Do you really need insurance to drive for a delivery gig company? The answer is yes! The top three things you need to know about insurance for couriers here.
Buckle has partnered with Harry Campbell, founder of TheRideshareGuy.com, to provide our Members with the very best tips, tricks, and news to help maximize their income as a rideshare and delivery driver.
If you’ve been delivering for a while, you know how important it is to have insurance. However, if you’re brand new to courier work, you might not really understand how important it is to have gig-work-specific insurance.
Many people think their own auto insurance covers them for delivery driving, but that’s not always the case! Here’s what you need to know about insurance for couriers.
1. Do Delivery Drivers Really Need Insurance?
The short answer is yes. The long answer is that it might depend on the delivery service you’re driving for.
Some delivery companies provide coverage for their drivers, while others do not. Even the ones that do may not cover you as much as you’d like, so additional insurance may be a good idea.
No matter what, you should 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.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry, and you can always call an agent and ask if “X company” is covered for delivery driving. It doesn’t mean you are going to start driving tomorrow, but it will alleviate any concerns you have.
2. What Do the Top Gig Companies Offer?
Each company offers different levels of coverage for their drivers. Let’s breakdown what each one has available.
Uber and Lyft only cover rideshare drivers during Periods 2 and 3. Period 2 starts once you accept a ride request and are en route to your passenger, and Period 3 starts once your passenger gets into your car.
However, when you’re online and waiting for a request during Period 1, you have no collision coverage from Uber or Lyft and much lower liability limits.
This means as a rideshare driver, you’re most at risk during Period 1 since you won’t get any collision coverage from rideshare companies and your personal insurer likely won’t cover you during this time either.
How Rideshare Insurance Works for Uber & Lyft Drivers
DoorDash provides a $1 million contingent liability policy “when you are in possession of goods to be delivered,” meaning only from restaurant to delivery, not driving TO a restaurant.
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.
A look at DoorDash’s coverage
DoorDash also makes it clear that you will need your own insurance to drive for DoorDash.
Instacart is one of the rare exceptions. They do not offer any kind of vehicle insurance to their full-service shoppers/drivers. I searched high and low on their site hoping to find some kind of coverage, but there was none to be found.
If you decide to drive for Instacart, you’ll definitely want to look into adding a rideshare endorsement to your personal insurance coverage as that is the only way you’ll be covered if you get into an accident while actively working for Instacart.
Keep in mind that the rideshare endorsement doesn’t tend to cover you while you have the food in your vehicle, actively going to the delivery address because it’s sort of understood that the company you’re delivering for would cover you during that time period.
Learn more about what how these companies cover delivery drivers in this Rideshare Guy video How Delivery Insurance Works for Uber Eats & DoorDash Drivers.
3. Which insurance companies cover delivery drivers?
Obviously, we’re big fans of Buckle, here! Buckle insurance recently expanded its rideshare insurance to cover delivery drivers as well.
As you know, Buckle is insurance specifically for rideshare and delivery drivers. Buckle isn’t yet available nationwide, but if you live in Pennsylvania, Florida, Texas, DC, Illinois, Nevada, Maryland, Georgia, or Tennessee, - you’re in luck!
Don’t just take it from us! Learn more about Buckle insurance here.
State Farm is a company that offers ‘gap coverage’ for rideshare drivers that extends to your personal policy to include Period 1 coverage. In fact, State Farm’s rideshare insurance can provide you with some amount of coverage during all 3 periods for rideshare drivers.
According to State Farm’s website, adding a rideshare coverage endorsement “typically adds about 15–20 percent to your current premium.”*
USAA Rideshare Insurance
USAA offers rideshare insurance as an add-on option to an existing USAA auto policy. Because of this setup, the total cost will be only slightly more than a regular policy – and USAA policies themselves are some of the most affordable policies anywhere, making them an extremely good deal.
One of RSG’s readers reported that USAA’s rideshare addendum cost them an extra $16 per month. For some drivers, it’s as low as $6. Another reader and Uber driver reported that her total 6-month cost to insure a 2015 Nissan Sentra through USAA came to just $385 – including the rideshare add-on. You’d be hard-pressed to find a cheaper policy anywhere.
USAA has a pretty good reputation as an insurer, and although their rideshare coverage isn’t the most thorough, it does offer what’s known as “gap coverage” or “period one coverage.”
The bottom line? You’ll want to, at the very least, get some quotes from a few insurance companies if you plan on driving for delivery companies. Most won’t cover you fully, and if your current auto insurance policy isn’t aware you’re driving for a delivery company, they could cancel your policy.
That said, more companies are offering rideshare and delivery endorsements, so you should be able to find something in your state. Don’t drive without it!
Harry Campbell is a former Boeing Aerospace Engineer and founder of TheRideshareGuy.com, a blog, podcast and Youtube channel for ridehail drivers and other gig workers and author of, The Rideshare Guide. Over the years, Harry has covered the gig economy industry closely and talked to tens of thousands of drivers and gig workers about their experience on the road.