Car insurance for delivery drivers

Though some companies offer partial coverage for employees, food delivery drivers need rideshare insurance or a commercial policy to make sure they’re covered while on the job.

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Rachael Brennan

Rachael Brennan

Senior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance Expert

Rachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

Published February 24, 2022 | 4 min read

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Delivery drivers need special car insurance coverage, either rideshare insurance or a commercial car insurance policy, even if they are a full-time delivery person, not just a contractor.

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For example, Domino’s and Pizza Hut don’t offer any car insurance for their pizza delivery drivers, so people who deliver pizza for them need to purchase special coverage to make sure they are protected while at work.

Key takeaways

  • Food delivery drivers need to have either rideshare or commercial insurance to make sure they’re covered while working.

  • Rideshare insurance is an add-on to your personal insurance policy that covers you while you’re driving for work.

  • A commercial car insurance policy is a separate policy for people who use their cars for business.

  • If you work for a company like Grubhub, DoorDash or Uber Eats, check the details of your contract to make sure you know exactly what car insurance coverage the company provides, if any.

Do I need special car insurance if I’m a delivery driver?

Yes, delivery drivers who drive for companies like Grubhub, Seamless, DoorDash or Uber Eats may need special car insurance to make sure they’re covered while they’re working. If you’re a delivery driver for a local restaurant and you don’t get any coverage through work, you definitely need to adjust your car insurance to make sure you’re covered.

Delivery drivers need either a commercial car insurance policy or rideshare insurance, which is an add-on to a regular car insurance policy. 

If you don’t have special coverage and you’re in an accident while you’re on the clock, your regular car insurance company may refuse to cover the claim — which means you could be on the hook for thousands of dollars.

Some car insurance companies may allow you to drive with just a regular car insurance policy in place if your employer provides at least partial coverage during your working hours. Other insurance companies will require you to add rideshare insurance or have a commercial policy no matter how much other coverage you have in place.

Best companies for delivery drivers

Most large insurance companies offer some type of rideshare coverage you can add to your regular policy or special commercial insurance for delivery drivers. But not all coverage options for delivery drivers are the same.

CompanyRideshare coverage detailsJD Power score
AllstateAllstate’s Ride for Hire coverage provides deductible gap coverage for damage to your vehicle up to $2,500 in some states876
FarmersOffers rideshare coverage in 36 states that covers liability, comprehensive, and collision872
GEICOPartners with Lyft to offer rideshare insurance; also offers other rideshare benefits referred to as a hybrid policy871
Liberty MutualPartners with Uber in some states and Lyft in others to offer rideshare coverage867
ProgressiveOffered as an add-on to a standard policy in some states, other states require commercial insurance856
State FarmRideshare coverage available for 15% to 20% of your annual premium881
USAARideshare coverage available for as little as $6 per month, covers liability, comprehensive, and collision890

Each company has their own standards and limitations on rideshare coverage and commercial car insurance, so make sure you review the coverage before making a purchase.

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What options do delivery drivers have for car insurance?

Basically, food delivery drivers have three different options for car insurance:

1. Rideshare insurance

Rideshare insurance, also called rideshare coverage or delivery driver insurance, is an add-on to your regular car insurance policy that covers you while you are delivering food or driving passengers. You need rideshare insurance even if you only use your car for work a few hours a week because your personal car insurance policy usually won’t cover you while you are on the clock and using your car for work, whether you’re delivering pizza or driving passengers. 

2. Commercial car insurance

Commercial car insurance is a totally separate policy you can buy that protects your business (in this case, your delivery business) and isn’t as limited as rideshare coverage. For example, a commercial policy can cover multiple drivers and multiple cars, while rideshare coverage is usually designed for a single driver.

If you and your spouse or your child both have cars and both work in the delivery business, or if you have multiple cars that are only used for work, a commercial policy might be a better fit for you than a rideshare policy. But because it’s a separate policy rather than an add-on, it will typically cost more than adding rideshare coverage to your regular policy.

3. Your personal auto insurance

Drivers with insurance through their employer may be able to keep their regular policy without adding any additional coverage. This depends on your state laws, the details of your contract, and the rules your insurance company has around delivery drivers, so check with your boss and your insurance agent to make sure you have the right insurance coverage.

But if you don’t tell your car insurance company that you’re working as a delivery driver, whether it’s driving for Uber Eats or delivering pizza, and then you’re in an at-fault accident while working, your claim may be denied. That could leave you on the hook for thousands of dollars worth of damage — and your insurance company may cancel your policy once they find out that you’re working as a delivery driver.

Do Uber Eats, DoorDash, Amazon and other employers cover accidents while I’m working?

Some companies don’t offer any car insurance coverage at all, while others offer partial coverage for their employees. For example, Uber and Lyft provide some coverage for drivers when they’re on the clock, but GrubHub and DoorDash don’t offer any. 

So what does this mean for you? If you’re driving for Uber or Lyft and you are waiting for a ride request, you have liability coverage through the company, even if you don’t have a passenger yet. However, their coverage only pays for damage you cause to someone else, not your own car, so you need to have other coverage in place to pay for damage to your own car.

On the other hand, GrubHub and DoorDash don’t offer their delivery drivers any coverage at all, which means if you are in an at-fault accident while driving to pick up an order, you’ll need to have your own rideshare coverage in place to pay for any damage you cause.

If you work for a delivery company, check the details of your contract to make sure you know exactly what coverage the company provides, if any.

Frequently asked questions

Is delivery insurance required?

Yes, drivers who use their cars for food delivery need special insurance to make sure they are covered in an accident. If you don’t purchase the right insurance policy, your claims may be denied and the insurance company could even cancel your coverage altogether.

Does being a delivery driver raise your insurance?

Yes, since delivery drivers need additional insurance, they’ll pay more than if they just had a regular car insurance policy. If you need rideshare insurance it may not be much more expensive than your regular policy, but if you need commercial coverage you should expect to pay a much higher rate for your insurance.

What happens if I can’t find car insurance for delivery drivers?

While rideshare insurance isn’t available everywhere, commercial insurance is available from most major insurance companies. If you can’t find rideshare coverage, consider buying commercial insurance coverage instead.

What counts as business use for car insurance?

Business use just means using your car for work. This includes delivering goods, providing a service to a customer, and transporting passengers, supplies or other items. If you are getting paid for the time you are spending in your vehicle, it most likely qualifies as business use. Picking up rideshare passengers, delivering pizza, and delivering packages for Amazon are all examples of business use.