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What Happens if You Are in an Accident While Delivering for Grubhub, Postmates Instacart or Doordash?

Do you need extra insurance for Grubhub, Doordash, Postmates, Instacart or other delivery companies?

After all, your personal insurance isn't going to pay out.

Were you aware of that?

You NEED to be aware.


As in, don't deliver another single freaking order until you know you are covered.

I am dead serious. Update your insurance now. Get covered. Otherwise, quit the independent contractor gig effective immediately.

It's not worth the risk. The few dollars you earn doing this aren't worth what it can cost you not being covered. Stop now, resolve this.

Having the wrong insurance for delivery can leave you in a precarious situation

Grubhub, Postmates, Doordash etc are leaving you hanging in the wind.

Did you know that none of these companies provide you any insurance at all while you are driving?

Were you aware that personal insurance will not cover you if you are simply logged in as available for delivery?

In my opinion, this is absolutely criminal.

Grubhub, Doordash, Postmates, Instacart all require proof of insurance. So, drivers think that they have all they need.

These companies KNOW that personal policies do not cover you in insurance, and they don't tell you about it.

When have you ever seen anything from any of these companies that says that personal insurance isn't going to cover you? When have they ever warned their drivers of this?

Personal policies exclude delivery work

If you have just a normal insurance policy, go pull it out or pull it up electronically. Look for the section called exclusions.

Search for terms like ‘livery' ‘commercial use' or delivery.

I'll almost guarantee that delivery work is specifically excluded. Very few regular policies allow delivery work.

If they know you were even logged in as available on a delivery app, they won't cover you. They have the right to do that, because they specifically stated it in their policy.

It's not a matter of them weaseling out of what they should pay. This isn't to defend insurance companies. They are weasels. Just not in this instance.

The delivery companies do not provide coverage for you while on delivery.

Instacart driver on phone with insurance after an accident
If the accident happens while you're on a delivery, you're usually going to find neither the delivery company nor your insurance will cover you.

We think that hey, we're doing work for them so they'll have our backs, right? That's the problem: they don't have our backs. They don't cover us in any way.

In fact, it could be a big mistake to contact them about an accident. Many gig economy companies can deactivate your account if you have a ticket or accident while on a delivery.

Postmates will provide liability coverage from the moment you accept an order.

There is no coverage for you.

Your car is uncovered.

Your injuries are not covered.

There is only coverage for any one else's property or injuries that you are liable for. Both Postmates and your insurance will deny coverage for any accident that happens when you are available on the app.

Doordash will provide liability coverage as long as you have food in your car

Doordash and your insurance will deny your claim if the accident happens on the way to the restaurant.

They will deny your coverage if you are simply available on the app.

You're not covered by Doordash or your insurance. There is no insurance for you.

Doordash did add coverage for injuries and limited disability if it happens while on a delivery. They don't define ‘on a delivery.' Their liability statement limits coverage to when you have food in the car, so I assume the same to be true for these.

Grubhub provides no insurance at all.

You are completely uncovered as long as you are available to take orders.

  • There's no liability insurance
  • There's no insurance for you.
  • Your car isn't covered.
  • You aren't covered.

It's pretty much the same thing as driving around without any insurance. Grubhub doesn't cover you and neither does your insurance company.

Uber Eats is an exception.

They do provide coverage for you, with I believe a $1,000 deductible, if you have comprehensive and collission on your personal policy.

Uber Eats also provides liability coverage while you are on the way to pick up food and while you are making a delivery.

There is still a gap with them, during the times you are available for deliveries but not en-route to a delivery.

So what happens if I'm not covered?

Young couple learns from insurance agent their accident claim was denied
What do you do if you find out your insurance isn't going to cover you for an accident while you're on delivery?

Hope you got lots of money.

If you owe money on your car and it gets wrecked, you've got a problem.

The lender is likely going to require you to get the car fixed, and that comes out of your pocket. If you don't fix it, they can call the loan due, meaning you have to pay it off.

Even if your car is totaled and you can't drive it any longer, you still have to pay for it.

If you are liable for damage or injuries to someone else, they can get a judgment against you. What that means varies depending on where you live and what protections are there in your state.

  • That could mean that they can come after your savings and your assets.
  • That means you could lose your house if you own it.
  • It means that you could be put on a payment plan.
  • It could force you into bankruptcy, and there's no guarantee bankruptcy will protect you.

This is serious crap people. Stop driving right now until you know you are covered.

The insurance company doesn't have to know I'm on delivery, right?

Are you really that willing to take that kind of risk?

Keep this in mind: If you deny that you were on a delivery, especially if you cover that up, and the insurance company finds out that you were on a delivery, you are now at risk of insurance fraud charges.

How are they going to find out?

Certainly, they would never know, right?

I know it seems that way, however there can be all sorts of indicators.

  • Does the police report indicate there were delivery bags in the car?
  • Did you have food with you?
  • Did it happen while pulling out of a restaurant parking lot?

There are plenty of things that could indicate you were on delivery, enough so that it could lead the company to investigate.

Couldn't I just hide the food?

Investigators examine an accident that happened during a delivery
When the accident is more severe, you're probably not thinking about what to do with your Grubhub or Instacart delivery items.

I've seen some people in forums who say they keep the food in the trunk for that very reason. No one's going to see the food then.

I remember a picture from a news story of a fatal car accident. Littered on the ground are some Grubhub delivery bags. When the accident is severe enough, you don't have the opportunity to “hide the evidence.”

If you survive the accident the last thing on your mind is to think about whether the insurance company is going to know you were on delivery. All you're thinking about is how you are feeling.

You can see the news article about the accident in Lansing, Michigan.This accident happened early morning, so it is unlikely the driver was on delivery.

However, I can guarantee that just the presence of the delivery bags is enough for the insurance company to investigate whether or not the driver actually WAS on a delivery.

It's that thing I said about insurance companies being weasels. They don't want to pay out if they don't have to.

When the accident is this severe, when there is a LOT of money on the line, you can guarantee that the insurance company will investigate to find out if they can get out of paying a settlement.

Someone replied in a discussion on this that the driver is dead, so no one is going to care about insurance here.

Folks, think about this.

If this were your family member, do you think it just ends with their death? What if the death benefit is denied? What if someone hurt in the accident came after your family?

Get the right insurance

Car keys sitting on top of Grubhub contractor's auto insurance documents
Whether verifying your insurance is sufficient or updating your policy, the main thing is you MUST make sure you care covered.

EDIT (added February 19, 2020) – My goal isn't to sell insurance, but to make sure you ARE insured properly. Often you can do that without changing insurance companies.

I published this article that goes a little more into three steps on how to get the right insurance as a delivery driver for Grubhub, Doordash, Postmates and others.

Make sure that your assets, your family, your estate are protected if the unfortunate ever happens.

Check with your insurance

I mentioned above looking through your policy and looking for those exclusions.

As soon as you see anything about delivery, livery, or commercial use, you know already that you are not covered. You know that you have to do something different.

If you're not sure, call your agent or your insurance company and ask them specifically if you would be covered while being paid to do delivery work.

If the answer is no, ask if they have a rider or endorsement that they can add. State Farm is one that I hear often where people have that option. Honestly, it varies by company and by state.

If they do not provide any options, you have only two choices:

  • Change insurance, or
  • Quit driving.

That's it. Driving uncovered is just not an option if you are in any way any type of responsible human being. You are putting yourself, your family, and others at risk.

Magnifying glass over an insurance policy to examine for delivery exclusions
Examine your insurance policy. Find out if your delivery work is excluded.

You are a business owner. That should translate into being a responsible human being.

Check into Rideshare and Commercial Options

Some rideshare policies will cover delivery. SOME. Not all.

With the explosion of Uber and Lyft drivers, more options have come available to provide insurance that covers the gaps in the rideshare coverages.

I know, delivery isn't the same as rideshare. The reason that I even bring it up is that ride-share and delivery both fall under the ‘livery' classification.

Don't assume that rideshare endorsements will cover your delivery work, however. This is because many of these policies rely on the insurance provided by Lyft and Uber.

Grubhub, Doordash, Postmates, and Instacart don't have that same coverage. You need to specifically ask if the rideshare policy covers delivery work.

Commercial policies

There are a number of commercial options that provide coverage for delivery work and that are reasonably priced.

My commercial policy was only about $40 per month higher than my original personal policy.

Many of the major carriers like Geico, Progressive, and Esurance have options. Availability can vary by state, but search for “Commercial courier auto insurance in (state name)”

One option that might make that search easier is Tivly, who offers a variety of options for commercial insurance.

The advantage in using them is, they have relationships with commercial providers in all 50 states. They're a sort of one stop option for finding a policy.

They are NOT insurance agents. It's more of a referral network. However, they can be a good place to start if you don't know where to begin. The link below is an affiliate link, meaning I may receive a commission which helps keep this site operating.

Make a smart business decision here.

Folks, a few extra dollars for insurance should not be a deal breaker here.

I get the sense in the driver forums that people don't feel like they should have to pay extra for insurance for their jobs. But you have to remember, this isn't a job.

Maybe it should be, that's a totally different topic of discussion.

You are running a business. Don't leave your business vulnerable here. One of the worst things you can do for your business is to leave it unprotected.

Get the right insurance before you deliver another item.

Could this help someone else? Please share it.

About the Author

Ron Walter made the move from business manager at a non-profit to full time gig economy delivery in 2018 to take advantage of the flexibility of self-employment. He applied his thirty years experience managing and owning small businesses to treat his independent contractor role as the business it is.

Realizing his experience could help other drivers, he founded to encourage delivery drivers to be the boss of their own gig economy business.

Ron has been quoted in several national outlets including Business Insider, the New York Times, CNN and Market Watch.

You can read more about Ron's story,, background, and why he believes making the switch from a career as a business manager to delivering as an independent contractor was the best decision he could have made.

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