UPDATED: Mar 13, 2020
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There are millions of delivery drivers across the United States. A few decades ago, most delivery drivers drove company trucks. Today, however, a growing number of independent contractors deliver food for Uber Eats or Amazon.
Whether you’re delivering pizzas, mail, or anything else, we want to help you figure out your car insurance needs. Today, we’re explaining whether or not you need special insurance to be a delivery driver.
Normal Car Insurance Policies Do Not Typically Cover Delivery Drivers
First, let’s make one thing clear. If you are using your car for business purposes, then it’s unlikely your ordinary car insurance policy will cover you.
Let’s say you’re a pizza delivery driver. You’re about to drop off pizza at a house when you smash into the car in front of you at an intersection. You are 100% at-fault for the collision, but you have collision coverage so you believe repairs to your own vehicle are covered.
You file a claim with your car insurance company, only to have your claim denied: your car insurance company claims you were using the car for business purposes, which means your ordinary car insurance policy will not cover you.
A personal car insurance policy is called a personal policy for a reason: it covers your personal driving needs. When you are delivering pizzas, taking items from one office to the other, and performing other similar tasks, then you are driving for business purposes – not personal purposes.
For that reason, most personal car insurance policies have language that expressly forbids coverage when driving your vehicle for commercial purposes.
Car insurance companies aren’t just being greedy: they know that people who drive their vehicles for commercial purposes tend to spend significantly more time on the road, which means they have a higher risk of being involved in an accident.
What Happens If I Get Into an Accident While Delivering Pizza and I Only Have Personal Car Insurance?
Most car insurance policies have language that expressly forbids any type of coverage for commercial vehicles. The moment you are delivering a pizza, transporting items for work, or working as an independent delivery driver, your personal car insurance may no longer be in effect.
If you get into an accident while delivering pizzas or performing other commercial tasks, then your car insurance claim will most likely be denied.
That means you will need to pay any damages out of pocket – including any damage you caused to other vehicles, any medical bills incurred by the other driver or passengers, and other damages resulting from the accident.
Keep in mind that car insurance companies perform a thorough review of all accidents. If the car insurance company finds any evidence you were performing a business activity at the time of the incident – like a pizza sign attached to the top of your vehicle – then your car insurance claim could be denied. We do not recommend lying to your car insurance company in an attempt to get a claim covered.
If you lie to your car insurance company, then they may do more than just deny your claim: they might cancel your policy entirely. In some states, having your car insurance policy canceled after an at-fault accident can also cause your driver’s license to get revoked.
Yes, You Need Special Car Insurance to Be a Delivery Driver
If you drive your car for commercial purposes, then you need special car insurance. Fortunately, there are millions of delivery drivers in the United States who have similar insurance needs, so it’s easy to find a policy that works for you.
Possible commercial car insurance coverage options include:
Coverage Through your Employer
If you work for a pizza chain or a large corporation, then your employer might already have insurance coverage for all its drivers automatically. These companies purchase non-owned vehicle liability insurance for their delivery drivers. This allows all company employees to be protected when driving any vehicle for work purposes, regardless of whether or not that vehicle is owned by the company. Ask your employer if this coverage is available to you.
Commercial Car Insurance
Alternatively, if you do not have car insurance through your employer, then you might want to buy your own commercial car insurance policy. Most major insurance companies offer convenient commercial car insurance policies. If you already have personal car insurance, then it may cost a few extra dollars per month to add commercial car insurance to your personal vehicle. The price is often manageable. If your current company wants to charge significantly more to add commercial coverage, then we recommend shopping around.
Customized Delivery Driver Car Insurance
You might not have to get a full-fledged commercial car insurance policy. Some car insurance companies now offer customized delivery driver car insurance. These policies may be labeled under ‘Insurance for Uber Drivers’, ‘Rideshare Insurance’, or similar titles. Car insurance companies know a growing number of people are delivering for Uber Eats, Amazon, and other companies as independent contractors. That’s why some now offer customized delivery driver car insurance.
Yes, you need special car insurance as a delivery driver. Without commercial car insurance coverage, you will not be covered when delivering pizzas, dropping off meals, or even taking a package from one office to another.
Check with your employer to determine if your company extends coverage to privately-owned employee vehicles. If not, then you may need to buy your own independent commercial car insurance policy.