If you have lots of money and you are okay with just getting it taken away from you, go ahead and ignore this article.
If you own your own home and are okay with it just being taken from you, go ahead and ignore this article.
Maybe you have car payments and you really don't mind if you have to keep making payments if you lose your car. Or perhaps you've got the cash to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills. You can ignore this too.
I don't know about you, but I don't have that kind of cash. Most of us who deliver Doordash, Uber Eats, Grubhub, Instacart or others don't have that kind of money sitting around.
If you don't have all that cash, why are you driving around uninsured?
You probably didn't realize you were uninsured, did you?
But you had to submit proof of insurance, right?
The problem is, most drivers have policies that say they won't cover you if you are delivering.
Gig companies don't ask for proof your insurance covers delivery. That's a big part of the problem. It leads you to believe you're okay.
It's kind of scummy on the part of Doordash, Grubhub, Postmates, Instacart and others. They know most of you aren't insured.
Some of you are insured, but it's a small minority.
If all you have is a regular personal insurance policy, chances are high you're not covered during deliveries. The gig companies aren't covering you either.
You are uninsured and you probably didn't realize it.
So, DO. NOT. TAKE. A. SINGLE. DELIVERY until you know about your own coverage and until you have made sure you are covered.
Understand the Danger in Relying on Personal Insurance
Seriously, this is super important.
From the moment you go available on any of these apps, you void your personal insurance. Most of you.
A personal policy is for personal driving. The moment your car is offered out for hire (which you are doing when you mark yourself available) the coverage is gone.
If you have commercial insurance or an addendum to your policy allowing deliveries, you are safe. Unfortunately the vast majority of delivery contractors don't have that.
Most personal policies have an exclusion in the policy. The say the don't cover you any time your car is for hire.
Many policies use the term “livery.” It's a technical term for using your car to transport goods or persons for hire. Some specifically mention delivery. Others say ‘commercial purposes.'
Most policies in some way say “you are not covered if you are using your car for deliveries.”
Are you one of them?
With very few exceptions, if you don't have special insurance or an addition to your insurance, you probably are.
But the apps provide insurance, don't they?
Maybe. Usually not.
Grubhub drivers: you are the most at risk. Grubhub provides no additional insurance. Period. That means if you get in an accident AT ANY TIME YOU ARE ON THEIR APP, your insurance doesn't cover you. Neither does Grubhub.
That means you're screwed. Hope you have the money to pay someone else's medical bills, pay for their car, AND pay for your own medical bills and your own car.
Other apps provide a varying degree of coverage. The best coverage is by UberEats. Uber Eats provides liability and comprehensive insurance while on the way to picking up your order and while making the delivery. They also have liability coverage while you are logged in but not on a delivery. If I were to say you were safe with anyone, it would be them.
But even then, say you drop off your delivery and you are deadheading back to a busy area and get into an accident. Your own car may not be covered. Have a loan on that sucker? The bank is going to want it paid back… you're out the money and now you have no car to show for it.
Doordash and Postmates offer some liability policies. Neither provide protection for you, your injuries, or your car. Doordash only covers you while you have food in the car, Postmates covers you once you accept an order.
Neither of them cover you if you're logged but between offers.
Important questions about if you should be covered:
Let me ask some questions:
Can you pay to replace your car on your own?
Can you pay for medical bills on your own?
Are you able to replace someone else's car on your own? Especially if it's a luxury car?
Can you afford to just pay off your bank loan on your car right now? (and oh, by the way, not have a car to show for it when it's totaled)?
Can you pay the medical bills of someone else involved in the accident?
If your answer is no to any of the above, STOP DRIVING NOW and don't start again until you know for sure that you are covered.
If you get into an accident and are not covered, you can lose anything that is of value in your name. Your car (or what's left of it). Your house. Saving. A court judgment could wipe all that out.
I Could Just Not Tell Anyone I Was on a Delivery, Right?
Horrible idea. HORRIBLE idea.
You understand that's insurance fraud, right? Covering up the purpose for which you are using your car can get you in even more trouble. Don't do it.
I talked to Mark Rogers, a local independent insurance agent.
Mark told me, ” the truth would be exposed on the police report or it would have to be reported to the company they were working for. If they couldn’t get the food delivered they would have to report the incident to Grubhub, Uber Eats, etc. That is not something they would really be able to hide.”
Amen. Amen and Amen. Thank you Mark. He also stated at least a couple of times, it's insurance fraud.
Just to make it clear, this is a HORRIBLE IDEA.
Look, I'm not doing this to shill for insurance companies. This is actually because they're scummy.
They'll do anything they can to get out of paying a claim.
It's bad enough when they weasel out of when they should pay. But if you were driving when your policy said they don't cover you, guess what happens? And you gave them the excuse.
If the accident is serious enough (and what they have to pay is high enough) you can guess they'll look for a reason not to pay.
And they will find it.
Look, I hope there never is an accident. But think about it: If you're in a serious one, the last thing on your mind is hiding the delivery bags.
Don't take that chance. Don't rely on being able to lie to your insurance. It's just a bad idea.
A horrible idea at that.
How Do I Know if My Personal Insurance Covers Me?
The best way for a person to find out if they are covered are to review the coverages with their Agent. It is not the easiest to decipher coverages on their policy because it is written in contractual insurance legalese, so you need someone who knows insurance and can translate your contract into laymen's terms. They should pay attention to any time their policy uses the word exclusion.Mark Rogers, local insurance agent.
You can pull out your policy and look through it. Read through the exclusions or exceptions. It's usually in the back of the policy.
I mentioned above, look for things like “commercial use” or “for hire” or “livery.”
Better still, just contact your insurance. Tell them you're looking into doing deliveries and want to know if your coverage will support that.
If it doesn't, stop. Immediately. Drop any delivery schedules you have with anyone. Don't do another delivery until you are covered.
I'll say it again: It's THAT serious.
If My Policy Doesn't Cover Me on Delivery (and it most likely doesn't) What are My Options?
First and foremost, find out if you have options. Does your current policy have a rider or endorsement that you can add on? Some do.
State Farm, Farmers and All State seem to be the most flexible that I can find. I hear conflicting reports on companies like USAA. Things may vary by state for all of them.
If you can get an add on that covers you, get it.
Did I mention that it's that important?
If they don't have an option, get a different policy. There's no way around it. Shop around.
I took out a hybrid Geico Commercial policy designed for rideshare, but it has coverage for delivery as well.
You can look into Commercial Insurance through Coverwallet. They can connect you to different providers based on where you are and what you do.
Check into rideshare policies – but keep in mind that some don't cover delivery. Many rely on the fact that the gig platform is providing insurance. Uber and Lyft provide what they're looking for. Doordash, Grubhub, Postmates and Instacart don't.
Check into the companies I listed. Maybe your best bet is to go to an independent agent. That's how I found Mark Rodgers who I interviewed for this article.
Do it. NOW!
If you haven't already updated your insurance to something that specifically covers delivery work: Do this before you take another delivery. Seriously.
I don't know how many times I have to say it's important enough but it's important enough.
There is just too much risk to do the kind of driving we have to do without making absolutely sure that you are covered.
There's a moral obligation as well – you don't want to be that driver who impacted someone else's life and wasn't insured. Don't be that driver!
I know, it's hard to cough up extra money for insurance. But here's the thing: You're running a business. If you can't afford the right insurance you can't afford to run your business.
If you can't go out and get the right insurance, you shouldn't be doing this.
I know, that's harsh. But that's part of being being responsible.
So don't be that person who knowingly drives around uninsured.
I know, you may not have known you were uninsured until now. But now you know.
Sorry, but not sorry. You need to know because ignorance won't get you out of a huge loss when there's an accident.
So… do the right thing.
Before you do another delivery.
What do you use for insurance?
Please comment below – who do you use? Does your insurance provider have an add on or endorsement that allows you to do delivery? Did you have to go with a commercial or rideshare account? If you have insurance with a particular company that does cover your delivery work, let us know so that others can have ideas who to check with. Thank you.