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If you make your living delivering pizzas or other types of food, you better check to see if your auto insurance will cover you if ever there is an accident. Personal car insurance pays to help you recover after many different scenarios.
You could be on a trip, driving to work, or taking a trip to the store and your insurance will more than likely pay for the loss. There are, however, a few exclusions you must be aware of when you’re in the delivery business.
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You can’t lean solely on your car insurance if you have an accident while you’re trying to get a large pepperoni pie to a house around the corner before your time’s up. Whenever one of the conditions of your employment is to drive your own car to do business representing a large company, think twice before you accept the offer. Here’s what you should know about your coverage:
Personal Car Insurance May Not Only Cover Personal Use
You buy private passenger car insurance to cover your personal use vehicles that meet the vehicle requirements. While that’s true, there is a huge misconception that your coverage is for personal use only. Since a majority of people buy vehicles to get around for work and not just for pleasure, it wouldn’t make sense for an insurer to exclude this type of use.
You can drive your vehicle for other purposes other than going on trips or running errands without sacrificing your protection. That’s why there are a few different classifications when it comes to usage and how your vehicle is often driven. Here are three different usage classifications that you can choose from:
- Pleasure – vehicle is driven strictly for personal reasons and not for a commuter or for business
- Commute – vehicle being driven to and from a single location for either work or for school
- Business – vehicle being driven to and from several different work sites throughout the day or week (the business use is incidental)
Why are some types of business use allowed and others aren’t?
Delivering pizzas might be considered business use to you, but in the eyes of your insurer and under the terms of your contract, there’s a difference between accepted business usage and commercial usage. The type of business usage that is allowed when driving your car is incidental to the business.
Usage that’s incidental to the business is technically defined as driving your vehicle for work but not earning money specifically for the trips that you’re making to and from different locations.
It’s easy to define your commute to work, but when it comes to business use, it’s not that simple.
You could be driving to and from construction sites or to and from different homes that are for sale as a real estate agent, and all of this is covered. What’s not going to be covered is when you’re driving a client in your vehicle and the client is paying you for that ride. Or your delivering items that a construction site manager ordered and you’re paid by delivery.
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Does pizza delivery fall into the definition of business use?
When you’re delivering pizzas, your entire set of duties as an employee of the company is surrounded around using your vehicle to drive to customer’s homes and transport a consumer good. You’re paid for the trip you’re making and you’re also probably going to earn tip money for the delivery as well.
Since you’re paid because you’re delivering goods, you won’t have any coverage in your vehicle while you’re working. It doesn’t matter if you have a full coverage policy or just a basic liability plan, your standard auto insurance won’t protect you while you’re working because of the following policy exclusions:
- Delivery –
- Public Conveyance or Livery – any transporting of goods or people for hire is not covered at all under a personal auto policy
- Vehicle Used Primarily for Business– any business use must be incidental and the vehicle must also be used for personal trips
Check to See If Your Company Has Non-Owner’s Coverage
Some of the larger pizza companies that still hire their own delivery drivers will have policies that will protect the company when you’re driving in your car representing the brand. That means that your employer might have a nonowner’s liability plan that would pay for the liability loss if the brand was sued. It doesn’t necessarily protect you or your vehicle.
How can you get your own coverage?
If you make a good living delivering pizza and other food, you might consider looking for a policy that will provide protection either way. Most of the time, you’ll need a Business Auto Policy for insurance coverage during a delivery. It might cost you more, but it will still afford you liability protection, loss of income protection after an accident, and also physical damage coverage.
Most people will only buy a Business Auto Policy when they are earning a decent living as an independent contractor. When you’re working as an employee making minimum wage plus tips, you’ll to reconsider whether or not the risk is really worth it. The only time it makes sense is when the company pays for your insurance.
You should always have sufficient insurance regardless of what you do for a living. If you’re going to be in your car more than the average person, having sufficient insurance is a must. Be sure to look over your policy inside and out to see if you’re protected. If you don’t have the right coverage, use an online rate comparison tool to see how much business coverage will cost and then make a final decision.