by Wendy Wagner, West Bend Personal Lines underwriter
If you use your personal vehicle for deliveries, will you get a generous tip or a substantial bill for your damaged vehicle?
In the current world of social distancing and self-quarantining, delivery app services are in high demand. If you decided to supplement your income by becoming a delivery driver, do you and your car have insurance coverage if you have an accident while you’re making a delivery?
Here are a few tips to help prevent paying out of pocket if you have an auto accident while making deliveries.
1. Don’t assume personal auto insurance automatically provides coverage.
Some insurance carriers do permit their policyholders to deliver food but it’s usually only if they’re employed by one eatery. Most standard personal auto and umbrella policies include exclusionary language against delivery of goods or persons for public delivery app services like Uber Eats, GrubHub, and DoorDash. The exclusion language usually references an auto being held out to the public as a means of transportation (of people or property) for which the driver/policyholder will be paid for that transportation. This includes, but is not limited to, any period of time the driver is logged into a transportation network platform, whether or not a passenger or meal is being transported in the vehicle at the time of the accident.
2. Call your insurance agent.
Let them know you’re using your vehicle to make deliveries. Ask your agent if your current auto insurance covers your delivery exposure. If it doesn’t, find out if delivery coverage can be added to your policy.
3. Contact your delivery app company.
Find out what insurance coverage is required and if they offer insurance coverage. But be careful! Some delivery apps will provide coverage only if you have food in your car but not while driving to the restaurant. Also, in the event of a loss, some delivery app companies will only “pay in excess.” This means your own underlying insurance policy will have to respond to a claim before the delivery app company’s excess/secondary policy responds.
4. Inquire about a commercial auto insurance policy.
Call your insurance agent about a commercial auto policy If you feel you’re not covered adequately under your personal auto insurance policy or with your delivery app company.
So, before you hop into your car to make that next delivery, be sure to call your insurance agent to make sure you and your vehicle are protected!
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