Given the state of the economy you may be considering a second or third job as a delivery driver. It might seem like a simple way to earn more money, using the car or vehicle you already own. You already have an auto insurance policy, so what could possibly go wrong?
The problem is that most private passenger or personal car insurance polices do not cover commercial activities, including being a delivery driver. Thus, if you get in an accident while on the job you may find that your insurance won’t pay. Given this information you may be wondering, what car insurance do delivery drivers need?
The answer to that question will depend on who you are working for. For the sake of this article we will assume you are going to be working for as a food delivery driver, such as a pizza delivery driver, but the same basic principles apply no matter what type of deliveries you are making.
Making Deliveries For Large Chains Using Their Vehicles
Some large restaurant chains have their own fleet of vehicles they use for deliveries. They should have proper commercial liability insurance for their vehicles, which should cover all drivers using them. In this case, you should not have to worry about buying additional insurance as you should already be covered. It is up to the store to buy and maintain proper coverage.
However, it doesn’t hurt to check with the store or restaurant you are working with to make sure this is the case. Each state handles auto insurance differently and you don’t want a nasty surprise down the road.
Making Deliveries For Large Chains Using Your Vehicle
Now, everything changes once you start using your own vehicle to start making deliveries. You have to be very careful, since as we mentioned above your personal auto insurance does not cover business use of your vehicle. The reason is that delivery drivers typically driver several times further than regular drivers and are thus far more likely to get in accidents.
Now if you work for a big chain, they may provide what is called ‘Non-owned vehicle liability insurance.’ Basically, this insurance is paid for by the company you work for. It covers vehicles not owned by them (as you will be using your car), but who will be making deliveries on their behalf.
If this is the case, then you are technically covered by insurance while on the job making deliveries. However, you should still inform your insurance company about your situation to make sure you are completely covered. Again, you don’t want to have a claim denied because you didn’t have proper insurance.
Making Deliveries For Small or Independent Restaurants Using Your Own Vehicle
To cut costs, many large chains no longer offer non-owned vehicle liability insurance. This is even more likely if you work for the franchise of a major restaurant chain and almost certain if you are making deliveries for small independent restaurants. If your employer does not offer some form of liability insurance, then it is your responsibility to buy it on your own.
Delivery driver insurance does not fall under personal car insurance policies, but instead under commercial car insurance. Again each company and state handles the issue slightly differently, but you can be 100% certain that you will pay higher insurance premiums as a delivery driver than you would as a regular driver.
Moreover, you need to know that not all private passenger auto insurance carriers also offer commercial auto insurance policies. Large companies such as GEICO and Nationwide offer both, but smaller local or regional carriers may not. Therefore, if you currently have a policy from a smaller company you may have to switch companies or purchase supplementary commercial auto insurance.
On the other hand, if you already have a policy with major insurer you may just be able to switch your policy to one that covers commercial activities. In any case, you want to talk to your car insurance company before you start any delivery driver job.
To find large insurance companies near you, who may offer commercial auto insurance, please use the following form: