With my wife and I both replacing cars, and my Geico Commercial policy expiring, it was time to take a look at our car insurance situation.
Several weeks ago I posted about how to make sure you have the proper insurance for delivery when delivering as an independent contractor for apps like Doordash, Postmates, Grubhub and Uber Eats. This is an important topic because too many couriers are unaware that their personal insurance probably won't cover them in an accident while on delivery.
So, I decided to follow the steps and share my experience, hoping it helps you make some good decisions. I will say this: the decisions I made may not be the best decisions for you. Every situation and every state is different. The purpose of this isn't to tell you what to decide, but give an example of how you can explore options and make your own decision.
Some background so you know where I started.
Two years ago, when I started delivering, my wife and I had our cars bundled together along with our home owner's policy on Liberty Mutual. When I first started, I knew that delivery might not be covered, however I was delivering with Uber Eats and they did provide coverage for their couriers. However, when starting out with Grubhub, Doordash and Postmates, I found that they do not provide coverage for delivery.
At that time, I made the decision to take out a commercial hybrid policy through Geico commercial. It's a policy specifically designed for gig work and it wasn't bad compared to individual non-bundled policies. A year ago, they bumped my premium up by about $15 per month when it renewed, which was a bit but not terrible. I've seen worse on renewals.
This year was different. This year they were wanting to add another $60 per month to my policy. Add to that my wife and I both had just changed out vehicles and wanted to go to full coverage. All of this was going to more than double our car insurance bill, so it was time to take a look.
Here are the three steps that I recommend people take when looking into insurance.
Step 1: Check your policy.
I had already done this with my Liberty Mutual policy two years ago. However, with the near explosion of delivery contracting the past couple years, I decided to double check with the latest renewal.
We're at a point where, if it is at all possible to keep our cars together on one policy it makes sense to do that. We'd rather take advantage of the bundling, and to only have one insurance policy to pay on. When claiming mileage on my taxes, I can't claim the car insurance, so there was no tax advantage to keeping a separate policy.
Unfortunately, nothing was new on our policy. The latest version still stated “We do not provide coverage for any ‘insured'… for that ‘insured's' liability arising out of the ownership or operation of a vehicle while it is being used as a public or livery conveyance.”
Translation: No delivery. If I'm in an accident while on delivery, the insurance company can and will deny the claim.
Step 2: Check for endorsements or riders with your current insurance company.
We wanted to find the best way to make sure I was covered while on delivery and that we could keep our insurance bill from getting ridiculous. Delivery contracting has exploded in the two years since I had checked on this, so maybe they added something.
Two years ago, I asked my agent AND I called into the call center. There were no options that I could add on. If I were to deliver, it could not be on Liberty Mutual. Maybe something changed.
Unfortunately, nothing has changed. My agent confirmed that there are no endorsements or any add-ons that would cover delivery work. Now understand, every state is different. Some states offer coverage in one state but not another. The bottom line is, keeping my car on Liberty Mutual was not an option.
Step 3: Start Shopping.
As I stated a few weeks ago when talking about looking for insurance, “If you cannot get the coverage you need (from your existing policy), you need to either look into getting another policy, or closing up shop on your delivery business.
Now, I already HAD another policy. But Geico Commercial had jacked up the price, nearly 50%, and they weren't budging. I wasn't sure staying with them was my best option, so it was time to look. My choices were:
- Find a commercial policy that would cover my car and save money over the Geico policy
- Find a personal policy to switch both our cars onto the same policy and that would provide coverage for delivery work.
My preference was number two, but I wasn't sure it was going to happen.
Step 3-A – Look into a better commercial policy.
I always thought that Googling “commercial car insurance Colorado” was a great idea. It makes sense, right? I was getting results for a number of options that, as I checked into them, I found that they did not offer coverage for delivery.
Do not get a quote from Root. It will waste your time.
I searched for “Car Insurance for delivery” and Root came up at the top. It was a sponsored listing, meaning they paid Google to be found for that exact search. Okay, let's give them a try. They have an intriguing model, where they have you download an app and it measures how you drive and bases the quote on that. The problem is, I could not get an answer from anyone about if they covered delivery. I had to go through the whole process, which took about a week of gathering data on my driving habits.
When it was all said and done, they sent me a quote, and it was incredibly cheap. They must have liked my driving, right? It was only then that I could actually contact someone to ask questions. And guess what I found out?
No dice. They do not have any options to cover delivery. Delivery is excluded.
Why do they advertise targeted specifically towards rideshare and delivery drivers when they do not provide that kind of coverage?
I tried Coverwallet and CommercialInsurance.net
Neither of these companies are independent agencies, but they have lead generation relationships with several commercial insurance policies. Their selling points are that they can get your information together and refer you to the best option.
I'd much rather have someone who can actually put together competing quotes, however I like having a one stop place that I can go to as opposed to doing all the searching and seeking quotes from people that don't even offer it in my state.
Both companies did pretty much the same thing. They took my information, and then transferred me to a commercial insurance provider that fit my requirements. One sent me to Progressive Commercial and the other sent me to Farmers.
It was a bit of a roundabout way of getting something, but I did end up with two good commercial options.
I then contacted an independent agent to look for alternatives there.
I went into this liking the idea of an independent agent the best. With an independent agent you can get multiple quotes and they tend to have a better feel for which companies might offer a service and which ones don't. In particular, I had hoped this would be my best way to find a personal policy that would provide coverage for delivery, and that would allow my wife and I to get our cars both on the same policy.
This particular agent was pretty quick to say that none of his personal policies that he represents had options. I just wasn't left with the feeling that he tried very hard to find out and felt suspicious that he was pushing me to a commercial policies that might have paid him better. The good news was he DID have a couple of commercial options, though prices came in higher than the ones I got through CommercialInsurance.net.
And then I looked into some personal policies.
Here was the interesting thing. When I talked to the Farmers agent that I found through the CommercialInsurance.net process, as they listened to my situation they did state they might be able to cover me through the personal policy. They told me that their Rideshare endorsement did provide coverage for gig delivery work. This was a good thing.
I've also heard from many other drivers that they were able to keep their personal policies with State Farm. I decided to reach out directly to a State Farm agent. He verified twice with his underwriters that they did NOT exclude delivery service. This also was a good thing.
Putting it all together.
I probably went through a lot more steps than I normally would have, mainly because I wanted to write about the experience. It was worth it to dig into as many options as I could find. When it was all said and done, I had narrowed my choices down to:
- Replacing my Geico Commercial policy with one from Progressive Commercial and keeping my wife's car and our home owners on Liberty
- Bundling both of our cars and our home owners insurance with Farmers Insurance and using the rideshare endorsement.
- Bundling both of our cars and our home owners insurance with State Farm which had no exclusion for delivery.
I pretty quickly came to the conclusion that for us, it was going to be better to go with the bundling options. We were going to end up with full coverage on both vehicles AND save several hundred dollars a year over our previous situation. The pricing was actually pretty close between Farmers and State Farm.
I'll be honest, I'm still a little hesitant to move away from a commercial policy. I think there might be some additional advantages to having a commercial policy. However, in the end though, we decided on State Farm. I had my agent give me a written statement that he had verified that delivery is not excluded in the policy, and we signed.
Which is best for you?
I don't know. I can't make a recommendation for you. However, I can share what worked for me. In the end, I don't even know if the same options are available for you because insurance laws and options vary by state.
I'll admit I'm not 100% sure I made the right choice. Sometime I have to dig a little deeper into if there are reasons that sticking with commercial insurance would make more sense. Maybe if I had incorporated and wanted to keep the ownership of my car under the corporation, I'd want to look into that more.
What are my take aways from this experience?
I would say first of all, this was a huge hassle. If I knew how much time I'd be putting into this (and if I weren't wanting to get the experience so I could write about it) I'd have been praying and begging for my existing personal policy to have coverage for my delivery work. In the end I'm saving money and I'm happy about that, but I'd be tempted to pay the extra and stay where I'm at if it meant not going through this.
I'm still a big believer in finding people who already have a lot of options, either with an independent agent or a place like CoverWallet. I'd love to tell you that CoverWallet is the absolute best way to go because it's the only option that I have an affiliate relationship with. But when all is said and done I can't tell you they are the best or only option, but they can be a great resource to FIND a good option.
And yet, I went with the one insurance company that I approached directly. Go figure.
Who do you use for insurance?
Do you have a personal policy that covers delivery? Have you gone with a commercial policy? What have you found that works? Leave a comment and let us know any recommendations you have.