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Do Delivery Drivers Need Special Insurance?


Do Food Delivery Drivers Need Special Insurance? Insight From the Food Delivery Service Accident Lawyers

As the convenience of having food from your favorite restaurants delivered directly to your door has attracted millions across the country to seek the services of different food delivery service apps, so has the appeal to work doing said deliveries. 

According to data collected by Second Measure, meal delivery services saw year-over-year growth of 24 percent collectively through the end of March 2020.

Just like the ridesharing business, companies like DoorDash, Postmates, and Uber Eats have attracted drivers to work for them due to the possibilities of setting up their own work schedule, quick turnaround for payment, and not having to deal with riders getting into their personal vehicles. 

But just because you have your own car and pay the insurance every month doesn’t mean you’re good to go to work as a food delivery driver. Sure, your personal insurance would suffice to sign up for these independent contractor gigs, but in the event of an accident — like a car crash— you would probably end up getting the short end of the stick, since your insurance most likely wouldn’t cover it.

In order to drive for these food delivery services, you need a personal auto insurance policy that covers the commercial use of a car — no matter if you perform deliveries part or full time. The rates for business use of a car are significantly higher than the ones for personal use, and that is because the risks of being on the road increase due to: 

  • The frequency of driving
  • The time spent driving
  • Where one drives
  • The distraction issues related to keeping an eye on the order and the navigation 

Commercial and business-use policies are designed to cover the risks when you use your personal car for commercial uses. Food delivery services are still a novelty, and the insurance industry is still adapting to the changes. That’s why it’s very important to check with your current insurance carrier on what your options are in terms of coverage if you’re considering working as an independent contractor for these food delivery services.  

Among the most popular food delivery services in Los Angeles are Postmates, DoorDash, and Uber Eats. Insurance policies for these companies vary in regards to the amount of coverage they provide for damages arising from food delivery accidents.

DoorDash


According to the same Second Measure report, DoorDash saw 58% of its customers use them exclusively in the first quarter of 2020 — one of the highest percentage of exclusive customers in the food delivery service industry. 

For its drivers, DoorDash requires them “to maintain [their] own insurance, in the amounts and of types required by law which includes, but is not limited to, an auto insurance policy. If [they] fail to maintain [their] own insurance, DoorDash's coverage may not apply.”

DoorDash provides excess auto insurance for its drivers, but only for property damage or bodily injury caused to third parties. In the event of an accident, the driver’s personal auto insurance policy would serve as the primary coverage. If the damages exceed the delivery driver’s policy and the accident happened when the driver was on active delivery, DoorDash’s contingent liability policy of $1 million would only then go into effect. Furthermore, this contingent liability policy only applies if the driver was in possession of goods to be delivered, meaning if they were driving from the restaurant to a delivery but not to a restaurant for pickup.

Starting June 2019, all U.S. Dashers (what they call their drivers) will automatically be eligible for occupational accident insurance coverage at no cost, which in the event of an accident will cover:

  • Medical expenses: Up to $1,000,000 with no deductible or co-pay
  • Disability payments: Up to $500 a week
  • Survivors payments: Up to $150,000 for eligible dependents

Postmates


Postmates is the top food delivery service in the city of Los Angeles. And with a higher demand comes an even higher responsibility.  

Postmates requires all on-demand drivers to maintain an up-to-date, personal automobile liability policy on all vehicles operated while driving for the company with insurance limits equal to or greater than the minimum requirements for the state where their independent contractors drive in. 

Similar to DoorDash, Postmates provides $1 million in excess liability to third party claims that will only come into play after the driver’s personal auto insurance coverage has been exhausted. The company offers additional coverage called “accidental occupational liability” coverage, which allows up to $50,000 to cover the costs of medical expenses for injuries suffered while on the job.

Uber Eats


According to the blog Drive Girl Drive, some of the busiest places for Uber Eats drivers in Los Angeles are highly congested areas like Downtown LA, Santa Monica, and Hollywood, with the busiest times being between 5 and 9 p.m. Driving is said areas, it’s surely in your best interests to have the correct insurance coverage. 

Per Uber’s site, these are the insurance requirements the company asks of its drivers: 

  • Must have comprehensive or third party property damage cover.
  • Must be listed as an insured driver on the policy, even when driving someone else's car.
  • The insurance policy must list the vehicle make type, model, year and registration.
  • The insurance policy must display an effective and expiry date.

Unlike DoorDash, an Uber Eats drivers’ liability to third parties is covered from the moment a driver accepts the request until the delivery is complete. If the app is currently on and the driver has not yet begun to pick up or deliver food (or if the driver is in between deliveries), the driver is covered for up to $50,000/$100,000/$25,000 (per individual/accident/property damage). Uber provides $1 million of liability coverage per incident, which is covered by Uber’s commercial insurance policy. 

The insurance coverage Uber Eats provides covers drivers while they’re on active deliveries. The additional insurance the driver attains through their private insurance would cover the time they’re logged in and waiting for a request.

West Coast Trial Lawyers Is Here to Help


A food delivery accident attorney at our firm can help you recover financial compensation for the losses you have suffered, including medical bills, property damage, lost wages, and more.

Call us today at (888) 520-4139 or email [email protected] to schedule a free consultation with our experienced, caring and compassionate legal team.

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