Harry here. Delivery app work is becoming increasingly popular with rideshare drivers and each app provides a different level of insurance coverage to its drivers. A rideshare insurance policy covers you while you drive passengers, but it may not provide coverage while you deliver packages or food.
Today, RSG guest poster Rideshare Genius will detail what some of the major apps cover and some delivery insurance offerings we’ve found. It’s a good idea to check your policy and make sure you’re properly covered for any app you’d like to work with. Insurance companies are still adjusting to this new industry segment of delivery, so you may need to contact an agent directly to find solutions for your coverage. Expect to see an increase in delivery-friendly insurance policies offered in the future.
With the rising popularity of on-demand food and package delivery services, it’s no surprise that there’s a huge demand for new drivers. Companies like UberEATS, Postmates, DoorDash and Amazon Flex are constantly looking for new workers to come on board and deliver for them. And becoming a new driver means a new 20-some-odd page independent contractor agreement to read through and digest. How many of us actually read those things in full? Well, if you haven’t read those contracts, it’s probably a good idea to start making a habit of it and here’s one reason why: insurance.
Insurance is a subject that a lot of us tend to ignore until we actually need to file a claim. And as Harry wrote back in 2014, regulators and insurance companies have had trouble keeping up with the quickly-evolving sharing economy and the insurance issues drivers face. Thankfully, many states now have specific regulations regarding rideshare insurance and insurance companies now have a lot more offerings for drivers than they used to. But when it comes to delivery work, there is little in terms of regulation or industry standards.
So let’s take a closer look a few major delivery services and how they each handle the insurance issue.
(You can take a full look at all the agreements/insurance/contracts here – up to date as of 1/22/2017)
Amazon Flex seems to have one of the more robust insurance policies out there for its delivery drivers. According to the Flex driver app, the Amazon Flex Auto Policy applies while couriers “deliver packages, pick up packages and return undelivered packages back to a designated location.” The policy includes liability coverage, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage and contingent comprehensive and collision coverage.
The $1 million liability coverage is primary and covers drivers for damages to a third party’s vehicle or person. The uninsured/underinsured $1 million coverage protects drivers in the case of injury or vehicle damage caused by another motorist who’s not carrying adequate insurance. And the contingent comprehensive and collision coverage will provide up to $50,000 to cover damages to a driver’s car while delivering with Amazon. This contingent coverage is only available to drivers who already have comprehensive and collision coverage on their personal policies. Comprehensive and collision claims are subject to a $1,000 deductible.
Please note that the Amazon Flex policy does not apply to drivers in New York, who must maintain their own commercial coverage.
DoorDash provides a $1 million contingent liability policy “when you are in possession of goods to be delivered.” So it can only be used after you’ve exhausted the coverage from your personal policy and only applies to damages and injuries drivers cause to other parties while on an active delivery. There is no collision coverage at any point.
Since DoorDash’s insurance coverage is pretty bare-bones, it’s probably a good idea for drivers to review their personal policies (or rideshare policies, if applicable) and make sure they’re fully covered while delivering for DoorDash. Drivers may need to add additional delivery-specific coverage to their policies.
Like DoorDash, Postmates also provides $1 million in excess liability coverage for couriers in vehicles. And this coverage would only kick in after you’ve exhausted your personal policy’s coverage, which probably won’t cover you at all in this case unless you’ve added delivery to your personal policy. For couriers who deliver on foot or bicycle, Postmates provides a $1 million general liability policy for third party injuries and third party property damage.
And again, since the insurance coverage for Postmates couriers is minimal, it’s best to check with a rideshare insurance agent to be sure you are properly insured. This is particularly important in the case of Postmates because orders can sometimes include valuable items such as Apple computers and smartphones, so you’ll want to be sure you’re covered from every angle.
Portier LLC is a subsidiary of Uber and handles delivery services for the company. If you signed up to deliver for Ubereats, you probably agreed to a contract with Portier. UberEATS provides coverage for drivers that is similar to the coverage provided while driving for UberX. I contacted Uber directly about insurance coverage and after many messages back and forth, support confirmed that they do in fact provide the following insurance for delivery partners:
“$1 million of liability coverage per incident. Uber holds a commercial insurance policy with $1 million of coverage per incident. Drivers’ liability to third parties is covered from the moment a driver accepts the request to deliver meals or goods to the time the delivery is complete.
Contingent comprehensive and collision insurance. If a delivery partner holds personal comprehensive and collision insurance this policy covers physical damage to that vehicle that occurs during a trip up to the actual cash value of the vehicle, for any reason, with a $1,000 deductible.
$50,000/$100,000/$25,000 of coverage between trips. During the time that a ride-sharing partner is available but between deliveries, many personal auto insurance policies will provide coverage (this is not true). However, if the driver does not have applicable coverage, we maintain a policy that covers the driver’s liability for bodily injury up to $50,000/individual/accident with a total of $100,000/accident and up to $25,000 for property damage.”
While performing an UberEATS delivery recently, I located the waybill in my Uber Driver app and discovered the James River Insurance coverage to be in effect for the delivery trip, so that seemed to confirm what Uber told me.
The insurance coverage Ubereats provides is thorough while drivers are on active deliveries, but as with rideshare, drivers should get additional coverage for period 1, the time you’re logged in and waiting for a request, but haven’t received one yet. As with Amazon Flex, Ubereats drivers in New York State are not covered by the policy and must maintain their own commercial insurance.
What Does This All Mean For Drivers?
Reading through contracts and documents is not the way most drivers would like to spend their days. But it’s important to be sure that proper coverages are in place if you’re going to be doing any type of delivery work. It might be easy to “get away” with delivering orders without maintaining adequate coverage, but it would not be wise. Accidents can be costly and without proper insurance, even one accident can have huge financial consequences.
Some companies like UberEATS and Amazon Flex provide coverage that supplements personal insurance policies quite well (although you can still be deactivated by your personal insurance company if they find out you’re working for a delivery service) and are similar to Uber’s rideshare insurance policy that a lot of us are already familiar with.
So as long as you’re in good standing with your insurance company and have collision and comprehensive coverage, you should only need additional period 1 insurance to deliver for Ubereats. Be aware that insurance companies might not treat delivery “period 1” the same as rideshare “period 1” when writing your policy, so be sure to confirm the coverage details.
State Farm Rideshare/Delivery Insurance
Since most personal policies won’t allow their drivers to drive for Uber or deliver for food delivery services, you’ll want to look into delivery-specific insurance products. The good news is that there are insurance products out there that fill the void. Kyle Middleton, a State Farm insurance agent in California, told me that a driver who would like to add delivery-only coverage to a personal policy with his firm would likely see a 5% increase in premiums (e.g. DoorDash, no driving passengers–only food.) Mr. Middleton’s office also offers rideshare-specific policies for drivers who carry passengers. Those policies can have delivery service coverage added as well, with no increase in premium likely.
Allstate Rideshare/Delivery Insurance
Another agent I spoke with, Doug Eisold of Allstate, told me Allstate’s rideshare policy will cover drivers working for Uber, Lyft and Ubereats, but no other apps. As you can see, coverage options vary from one insurer to the next.
Geico Rideshare/Delivery Insurance
A promising option for drivers, especially those working for multiple apps, is Geico’s new ridesharing insurance. According to representatives from Geico, their product will fully cover drivers working for ANY on-demand app, including Uber, Lyft, Amazon Flex, Postmates, DoorDash and others.
The Geico ridesharing insurance provides primary coverage through all periods of rides and deliveries and will generally cost drivers about $20-$25 more per month than a personal policy. Currently available in the following states, Geico hopes to offer the policy in more places soon, including California. (Available in: AL, AZ, CT, CO, DE, DC, GA, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, LA, ME, MD, MN, MS, MO, NE, NM, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, and WY.) Geico also offers a commercial auto product in New York for drivers who do on-demand delivery only (no rideshare.)
Since the rideshare and delivery industries are constantly evolving, it’s important for drivers to always be proactive and ensure they’re covered properly. I wish there were easy answers I could provide to help delivery workers get the coverage they need, but the truth is that A) every company provides different coverages to its drivers, B) different regulations apply in different areas and C) insurance companies have not yet developed industry standards for handling delivery policies.
So if you’re already doing delivery work or you’re thinking about doing delivery work, be sure to read your independent contractor agreements thoroughly and always check with your insurance company or local agent to confirm you’re fully covered for each and every delivery app you partner with. If you’d like to talk to an agent who specializes in rideshare/delivery insurance, you can find a list here.
Bio: Ezra Dubroff is a rideshare veteran living in Los Angeles, CA. With thousands of trips and deliveries completed since 2013, he’s been able to leverage his experiences to help other drivers make informed decisions about working in this industry. In addition to helping drivers create strategies for success, he also likes to explore broader issues affecting the rideshare industry including insurance, compensation, regulation and the macroeconomic effects of this industry on our society as a whole. In his free time, he enjoys playing basketball, camping trips and backpacking adventures. You can find him on YouTube and at driveuber.com.
Drivers, what do you know or not know about delivery insurance? Have you talked to your insurance agent about your delivering of food/packages?
-Harry @ RSG
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