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4 steps to make sure you have plenty of delivery driver insurance coverage

If you’re at the front line of food deliveries, you may not get well-rounded delivery driver insurance from your employer or delivery company. Even if your company covers your liability, damage to your car may be your responsibility — and your personal auto insurance probably won’t apply to this business driving. Learn your options, so you’re not left spending hard-earned money on car repairs.

What types of insurance do delivery drivers need?

You might get your state’s required coverage, and in some cases extra protection, from the company you work for. But in many cases, you need rideshare coverage to fill in gaps not protected by your company.

If your car insurance company excludes deliveries under rideshare insurance, you’ll need separate commercial car insurance.

Rideshare insurance for delivery drivers

Adding rideshare coverage to your car insurance can extend your personal auto coverage to your delivery driving. The coverage fills in gaps from your delivery company’s insurance, protecting your car with the coverage you bought on your personal policy.

However, some car insurance companies list deliveries as an exclusion to its rideshare coverage. In this case, you either can switch car insurance companies or get protection from a commercial auto policy.

Commercial car insurance policy

Commercial car insurance policies work best if you own a delivery business or need coverage that isn’t provided by your delivery company or rideshare insurance. Coverage to look for:

  • Property damage liability. You need at least your state’s legal limits for businesses, which can differ from personal auto insurance requirements.
  • Bodily injury liability. Businesses may be required to buy much higher injury coverage like $500,000 or higher, a limit that’s also recommended by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS).
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist. Required by some states, consider similar limits to your liability.
  • Personal injury protection. Required by some states, you may need this if you’re working for yourself or a small business that doesn’t have worker’s compensation.
  • Non-owned or hired auto liability. Some companies provide this coverage for employees when you use your personal car drive a company vehicle.
  • Comprehensive. Covers your car’s repairs from non-collision damage. That includes theft, vandalism, fire, flooding, earthquakes, hail or animal run-ins.
  • Collision. Most drivers add this physical damage coverage to repair their own car after an at-fault accident.
  • Insurance packages. Commercial insurers can customize policies to your situation or offer a coverage package designed for delivery drivers.
  • Downtime loss. This optional coverage protects your income if you lose valuable work time because of an accident.
  • Rental reimbursement. This optional coverage reimburses you for a rental car, so you can keep delivering.

How much does delivery driver insurance cost?

A typical commercial car policy could cost you $750 to $1,250 per year if you’re getting a full suite of coverage for liability, comprehensive and collision. However, you might pay only $100 to $300 extra if you’re supplementing your employer’s coverage with comprehensive or collision.

What affects my delivery insurance cost?

Since many variables are involved here, like what your employer covers, your premium can vary considerably compared to other businesses. Factors that affect your delivery driving rates:

  • Risky driving. Delivery habits that could lead to an accident include speeding, sudden braking or cutting corners to rush deliveries.
  • Cities with high traffic. Cities or crowded locations could bring a higher rate because of accident statistics in the area.
  • High mileage. Rural deliveries or full-time employment mean more time on the road.
  • Rush hour deliveries. High traffic and timely deliveries might lead you to an accident if you’re not careful.
  • Past claims. Making deliveries could mean multiple bumps along the way within the same term, which may lead to surcharges.

Important note
You could cut down on some of your vehicle expenses when filing your taxes. The IRS allows drivers to deduct costs like gas, insurance or car repairs if you use your car for business purposes. Be sure to check with your accountant to see if you’re eligible.

Does my personal car insurance policy cover business use?

Some personal car insurance policies provide limited coverage if you make deliveries as a side hustle. While this may work for drivers who deliver on a very limited basis, there are a few concerns with relying on your personal policy:

  • It may not cover business liability — A personal policy probably won’t defend a business for liability in court if the business gets sued instead of the driver. You or your employer will need business liability insurance on another policy to provide this protection. This is a major point to consider if you own the business you’re making deliveries for, such as a catering company.
  • Different insurers have different exclusions — It’s best to talk with your personal car insurance company about your specific driving situation and get a response in writing, if possible. A representative can help you understand what your insurance company will cover and what it won’t.
  • Specify your business use — Give your insurance company a heads up that you use your car for some business driving. That way it can tell you whether extra coverage is required for your situation.

Your personal policy won’t cover you if you use your car primarily for delivery driving. Consider whether you use your car for deliveries a majority of the time. If most of the mileage you drive on that car is delivery-related, it probably needs a separate commercial policy.

    4 steps to get full coverage for food delivery

    If you work for an employer or delivery service company like UberEats or DoorDash, you probably have some coverage through that company. But getting enough coverage can mean a bit of patchwork, matching up the coverage your company provides and other coverage you need.

    Steps to finding and buying the right coverage:

    1. Find out what your employer covers. Ask the company you work for how car insurance works if you get in an accident while driving for it. You’ll need to know specific types of coverage your employer has to cover your car. If you’re working for multiple delivery services, check the coverage provided by each company.
    2. Investigate your personal policy. Speak with your insurance company about your work and whether your policy will cover any car accident damage. It might if you make deliveries on weekends or a few weeknights, but you use your car primarily for personal driving and commuting. It won’t if making deliveries is your car’s primary use.
    3. Fill in gaps with commercial coverage. Shop around for commercial car insurance that offers the right level of coverage. Common coverage you might need to fill in gaps includes underinsured motorist, collision, comprehensive or additional liability.
    4. Include any extras that you prefer. Consider other situations not covered by your personal policy or company-provided coverage, like roadside assistance or rental reimbursement.

    Car insurance quotes for delivery drivers

    Explore your options by financial rating and available states. Select the Get quotes for more information from a particular insurer.

    1 - 4 of 4
    Name Product AM Best financial rating Available states
    The Hartford commercial car insurance
    All 50 states
    The Hartford’s customized auto insurance policies protect your business fleet with well-rounded coverage and a safe driving program.
    Not rated
    All 50 states except Alaska & Hawaii
    Compare multiple quotes for business auto insurance to find the cheapest rates from this online commercial insurance broker.
    Liberty Mutual commercial car insurance
    All 50 states
    Take advantage of telematics to monitor and improve employees' driving and save on insurance premiums.
    All states except AK & HI

    Compare up to 4 providers

    Car insurance for pizza delivery and app delivery drivers

    Most app-based delivery companies leave gaps in your insurance coverage while you’re driving for them.

    The same goes for pizza delivery since restaurant owners may provide only the state minimum car insurance required for its employees — and the types of coverage and coverage limits can vary for each store.

    Pizza delivery drivers

    If you work for a pizza restaurant, your employer should have some business insurance to cover your delivery driving.

    However, its business coverage might be limited to commercial nonowner liability, which means you’re covered for property damage and bodily injury liability while driving for your restaurant. Damage to your car might not be covered.

    You’ll want to ask your employer how insurance works if a car accident happens on the job. For safety’s sake, you might get a response in writing. If your restaurant doesn’t cover some damage or breakdowns, you’ll want to look into commercial car insurance.

    App delivery drivers

    Even if your company meets minimum state requirements, you may want extra liability or add-ons like collision, comprehensive or underinsured motorist coverage through a commercial car insurance policy.

    What’s covered by different app delivery companies:

    Delivery appLiabilityComprehensive & collisionOther notes
    Amazon FlexYesYes, if they’re on your personal car insurance
    • Includes uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage
    • No coverage available in New York or for any passengers
    DoorDashup to $1 million, kicks in after your personal policyNo coverageNo coverage while waiting for an order
    GrubhubNo coverageNo coverage
    InstacartNo coverageNo coverage
    Postmatesup to $1 million, kicks in after your personal policyNo coverage
    UberEatsup to $1 millionYes with a $1,000 deductible, if they’re on your personal car insuranceLiability limits are 50/100/25 while waiting for an order

    States with free delivery driver insurance coverage

    Because some people are delivering food or other items during the coronavirus, some states are calling for companies to extend personal auto insurance to delivery drivers. States that have requested free delivery driver coverage:

    • Alabama
    • Montana
    • North Dakota
    • Pennsylvania
    • Rhode Island
    • Tennessee

    You can check with your state’s department of insurance or your insurance company to see if this free coverage applies to you.

    Bottom line

    If you’re a food delivery driver or caterer, you need car insurance like everyone else. But a personal policy or an employer’s policy might not provide all the coverage you need.

    Compare car insurers who offer the right amount of protection you need for the job.

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