Food Delivery Car Insurance

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If you deliver food with gigs like Uber Eats, Doordash, or Domino’s Pizza you need to protect yourself with food delivery car insurance. As the gig economy grows, more and more people are turning to food delivery platforms as a way to earn extra income. While food delivery can be lucrative, it also comes with risks, especially when it comes to auto insurance coverage. 

When you use your personal vehicle for commercial purposes like food delivery, most standard personal auto insurance policies will not fully protect you. There are special considerations, coverages, and laws related to food delivery insurance that drivers need to understand, so they have adequate protection on the road. This article will break down everything you need to know, including a deep dive into important food delivery auto insurance regulations in Texas, California, and Florida.

Food Delivery Car Insurance

Why Food Delivery Drivers Need Specialized Auto Insurance

Standard personal auto insurance is designed to cover occasional, non-commercial use of your vehicle. Because you use your car extensively to earn an income when doing food delivery, most personal policies exclude that use or don’t cover accidents that happen while commercially delivering food. 

Here are some key reasons why food delivery requires specialized auto insurance:

  • Increased time on the road equals higher accident risk: Spending more hours driving to deliver food means you’re at a greater risk of getting into an accident. You’ll want higher coverage limits.
  • Personal policies may deny food delivery claims: If you rely solely on a personal policy and get into an accident while working, your insurer may deny the claim due to commercial use.
  • Lack of coverage for food or goods inside your car: If you get into a covered accident but the food you’re transporting is damaged or stolen, your personal policy likely won’t cover it.  
  • Greater wear and tear over time: The extra mileage you put on your car delivering food will cause more maintenance issues and wears down the value faster over time.

Failure to disclose food delivery use or to secure proper coverage can easily leave drivers uninsured and on the hook for hefty out-of-pocket expenses if an accident occurs while working.

Types of Food Delivery Auto Insurance Coverage

To make sure they’re protected, food delivery drivers need commercial auto policies designed specifically to cover the risks that come with transporting goods for income. Here are key coverage types to consider:

Livery Insurance

In the insurance world, transporting people or goods for money is known as “livery.” For food delivery drivers, a livery policy that explicitly covers transporting food by vehicle is essential. This type of commercial policy is priced to account for the increased use and risk.

Livery insurance covers collisions and damages (to both your vehicle and others) that happen while food items are actively being delivered. Without disclosure of delivery use, your personal insurer might refuse a claim. Livery coverage also tends to come with higher liability limits in case a delivery accident causes property damage or injuries. 

Commercial Auto Insurance

Some insurers may offer an all-encompassing commercial auto insurance policy designed specifically for food delivery drivers instead of an add-on livery policy. Standalone commercial policies can be more expensive but may also cover more risks involved with making food deliveries like having logos or toppers on your vehicle to identify you as a delivery driver.

Gap Insurance

In addition to liability and collision coverage, delivery drivers may want to consider gap coverage to protect themselves in case their vehicle is totaled. Gap insurance covers the difference between what your auto policy pays for a total loss and what you still owe on auto loan financing. This can save drivers thousands since food delivery vehicles depreciate in value faster.

Umbrella Insurance

Umbrella or excess liability insurance provides another layer of protection in case of a severe accident while delivering food items that result in major property damage or injuries. It kicks in after you reach the limit of underlying liability coverage provided by your auto policy. For a relatively small annual premium compared to increased liability limits, umbrella coverage brings essential peace of mind.

On-Demand Delivery Insurance

Some insurers now offer insurance tailored to on-demand and delivery drivers that covers all three major risks: third-party liability, collision, and comprehensive. Policies are priced based on variables like location and annual mileage. Coverage can be turned “on” when logged into delivery apps and “off” when not working. However, getting quotes and securing coverage must happen in advance, so it’s not something you can purchase only in moments when making deliveries.

Liability Insurance

This coverage protects you if you cause an accident that injures another driver or damages their vehicle or property. Most experts recommend a bare minimum of $100,000 per person and $300,000 per accident in bodily injury liability coverage. However, given the risks of delivery driving, consider opting for $250,000 or even $500,000 per person and accident. Property damage liability of at least $100,000 is also essential. Without adequate liability limits, you put your assets at risk if you cause an expensive accident.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Unfortunately, around 13% of drivers lack insurance. This coverage protects you if an uninsured or underinsured driver hits your car. Match your uninsured/underinsured motorist bodily injury limits to your liability coverage limits for maximum protection.

Comprehensive and Collision Coverage

While not legally required, having comprehensive and collision coverage is wise to repair or replace your car if it’s damaged in an accident or from other hazards like theft or vandalism. However, the coverage does add expense, so raise your deductibles to $500 or $1,000 to reduce premiums.

Medical Payments

Med pay covers injuries to you or your passengers from an accident, regardless of who caused it. While optional, it can be worth adding $5,000 or higher in medical pay coverage to help pay copays, deductibles, or other medical bills not handled by your health insurance.

Other Considerations To Think About 

Notify your insurer that you drive for a delivery app, as this usage may not be covered under a standard personal auto policy. Also, discuss any company requirements with your provider. For example, some food delivery platforms require $1 million liability limits and recommend maintaining a $1,000 deductible or less on comprehensive/collision to remain an active driver. 

Review all options to find an affordable policy tailored to your specific delivery driving risks and needs. Paying for ample coverage now can save you from devastating financial impacts later if your vehicle is damaged or you cause a serious accident while delivering food orders.

The Cheapest Food Delivery Car Insurance Company 

The Hands Down Winner is Progressive Insurance

Of all the major national insurers, Progressive offers the most affordable car insurance for food delivery drivers overall. They have a commercial policy with broad coverage options priced for drivers who deliver food, groceries, or other goods. Plus, they offer many money-saving discounts like multi-policy, multi-car, and safe driver discounts. With all discounts factored in, Progressive usually comes out to be the cheapest provider for food delivery drivers.

Runner-Up: Geico

Geico is better known for rideshare insurance, but they provide competitive rates for food delivery services too. While they may not always beat Progressive on overall value, Geico’s pricing gets close. They also have a commercial insurance product designed for delivery drivers. Plus, Geico allows you to get quotes based on actual annual mileage, meaning you could pay next to nothing for car insurance if you drive very few miles every year.

Honorable Mention: State Farm

State Farm is America’s largest auto and home insurer, which means they have the resources to provide affordable coverage options. Though not always the absolute lowest, State Farm car insurance prices are quite economical for food delivery workers. Importantly, if you already have other policies with State Farm, you can save a lot on multi-policy discounts.

Other Insurers That Offer Cheap Gig Delivery Auto Insurance

The remaining major insurance companies can still offer affordable rates, but likely won’t be quite as cheap as the previous three for food delivery drivers. Still, it’s wise to get quotes from:

  • Allstate
  • Farmers
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Travelers
  • The Hartford
  • Nationwide
  • American Family Insurance

Key Factors That Impact Food Delivery Insurance Costs

Just like personal auto insurance, rates and costs for livery and commercial policies depend heavily on variables tied to risk, such as:

  • Driving Record: Past accidents, speeding tickets, and especially serious violations like DUIs will drive up your premium. Maintaining a clean driving history keeps rates low.
  • Location: Insurance is priced based on geographical risk factors like accident frequency, crime rates, road hazards, weather risks, and typical commute lengths in your area. Urban areas cost more than suburban or rural.
  • Annual Mileage: Your estimated annual mileage impacts premiums as higher use indicates more hours on risky roads. Food delivery drives up annual miles.
  • Vehicle Make, Model, and Age: Newer vehicles with advanced safety equipment cost less to insure than old cars more prone to damage or performance issues. Luxury cars also draw higher premiums.
  • Delivery Hours: Nighttime driving when drowsy and alcohol risks are higher brings bigger insurance risk, so expect higher rates if provided after-dark deliveries.
  • Delivery Locations: Restaurants or destinations in high crime zip codes can also mean higher premiums in some cases.
  • Liability Limits and Deductibles: Lower liability limits and higher deductibles mean cheaper payments for you but less protection. Meet state minimums and weigh paying more upfront vs possible out-of-pocket costs in a covered loss.

Food Delivery Car Insurance Laws By State

In addition to the specialized coverage considerations mentioned already, food delivery drivers also must comply with regulations that vary significantly between states. Understanding your obligations based on local laws is crucial to avoiding legal jeopardy. Here are delivery driver car insurance requirements in three of the largest states: California, Texas, and Florida.   

Texas Auto Insurance Laws for Food Deliveries  

Texas classifies vehicles used for food delivery services under “personal vehicle for hire” status using Transportation Network Company (TNC) regulations. These rules passed in 2017 define TNCs specifically to cover ridesharing companies, though increasingly apply to delivery platforms as well. Key Texas insurance requirements per TNC law include:

  • State minimum liability coverage must be in force whenever the delivery driver has their app open, indicating availability to accept jobs, whether they have an active job or not. That means coverage can NOT just turn on once they have picked up or are en route to deliver an order. Simply being online and available creates insurance obligations.
  • Livery insurance that explicitly covers transporting goods for delivery while logged into the app may be required even when no active job is in progress depending on the insurer. So food delivery endorsement is ideal.
  • Personal injury protection and uninsured/underinsured coverage are not legally mandated. But without them, the delivery driver risks personally absorbing injuries or damages caused by uninsured or underinsured motorists. These optional coverages bring added protection.

California Food Delivery Driver Insurance Requirements

California laws related to food delivery services fall under TNC service (just like rideshare), which sets these auto insurance requirements per SB 784 that took effect in 2020:  

  • Primary commercial liability of at least $1 million is required whenever logged into the app and available for delivery requests or fulfilling active orders. Lower state minimum bodily injury and property damage coverage levels ($15,000 per person or $30,000 per accident / $5,000 minimum property damage) are NOT enough.
  • Collision coverage with a $1,000 deductible maintains affordability but offers protection if at fault in an accident.
  • Comprehensive coverage is required in case of damage to the vehicle unrelated to a collision, like from weather, fire, or theft while delivering food. This protects the business asset value of the vehicle.
  • Medical payments coverage of at least $5,000 to cover injuries to the delivery driver themself in a covered accident, beyond just third-party bodily injury liability.

Unlike Texas, uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is required in California. So if a delivery driver sustains injuries or vehicle damage caused by a motorist with no or insufficient insurance, they can still pursue a claim to cover damages up to policy limits they carry.

Florida Food Delivery Insurance Laws

Florida laws specifically addressing insurance requirements for food delivery services primarily center on pizza delivery. However, regulations are expanding to encompass broader food delivery offered through digital marketplace apps and services. Key auto insurance requirements include:

  • Livery insurance with explicit coverage for food delivery is not necessarily mandated, but effectively required by most insurers once made aware vehicles are used commercially to deliver food. So a personal policy likely won’t suffice regardless of state minimums.
  • Medical payment coverage and personal injury protection are not legally required, but are strongly recommended to protect the delivery driver from potential injury costs.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage is not mandated, but also wise for protection against injury costs caused by an uninsured or underinsured driver. Otherwise, the delivery driver must absorb their own damages if the at-fault party lacks sufficient insurance and assets.

The Final Word on Delivery Driver Car Insurance 

Driving for food delivery platforms promises fast cash and independence. But it also comes with real risk, from parking lot slips to high-speed collisions. Failing to secure adequate insurance tailored to the exposures and liabilities of making food deliveries can have devastating consequences for drivers left footing the bill in case of an incident.  

Protect yourself, your vehicle, and your income by understanding state laws, evaluating risks, and shopping specialized commercial policies suitable for food delivery drivers. Paying a little more per month brings peace of mind and could spare you crippling out-of-pocket costs down the road. 

Get your custom food delivery car insurance quote and save hundreds. To start, enter your zip code and fill out a free online application in about five minutes, and compare rates from national and regional insurers. Save more today on the gig car insurance you need.