What money disaster?
The disaster that happens if you get into an accident and your insurance won't cover you.
There's a high probability that your insurance won't cover you when delivering for any of the food delivery services, including Doordash. Chances are high that your insurance policy specifically excludes you when you are delivering.
What do you do with that? Do you need special insurance like a commercial auto insurance policy? Are you uninsured when delivering? Does Doordash have your back? Who covers what if you are in an accident? How do you find out?
Let's look into that and find out how you can protect yourself from financial calamity. We'll look at the Doordash insurance requirements and how they differ from that of your insurance. What is the insurance risk for food delivery drivers? What can you do to protect yourself from a financial disaster?
Note that personal auto policies and requirements vary from state to state. This article concentrates on contractors for delivery companies in the United States (especially Doordash). Insurance requirements may vary in other countries. Read on as we discuss:
- How personal auto insurance policies look at Doordash delivery
- What insurance coverage does Doordash provide if any?
- How to make sure you are covered while on delivery
- My personal experience shopping for insurance that would cover me
- Frequently asked questions about Doordash, Insurance, and Delivery
Personal Car and Auto Insurance Policies and Doordash Delivery
I don't know why Doordash doesn't tell you this: you probably aren't insured while delivering for them.
Most auto insurance policies have a list of exceptions or exclusions included in the policy. A lot of the policy includes all the things the insurance covers and what time of coverage, but there's a big old BUT at the back.
It's basically saying, we cover all of this BUT this, this and this. With most insurance companies, delivery work is one of those “buts. “
It's not just Doordash. It's for any of the delivery apps. This is even true of sandwich or pizza delivery employees that use their personal vehicles.
In a nutshell, most auto insurance policies say they don't cover you when using your car for delivery, commercial purposes, or “livery” (the transportation of goods or passengers for hire).
If you have an accident while on delivery, you are on your own.
Does Doordash Provide Commercial Car Insurance?
Doordash does not provide an actual auto insurance policy for their Dashers. Sometimes you will hear that they do, however I challenge anyone to produce the policy. Look for the waybill. Look for anything that indicates there is actual coverage for you.
It doesn't exist.
Here's what Doordash does say about the topic on their website (accessed March 2, 2020):
Doordash has liability coverage, but it may not cover you.
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Doordash does state that they “provide excess auto insurance for Dashers” but it is liability only. What that means is, it only applies to bodily injuries or property damage to third parties (not you) for damage you caused..
“Damages sustained to your vehicle in an auto accident are your responsibility and should be addressed by your auto insurance carrier directly.”
This is not a policy that is in your name. It is not coverage for you. It is NOT commercial auto insurance.
Basically what it amounts to is liability insurance to cover Doordash if anyone comes after them for damage that goes beyond whatever insurance you have. The coverage only applies if you exhaust all options from your own auto insurance.
And even that excess liability Doordash insurance policy has coverage gaps.
First, we have this:
this policy applies only to damages you cause to other parties (i.e. third party property damage and/or bodily injury) and only to accidents while on an active delivery (when you are in possession of goods to be delivered).Doordash statement on their insurance policy
Here's an important line in that statement that you HAVE to be aware of:
If you fail to maintain your own insurance, Doordash's coverage may not apply.Doordash description of
This is important. It's an escape clause for Doordash and their insurance. One of the Doordash insurance requirements is you have to have your own coverage. If you are uninsured, Doordash may not step in here.
Okay, that makes sense. But wait, you have an insurance policy. That means you're insured and you meet the Doordash insurance requirement, right?
If your policy excludes delivery, that's as good as being uninsured. What that means to you is, you may be completely on your own.
And you are on your own with your own vehicle and injuries.
There is no collision coverage or comprehensive coverage. In other words, personal coverage doesn't exist while you are on a delivery.
This is a problem if you owe money on your car or if you are leasing the thing.
If your car is damaged, your bank is going to either insist that you get it fixed (on your own dime) or pay off the balance of the loan. They won't let you continue to make payments.
Do you have that kind of money?
How to Make Sure Your Auto Insurance will cover you while you Dash for Doordash
- Check with your insurance. Find out if you are insured.
- If NOT insured, ask for options.
- If there are no options with your current policy, find a policy that will cover you.
This may be a time where you may have to ask if being a Doordash driver is worth it. Will it cost a lot extra?
Sometimes the cost is minimal. Sometimes it's substantial. It all depends on things like your driving record, your credit, and where you live. I've heard that insurance is prohibitive in some states.
DO NOT continue delivering if your policy doesn't cover you. It's not worth the risk.
Don't rely on lying to the insurance company and claiming you weren't delivering. Now you could be adding insurance fraud to your list of problems.
Check with your insurance.
You might start with reading your policy. Search for the exceptions or exclusions. Look for terms like “Livery.”
For example, my personal policy read that they don't provide coverage “for that “insured's” (meaning me) liability arising out of the ownership or operation of a vehicle while it is being used as a public or livery conveyence.”
If you see “livery” or “commercial use” or anything like that, you pretty likely are not covered.
If you don't find anything or are not sure, you can call your insurance and ask them.
If you're worried they'll drop you if they find out you deliver, you could say something like “I'm considering this opportunity (delivery) but want to make sure that I would be covered if I take it.”
Ask if there are options
Some insurance companies have add ons, sometimes called riders or endorsements, that will provide coverage that might otherwise be excluded.
A common such endorsement is called a rideshare endorsement. DO NOT ASSUME that a rideshare endorsement will cover delivery. I've heard of some companies providing such an endorsement that does include delivery, some others that don't.
In fact one online company advertised to delivery drivers, but when I went through their quote process (and finally was able to speak to a rep) I found out they still exclude delivery.
Ask the reps specifically if they exclude delivery. Demand that they show you and get it in writing.
If your insurance doesn't have any options, as mine didn't, you have a choice to make:
- Change insurance
- or don't deliver any more.
I know the money is attractive, but delivery doesn't pay enough to make it worth the risk.
You have two places to look. I suggest looking at both:
- Search for a personal insurance policy that will cover you.
- Find a commercial policy (here's my experience searching for commercial auto for delivery).
If you have other drivers, other vehicles or other kinds of insurance (like home owners) the personal option would be preferable. Usually you can get discounts by bundling coverages.
My first experience looking for insurance for Doordash
Two years ago, I switched to Geico Commercial for my car. The policy cost itself wasn't a lot more than I'd have been looking at for an individual car on a personal policy, however not having the multi-car discount or the bundling with homeowners did end up costing extra.
The problem is, where do you find either a good commercial auto policy or a personal auto insurance company whose policy covers delivery? I write about this stuff and even I have a hard time finding who provides coverage.
My advice is, find someone who works with multiple options that will cover your deliveries for the Doordash app (and others).
Find an independent agent who works with several insurance companies.
There are a number of options and providers out there who can gather your information and find a personal or commercial insurance policy that would work for you.
If you're not sure where to look, here's two recommendations I would make:
Find a good independent insurance agent.
I have a lot of respect for Dave Ramsey, a national personality that talks about personal finances. He vets a list of what he calls Endorsed Local Providers for independent insurance agents.
Now I'm pretty sure he gets referral fees for his endorsements. I don't have a problem with that personally if that means I can find someone who will do a good job. I do NOT have an affiliate relationship here, so there is no revenue that comes to me for this link.
Ask friends and family for a recommendation. Can they suggest a good independent agent?
Look into insurance companies that tend to cover delivery drivers.
I'm personally with State Farm. I verified with them (and my policy) that they don't exclude business use or livery in the policy.
Another company I considered was Farmers Insurance. They had a rideshare driver add-on that specifically did include delivery.
Check into a referral network.
There are a number of networks that work with multiple agencies. They get your information and connect you with a company that provides commercial insurance. Referral networks are different than an independent agent in that they cannot put together competing quotes or really help you compare companies.
However, when it comes to just FINDING a company that offers commercial policies in your state, that can be a valuable service.
One that I have used is CommercialInsurance.net. In fact, I once tried out another referral network and once they got my information they transferred me to CommercialInsurance.
Frequently asked questions about Doordash car insurance requirements:
There is a high probability that you are uninsured while Dashing. Personal auto policies typically have exclusions for “livery” (transporting goods or passengers for hire) or for business use. If your personal auto policy has such an exclusion, you are uninsured while delivering for Doordash.
You definitely need to find out if your insurance covers you while delivering for Doordash. It is a best practice to inform your insurance that you're using your car for business purposes (and what purposes). Be aware that your insurance company may cancel your policy immediately. Personally, I feel it's better to switch to a company that does cover you when working food delivery apps than to stay silent with your personal auto policy provider.
According to this Doordash Dasher Support article (accessed April 29, 2021): “Doordash requires that all Dashers maintain an up-to-date auto insurance policy. The only exception is when Dashers dash exclusively using bicycles or, in some areas, by foot.”
Doordash only requires you meet the minimum requirements for policy limits from your state laws. They never specifically warn or inform Dashers that there's a risk of not being covered. In my opinion, they are failing Doordash delivery drivers in a big way by not warning contractors that they are likely uninsured.
I have never had Doordash follow up with me to get my insurance information. I do not remember Doordash even asking for my proof of insurance. This varies differently from Grubhub and Uber Eats, who regularly monitor insurance expirations and who require regularly updated insurance documents.
Doordash has an excess liability insurance policy. This is not the same thing as a commercial auto policy as you are never named as an insured. This Doordash insurance coverage only provides coverage after your personal policies have been accessed. It only additional coverage to cover the physical damage and medical expenses caused by a Dasher. Those expenses for Dashers themselves are not covered by Doordash insurance.
You need your personal auto policy (or commercial coverage) to cover you while on deliveries. Make sure that insurance claims for medical bills and car repairs are covered by your policy. The best way to understand this is that most car insurance companies say in their policy they won't cover you if you get into a Doordash accident. You need an auto insurance policy that doesn't exclude you.
The Doordash liability policy does not cost you anything. This is good because it doesn't give you much. You may pay extra money if you have to switch companies or add an endorsement. My experience with a commercial hybrid policy was that it didn't cost much more than my personal policy. That can vary by state as each has their own insurance requirements that impact the cost of delivering for Doordash.
It depends on a lot of things. The important thing is that you have a policy that doesn't exclude you. You may have a personal auto insurance policy that does not exclude you and that may be enough. You may find rideshare coverage or some other add on to your policy that covers you. If you cannot find any such policy, you may have to look at a commercial policy. If you use such a policy, make sure it covers personal use of your vehicle as well.
It may not. It depends on the policy. I've heard of some that do and others that don't. The issue here is that rideshare insurance often relies heavily on the insurance provided by the gig economy platform's insurance. Companies like Uber (including Uber Eats) and Lyft have actual auto insurance policies for their drivers, so the rideshare policies are designed to cover the small gaps between the personal and rideshare policies. Many rideshare policies won't cover Doordash. That's because Doordash provides no car insurance of their own. Always confirm with your insurance that the policy covers third party delivery apps like Doordash.
Insurance is one of those necessary evils
There are a lot of factors that play into this whole insurance thing.
As you deliver for Doordash, you have a little higher chance of getting into a traffic accident. The Dasher App can certainly increase the risk of distracted driving – having the annoying notification thing go off while you are on the road. You drive more miles. You pull in and out of traffic more frequently.
This is why a lot of insurance companies want nothing to do with us.
But this isn't necessarily a pro-insurance stance by any means. In fact, the reason I take this stance is I don't trust insurance companies.
Here's the thing: we all know that an insurance company is going to do anything it can to get out of paying out an insurance claim.
Make sure you aren't giving them a ready-made excuse to do exactly that. Make sure you are properly insured.
- Check your policy. Look through the exclusions section for terms like "commercial use," "livery" or delivery. Ask your agent specifically if you are covered (and if they say yes, get it in writing).
- If you are not covered, ask if there are any options. Are there any add ons, endorsements, addendums, or riders through your policy?. Many policies have rideshare or business options that will cover you. Make sure the option covers DELIVERY (some rideshare options don't).
- Shop around. Get an independent agent who represents multiple insurance companies or use a referral network like CommercialInsurance.net, Let experts do the searching for you.
Some personal policies will cover delivery. Some commercial options are competitive with personal policies.
Not being properly insured while delivering for Doordash is not a smart option. Make sure you are covered.
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