Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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In a nutshell...

  • If you’re a delivery driver, your personal car insurance company more than likely won’t cover you
  • You should pull out your policy and look over the definition of personal use to see if delivering goods is excluded
  • Most insurance companies also won’t cover the transport of people if you’re being paid for the ride
  • If your company doesn’t provide delivery coverage, check to see if your employer has non-owned liability insurance
  • When you’re not covered under a non-owned specialty product, you will have to buy a commercial insurance policy

It’s never been more popular to be a delivery driver. If you’re delivering as an independent contractor through a partner like Amazon, or you’re delivering meals via large chains like Pizza Hut and Papa John’s, you’re not alone.

The job has its perks, and one of those perks is that you have the freedom to drive around, listen to music, and earn tips. With some chains, you’ll even get free meals.

Working as a delivery driver might have its advantages, but your job will expose you to a much higher rate of losses.

You may be able to avoid getting into accidents with your defensive driving abilities, but your personal car insurance provider certainly has a cause for concern.

Compare car insurance quotes to find the best rate for coverage for you! If you haven’t already looked into how your insurance works as you’re delivering goods, it’s time to get informed:

Personal Car Insurance Doesn’t Cover All Types of Use

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You’re required to buy auto insurance on your personal vehicle. If you don’t buy the mandatory coverage and maintain it, you could lose your car and even your driving privilege.

Not all drivers know that their personal coverage doesn’t cover everything.

A personal car insurance policy is designed to cover a vehicle owner that’s using their car for personal reasons.

It gets a bit confusing when you consider the fact that you can drive your car to commute to work and you can drive your vehicle for business as you travel to and from work sites, but many insurers won’t cover usage if you’re using your vehicle to deliver goods.

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Look Over Your Personal Auto Policy

One way that you can find out if you’re driving your car in a way that’s covered by your insurer is to look over your Personal Auto Policy contract.

The contract defines what’s covered, what’s not, and how the limits of liability work under a personal car insurance plan. Anytime you have a coverage question, you’ll find a detailed answer here.

Most auto insurance policies that are written for personal autos have the same exclusions. The exclusions pertain to what types of vehicles are covered, who can drive, and how the vehicle can be driven.

If you present a claim when a covered driver is operating your car or you’re using your car for the wrong reasons, your claim could be denied.

Why is it common for delivery of goods to be excluded from your policy?

It’s common for public or livery conveyance use to be specifically excluded under personal auto policies. By definition, this exclusion refers to usage where the vehicle owner is transporting people or goods for hire. This type of driving would include:

  • Taxi services
  • Delivery services
  • Independent contracting delivery assignments

If you’re allowed to drive to and from different construction work sites as a business user but you’re not allowed to deliver some packages, it might confuse you.

What you need to know is that delivering goods in a vehicle is considered commercial usage, even if you drive your vehicle to run errands in your free time.

Since you have to spend more hours on the road, you’ll be exposed to more risk. That level of risk is something that a personal insurer isn’t equipped to rate for.

Call Your Agent and Ask

If you’re still confused and you want to be sure that you have coverage the next time you report to work for a shift, the best thing that you can do is call your agent and ask.

Every carrier works differently, but most of these carriers won’t protect you while you’re transporting commercial goods unless you have some sort of endorsement built in.

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Check to See If Your Employer Covers You

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You might not have to rush off and buy a special type of insurance to cover deliveries if your employer has you covered.

Believe it or not, it’s possible for your employer to protect both you and the company while you’re driving, even if you’re driving your own personal car.

When a company offers the service to deliver goods to their clients, it can be a huge risk.

There are rewards when it comes to attracting new business, but sometimes the risks outweigh the rewards when the company doesn’t focus on risk management.

Just one claim could close down departments and affect a company’s entire product pricing.

A great way for restaurants and retail establishments to get protection is for them to buy a nonowner’s commercial auto liability plan.

It’s a huge step that larger chains take to relieve the burden of paying for personal injury and property damage claims without any type of protection.

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– Does Amazon offer you insurance while you’re delivering?

Amazon has a partner delivery service where the company contracts drivers to deliver packages, groceries, and even restaurant orders.

Since the company is taking on more and more drivers, it’s common for people to ask if they are insured by Amazon even though they aren’t technically employed by them.

If you become an Amazon Flex driver, you’ll be happy to hear that you don’t need a commercial auto policy. Amazon carriers a robust nonowner’s insurance plan that covers liability claims and also pays for damage to your vehicle.

You will have to pay a deductible for the damage to be repaired, but it’s nice to know that the protection is offered.

– Does Lyft cover you?

If you’re contracted to drive with Lyft as a rideshare partner, you may have some level of protection with Lyft’s commercial auto policy and general liability plan.

It works a bit differently with Lyft. You’re expected to file a claim under your own insurance first before Lyft will present the loss to their insurer. If something isn’t covered, it’s possible the general liability policy will kick in.

– Does Uber offer any type of protection?

Uber also provides their partners with some level of protection while you’re accepting ride requests. You’ll have $1 million of liability limits per incident and another $50,000 in collision coverage when you’re driving passengers.

The limits are similar with both ridesharing service providers, but Uber only requires that you pay a $1000 deductible.

See If You Can Add a Ridesharing Endorsement

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There is a new type of insurance that’s being sold in some states called rideshare insurance. This rideshare insurance is a specialty policy that’s just for independent contractors who are working for a rideshare service provider.

These policies are inexpensive compared to commercial auto insurance and don’t have the limitations that personal auto policies do.

You May Still Need a Commercial Auto Policy

If the company you’re contracted through or employed with does not have a nonowner’s liability policy, you need to take the appropriate action and bind a commercial auto policy in your name.

Commercial auto policies are designed to pay when your personal auto policy won’t. As a delivery driver, you won’t have to worry about having your claim denied.

If you’re delivering goods and you still aren’t eligible for ridesharing insurance, you’ll have to shop around for a commercial plan to avoid having coverage issues.

Buying commercial insurance is a lot like buying personal insurance. The only difference is you’ll be able to choose from more coverage options and you’ll have to disclose more information about how your car is driven.

As soon as you take on a position where you’ll be driving your personal vehicle to deliver goods you need to review your insurance. Your personal auto policy does provide a lot of protection, but it doesn’t protect you from it all.

If you need commercial auto insurance or ridesharing coverage, get instant online quotes and see which option is most affordable. Enter your zip code below to get started comparing.