance coverage you have. Either it provides coverage or it doesn’t.
If, after an accident, you deny that you were on a delivery run and the insurance company discovers you lied to them, you are now at risk of insurance fraud charges. How will they find out? Were you clocked in at work? Were you using an app? This information all becomes available to the insurance company after an insurance claim. This is serious crap people. Stop driving right now until you know you are covered.
Without a Commercial Insurance Policy, Who Pays?
Attorneys prefer to sue whoever has the most money, which in most cases would be the employer rather than the employee. Because victims are entitled to recover from anyone who is negligent, lawyers will usually go after the everyone they need to in order to get compensation for their client. This will include as a minimum the employer, the car’s owner, and the driver.
Employer: Some businesses do not carry commercial car insurance so are uninsured or, if they do have insurance, are very underinsured either because they don’t know they need a policy or they are trying to avoid the expense. Whatever the reason, an uninsured or underinsured employer can spell real trouble for a delivery driver.
Car Owner: In Washington state, when the owner of the vehicle allows someone to drive their vehicle, they assume responsibility for any injuries or damages caused while that person is driving their vehicle. If the owner has a personal policy then they probably have no liability coverage at all and will be personally responsible for the damages done. This is especially important for parents to realize they could lose everything due to a serious accident caused by their child who was earing a few bucks delivering pizza etc.
Driver: Finally it will be up to the driver & their insurance to cover the injuries and damages done. Just like for the car owner, if the driver’s insurance declines auto coverage because they don’t cover deliveries, then the driver will be held personally liable for the damages.
Whether you are a full-time employee or an independent contractor, your employer should be liable for any accidents or damages that occur while working. However, if you are sued, who will pay the lawyer to fight for you in court so that you don’t end up having to pay?
How Much Insurance Should I Buy For Food Delivery?
A state-minimum liability insurance policy may be cheap but if put to the test it can easily fail you. Anything more serious than a common fender-bender can result in an insurance claim that easily exceeds these minimum limits. Once the limits are hit, it will be the driver’s personal assets or, if a dependent, their parents’ assets that are at risk.
How much coverage you need will depend on what you have at risk in the way of assets. State-minimum limits most likely won’t be enough. We recommend you carry at least $100,000 bodily injury liability per person, $300,000 per accident, and $100,000 property damage, commonly written as 100/300/100. And, unless you are willing to lose everything and file bankruptcy, you may want to discuss with us more coverage options.
How much does food delivery insurance cost?
Pizza and food delivery insurance cost is determined based on a range of factors, such as vehicle type and claims history. While cost is always a factor, buying the cheapest pizza delivery insurance may not have the coverages you need. Selecting adequate coverage to meet your needs should always be the most important aspect when choosing a policy.
How Can You Protect Yourself While Doing Food Delivery?
If you are using your personal vehicle to deliver pizza, sandwiches, or any delivery service make sure you have commercial auto insurance coverage or have your insurance agent show you in writing where your personal insurance policy allows for delivery. It would also be a good idea to check the employment agreement with your employer to see if there are any provisions in the agreement regarding who will be liable in the event of an accident.
The only sure way to be covered your liability to others and damages to you and your car is to purchase a commercial policy. These policies usually are a bit more expensive than a regular personal policy but at least you will be covered if something does happen.
Let us help! Discuss your commercial auto insurance options with one of our licensed insurance professionals. Remember, not disclosing that you do delivery doesn’t mean you get free coverage. Contact us if you have questions or would like an insurance review.
Mid-Columbia Insurance can provide affordable food delivery insurance for drivers in Washington state. Food delivery car insurance starts as low as $59 per month. Contact an agent today for a quick insurance quote: (509)783-5600
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