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4 steps to making sure you have plenty of car insurance coverage as a delivery driver

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If you’re at the front line of takeout deliveries, you may need to protect yourself from spending that hard-earned money on car damage or injuries after a car accident. You may or may not get the coverage you need from your employer, and your personal policy may provide only some coverage if you drive for business on a limited basis.

States requiring free delivery driver car insurance

Because some people are starting deliveries as their main job or side hustle during the coronavirus, some states are requiring car insurance companies to extend personal auto coverage to delivery driving.

States that have required this free coverage:

  • Colorado — For new delivery drivers
  • Wisconsin

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.

What types of car insurance do I need as a delivery driver?

You might get all of the state-required coverage or more from the company you work for. But you might need extra coverage or a separate policy, depending on how you’re classified as a worker and how often you make deliveries.

Business use coverage: What does a personal policy cover?

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.
  • You may need to specify this business use — You’ll need to give your insurance company a heads up that you use your vehicle 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 business 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.

Commercial car insurance policy

Commercial car insurance policies work best for drivers who own a delivery business or those who need extra coverage not provided by your employer. You can buy a policy with all the standard coverage for deliveries or add coverage that’s missing from a company-provided policy. What to look for:

  • Property damage liability. You’ll need at least your state’s legal limits, which may differ from those driving for personal reasons.
  • Bodily injury liability. Similar to the above, businesses often require much higher injury coverage. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recommends a minimum of $500,000 or higher, if possible.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist. Some states require this protection, and you might consider similar limits to your liability.
  • Personal injury protection (PIP). You may need this coverage if it’s required in your state and you’re working for yourself or a small business. Otherwise, businesses with multiple employees are typically required to buy worker’s compensation. In this case, you might buy PIP if it’s only required for car insurance in your state.
  • Non-owned or hired auto. This may be provided by your company to cover you for liability while using your personal car, or if you drive a company vehicle for deliveries.
  • Comprehensive. Cover car damage 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.
  • Delivery driver packages. Commercial insurers are used to customizing to each business, so you may find a specific delivery driver policy with some insurance companies.

How can I get full coverage car insurance as a delivery driver?

If you work for an employer or delivery service company like UberEats or DoorDash, you likely have some coverage offered 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.

What extra coverage should I consider?

Even if your employer provides some insurance, you may not have all the coverage you’d prefer for your car. Consider supplementing with your own coverage for wider protection:

  • Downtime loss. Protect your income if you lose valuable work time because of an accident.
  • Rental reimbursement. Better yet, get reimbursed for a rental car, so that you can keep making deliveries.
  • Roadside assistance. Get quick assistance for minor roadside needs that involve fuel delivery, battery jumpstart or flat tire changes.

Car insurance quotes for delivery drivers

Name Product AM Best financial rating Available states
CoverWallet
Not rated
All 50 states
Compare multiple quotes for business auto insurance to find the cheapest rates from this online commercial insurance broker.
Insurance321 commercial car insurance
Not rated
All 50 states
Connect with a commercial agent who understands your industry and receive a personalized quote in as little as four minutes.
Esurance commercial car insurance
A+
All states except AK, DE, HI, MT, NH, VT, WY
Help yourself to dozens of coverage options and accelerated claims process for business cars, vans or box trucks.
Liberty Mutual commercial car insurance
A
All 50 states
Take advantage of telematics to monitor and improve employees' driving and save on insurance premiums.
Allstate commercial car insurance
A+
All 50 states
Customized, industry-specific polices like leased car coverage plus quick claims filing.
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Compare up to 4 providers

How car insurance works for pizza delivery drivers

If you work for a pizza restaurant, your employer should have some business insurance to cover your delivery driving. You might ask how insurance will work should an accident happen with you at the wheel. If your restaurant doesn’t cover certain damage or vehicle breakdowns, you can look at how your personal policy covers those situations.

What do delivery services like UberEats and DoorDash cover?

Each delivery service provides a different amount of coverage. Even if your company’s coverage fulfills minimum state requirements, you may want extra liability or add-ons for wide protection of your vehicle.

For example, DoorDash offers up to $1 million in liability coverage for injuries or property damage that kicks in after you exhaust your own auto insurance. It doesn’t take responsibility for your own car’s damage.

On the other hand, UberEats provides liability coverage and will take care of comprehensive and collision if you have it on your personal policy. But both companies offer reduced or no coverage while waiting for an order.

        How much more does car insurance cost for delivery drivers?

        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.

        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:

        • Potential for risky driving. Delivery habits that could lead to an accident include speeding, sudden braking or cutting corners to rush deliveries.
        • Driving in an accident-prone area. Cities or crowded locations could bring a higher rate because of accident statistics in the area.
        • High mileage driving. 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.
        • Multiple 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.

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          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.

          Look for providers who offer the right amount of protection you need for the job.

          Questions about car insurance for delivery drivers

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