Does Doordash provide car insurance? Does your own car insurance policy cover you while Dashing? In reality, they do NOT provide car insurance for Doordash delivery drivers or their cars, and most personal car insurances will not insure Dashers while they deliver.
But you're just taking food or packages to people. This isn't rideshare with passengers. Why is this a problem?
The reality is you are more likely to be uninsured while delivering than while taking passengers. We'll talk about all that in a bit.
What happens if you have a car accident while on delivery and your insurance declines coverage? Can you afford to pay the damages out of your pocket?
There are a lot of ways to make good money on Doordash. You can choose the best times to Dash, accept all the right offers, and get all that extra cash. But if you haven't checked your insurance and have an accident, that can wipe out all that Doordash pay.
We'll take a look at Doordash's car insurance (or lack thereof), what personal insurance policies cover and don't cover, and what you can do to make sure you're protected.
This is part of our Doordash delivery driver series: Everything you need to know about Dashing. We'll link to other articles in the series along the way, and also have a list of the additional articles at the end.
As we talk about Doordash and car insurance, we'll talk about the following:
- Will your personal insurance cover you if you have an accident while Dashing?
- Why doesn't Doordash make sure you have the right coverage?
- What is Doordash's car insurance policy for Dashers?
- Do you need commercial insurance for Doordash?
- How do you make sure you are covered while on a delivery?
- Frequently asked questions about Doordash, Insurance, and Delivery
Will your personal insurance cover you if you have an accident while Dashing?
Most car insurance companies will refuse to cover you if you're in an accident while delivering for Doordash or any other company.
Generally the language in the insurance policy says “we'll cover you for this, this, and that.” But then they'll put exclusions in. It's like they're saying we've got you covered UNLESS you do certain things.
And one of the big exclusions is if you're using your car for livery. Livery is a technical term for transporting goods or passengers for hire. They may use language that excludes commercial use or using your car for business purposes.
How it usually works with insurance is, if they say they'll cover you when driving, they have to cover you no matter what. The only exception is they specifically say “you are not covered if you are doing this.”
Unfortunately, most insurance companies are doing exactly that. They say somewhere in your policy that you're not covered IF you're doing delivery or rideshare.
This isn't really them targeting Doordash. This is an issue with any gig economy work where independent contractors are using their personal vehicle. It's a problem for other food delivery services like Grubhub, Uber Eats, Instacart, and all the little companies as well. It's also often a problem for employees of restaurants like Dominos or Jimmy Johns. Those companies need to have additional insurance to cover their drivers.
If a company DOESN'T exclude you, you're covered. There are a few who don't. That list can vary from state to state because each state has different laws.
Unfortunately, if you get into a car accident on a delivery, chances are high your insurance will deny the claim. Then you're on your own.
Why Doesn't Doordash Make Sure You're Covered?
One of the Doordash requirements is having proof of insurance. But why, when telling you how to sign up as a Dasher, don't they also tell you that you probably aren't insured?
That's a great question. I'm not sure there's a good answer. There are some things I can guess at.
One problem is that proof of insurance cards don't tell you whether they cover insurance. The exclusions aren't listed on there. And there's no way for Doordash to really know that yes, State Farm covers you but no, Liberty Mutual doesn't.
It's not Doordash's job to double check that. That's our job as an independent contractor.
However, this is such a huge problem, where the majority of Dashers are uninsured while delivering, that you would think they'd do a bit more. Doordash could warn Dashers. They could require us to certify that we have checked our policies to make sure we're not uninsured while on deliveries.
I have a suspicion that there's a darker reason as well. Doordash banks on Dashers signing up because it's easy to do. Getting upgraded or new insurance in order to do so isn't easy. If Doordash made people think through whether they're insured, they wouldn't get enough drivers.
Doordash recently changed their Contractor agreement because of the problem.
Doordash actually does require you to have the RIGHT kind of insurance. It's just buried in their terms and conditions for drivers:
CONTRACTOR will maintain current insurance, in amounts and of types required by law to provide the Contracted Services and cover CONTRACTOR during performance of the Contracted ServicesFrom Section X of the Doordash Independent Contractor Agreement.
Pay attention to that part of the policy: “and cover CONTRACTOR during performance of the Contracted Services.” That's a direct reference to the fact that most policies do NOT cover you during performance of your deliveries for Doordash.
I say that because that phrase was actually only added to the contract in January of 2022. They didn't have that part in there earlier.
Essentially what that's done is it said that not having insurance that will cover you during deliveries is grounds for termination.
While I don't expect Doordash to crack down on the policy, as they'd lose too many drivers doing so, it's worth noting that this was important enough for them to update their policy.
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Does Doordash Provide Commercial Car Insurance?
Doordash claims to provide auto insurance, but that's misleading at best. It's a lie at worst.
Doordash SAYS they have car insurance. However, there are a few things to notice about it:
Doordash's coverage is liability only. It does not cover your vehicle.
Doordash specifies that the coverage only applies if “you are liable for damages or injuries to another party while on an ACTIVE delivery.”
Further down, we see this:
Here's what all this means:
First, it means that your car is not covered at all. Ever. Period and end of story. This is liability only.
Second, it means there's only coverage if you were the one at fault. In other words, there's no uninsured motorist coverage or anything like that.
The only time there's any coverage is if you caused damage, and it only pays out the other person's damages. Not yours.
This is a secondary policy.
Doordash makes clear that you have to go through your insurance first. You have to file a claim and get denied before you can go to Doordash.
There are gaps in the coverage.
In the first screenshot above, Doordash stated that the policy is only in effect during an active delivery.
You are considered on active delivery from the time you accept a delivery request until the time your customer receives their order, or the order is canceled. If you are online but you didn't accept a delivery request, your personal insurance is still your insurance policy.Doordash definition of an active delivery from May, 2022 at their car insurance support page.
What this means is that if you get into an accident when you're in between orders, Doordash provides no coverage at all. It also means that if you're on a delivery and the order gets canceled, you are immediately uninsured the moment the cancellation happens. The moment you mark an order as delivered, Doordash's coverage ceases.
If your personal policy has exclusions for delivery, this creates some major gaps where you're not insured by either party. The moment you log in as available to take orders, insurance companies consider you to be working commercially. That means if you're logged in to the Doordash app (or any others) but haven't taken an order, you're not covered by anyone.
To their credit, Doordash did improve the scope of their coverage. In this screenshot from their page taken in March, 2020, Doordash defined active delivery as “when you are in possession of goods to be delviered.”
Doordash may try to get out of paying.
Doordash gives themselves an out. On their requirements for Dashing page, Doordash puts this:
Here's where the update in the independent contractor agreement I mentioned earlier comes into play again. Doordash added language that says your coverage must cover you while performing deliveries.
With that language in there, Doordash could say that since you don't have the proper coverage as required in the agreement, you are not covered by Doordash either.
If they don't cover you, you have no recourse.
That's because you're never the insured person on Doordash's liability policy.
Insurance companies use a term called “named insured.” That means the named person is the one who is insured.
Doordash is the insured party here, not you. No policy is ever created in your name and there's no waybill or other documentation.
What this really means is that it's not really an auto insurance policy for you. If it was, you'd have these things.
All of this is incredibly important because of one thing: If it were your policy and they didn't cover you, you could take them to court or bring them before the state insurance commission.
You can't do that with Doordash's policy because there's no documentation and nothing is in your name.
If they decide not to cover, now you are responsible for the other person's damages and there's really nothing you can do about it.
Do you need a commercial auto policy to deliver for Doordash?
A commercial auto insurance policy will cover you but is not always necessary. The important thing is that you have a policy that does not exclude coverage for delivery work. There are personal polices that don't have such an exclusion.
Commercial auto insurance is a special insurance type designed for commercial coverage. In other words, it's for businesses. Often they are designed for larger fleets of cars. Some can be very expensive. Some commercial policies may cause just as much of a problem as they may not cover you while you are using your car for personal reasons.
There are commercial policy options that are designed for gig workers. Sometimes they're known as hybrid policies, where have both personal use AND business use coverage. Dustin Walsey of Buckle insurance was on the Deliver On Your Business podcast talking about their car insurance for delivery drivers, available in some states and growing.
I don't know that you necessarily need one TYPE of insurance. The goal here is that whatever the policy, it covers you while on deliveries.
How to Make Sure Your Auto Insurance will cover you while you Dash for Doordash
I recommend three steps you can take to make sure you are insured (with more details here).
- 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 food delivery 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 auto insurance company and claiming you weren't delivering. Now you could be adding insurance fraud to your list of problems.
Note: I actually went through this very process when I updated my insurance as a delivery contractor, which I documented here.
Check with your insurance.
You might start with reading your policy. Search for the exceptions or exclusions. Look for terms like “Livery.”
For example, when I started delivering, my personal auto insurance 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 optional additional coverage, sometimes called addendums, 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:
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 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 for commercial policies.
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 Tivly.
Frequently asked questions about Doordash car insurance requirements:
How does Doordash affect your insurance?
It varies by auto insurance companies. Some insurance companies will cancel your policy outright if they find out you're delivering for Doordash. Others may have options to add coverage. There are a few that have no exclusions for delivery work.
Do I need to tell my insurance I drive 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.
What are the Doordash insurance requirements?
Doordash's independent contractor agreement states that an independent contractor must maintain auto insurance that covers the contractor while they are performing services. In other words, they need to have insurance that does not exclude them during delivery.
The one exclusion to that requirement is for Dashers who are “exclusively using bicycles or, in some areas, by foot” to perform their deliveries.
Door Dash only requires you meet the minimum requirements for policy limits from your state laws. A very basic liability car insurance policy will do the trick.
Does Doordash check your insurance?
The food delivery company does require you to show proof of insurance when you start out as a delivery driver. They may follow up to request updated documentation, but I personally cannot recall them ever doing so in the four years I've delivered for them.
Does Doordash provide insurance?
No, Doordash does not provide any insurance that covers you individually. They state that they have a commercial auto policy, however it is only a blanket liability policy that only covers other parties if you cause damage. The liability policy only kicks in once you've been denied coverage by your own insurance company.
What insurance is needed for Doordash deliveries?
Doordash requires that you have an insurance policy that covers you during the performance of your contracted services. They do not however check into your policy to make sure it does have such coverage. It is incredibly important that you ensure that your car insurance has no exclusions or exceptions for delivery work or for using your car for commercial purposes.
What does Doordash insurance cost?
The cost of insurance that will cover you varies depending on a large number of factors. If your personal auto insurance coverage has no exclusions for delivery work, you may not need anything else. Some insurance companies have extended coverage for an additional cost. Some commercial hybrid policies are available at a rate that is competitive with personal auto insurance policies. Doordash does not sell car insurance for delivery work, and their additional liability coverage does not provide coverage for you or your vehicle.
Will a rideshare policy cover Doordash deliveries?
It may or may not depending on the policy. Some rideshare insurance policies rely on the insurance provided by the gig economy platform to act as the primary insurance, and Doordash's liability policy does not do this. You want to make sure that you clarify with the provider that delivery for a platform that has no extra coverage will be covered by their policy.
Do I need comprehensive or collission coverage to deliver for Doordash?
No. Doordash does not require anything more than the state minimum liability coverage. However, if you have a loan, your lender may require such coverage.
The more important question is this: Is comprehensive, collision, and uninsured motorist coverage a good idea? The answer to that question lies in another question:
What happens if your car is totaled? Can you keep earning? Do you have the cash for the needed repairs or replacement?
There are a lot of accessories and tools that are helpful for Doordash deliveries. None of them mean anything without a way to get around. If an accident won't shut you down, you may be okay dropping to just liability. If you need that car and can't make money without it, then it makes sense to keep yourself fully covered.
Does Doordash Support need to know if there's an accident or insurance claim?
If the accident were to interfere with completing a delivery, you may need to contact Door Dash driver care so they can make arrangements to complete the delivery. If you have the proper insurance yourself, the liability coverage provided by Doordash isn't needed and wouldn't require contact.
How do I file an auto insurance claim with Doordash?
You cannot file a claim until you have received a letter from your insurance company stating they have denied coverage. At that point, if you were at fault, you can fill out a Doordash insurance claim form. Keep in mind that Doordash's excess auto liability insurance will only cover damages for another person's property, and only if you were at fault. They do not provide coverage for your car and will not cover another party if they were at fault.
Wrapping up: Insurance is one of those necessary evils.
There are a lot of factors that play into this whole insurance thing.
The point of all this is not to push you into more expensive insurance. The idea here is that you want to just make sure you ARE covered while delivering.
In fact, one of the reasons I jump on a soapbox about all this is specifically that I DON”T trust insurance companies. They will look for a way to get out of paying a claim. When their policy states they don't cover you on deliveries, you've given them a built in excuse to not pay up.
Doordash's claim that they provide commercial auto creates a false sense of security, in my opinion. It's not a true commercial auto policy and it's not a policy where you are the named insured.
But the thing about delivery is, there is a higher risk of accident than a typical commute. You stop and start more, pull in and out of traffic more, there's often a greater time pressure, and it's easy to get distracted by the Dasher app.
Are you insured while delivering for Doordash? It depends on if your car insurance policy says they won't cover you. Doordash doesn't cover your car at all.
For all these reasons, my advice is don't drive for another delivery until you know for sure you are insured.
The introduction to the Doordash Delivery Series: An overview of all the things involved with delivering for Doordash as an independent contractor.
Doordash pays on a delivery by delivery basis, not hourly or on a salary. We look at the breakdown of base pay, incentives, and customer tips that make up Doordash pay.
What it means to be an independent contractor for Doordash and the realities of self employment.
What are the requirements to deliver for Doordash? What can disqualify you from Dashing? We look at Doordash driver qualifications and background checks.
We look at the process to apply at Doordash to be a delivery driver, what to think about before signing up, and tips to get off on the right food.
We look at how to figure out the best times for delivery for you in your market, looking at things like peak hours, events, and how to avoid driver saturation.
You make some good money when you deliver for Doordash, so you wonder if it makes sense to do it full time. We look at questions to ask yourself when thinking about it and some tips to help you be successful if you do go all in.
What are the most important tools, accessories, and apps you must have as a Doordash delivery driver?
How the Doordash Top Dasher program works, what the requirements are, the perks, and whether Top Dasher is worth it.
When is a delivery worth accepting, and when should you turn it down? We look at acceptance rate, how it works and if it matters.
63 different strategies that may help you increase your profits as a Doordash delivery driver.
Doordash taxes are different because you are a self-employed independent contractor and not an employee. This is the first of a series of articles on different aspects of taxes for Dashers.
We talk about how Doordash driver support works, how to contact support, and what situations where you might need some help from the Dasher care team.
Customer rating is an important part of being able to continue delivering, and an important qualification for Top Dasher. We look at tactics to help you improve your rating.
Dashers are not employees, however you can have your contract deactivated if you don't do what you've agreed to do, which is deliver the items in a satisfactory manner.
I give my thoughts on what it's like delivering for Doordash after more than four years as a Dasher including pros and cons of delivering for Doordash.
Could this help someone else? Please share it.