Even though there are less vehicles on the road these days, collisions are still occurring. Where a personal vehicle is used during a commercial delivery, drivers and injured parties may be surprised by the recovery process. Will you be covered by insurance if you make deliveries with your own vehicle and it gets damaged or you injure another person? What happens if you are injured in an accident with an at-fault delivery driver using a personal vehicle?
Insurance Considerations for Delivery Drivers
During this challenging time, drivers may be stepping up to deliver food or other items. For example, you may be making food deliveries with your personal vehicle to increase your income.
Before making deliveries, you should speak with your insurance broker to make sure you have the appropriate insurance coverage. Personal auto insurance is insufficient to cover property damage and bodily injury arising out of accidents occurring during the performance of a business activity. For instance, if you damage your own vehicle your insurance company will likely deny your claim to cover the costs of repair to your vehicle if you are relying on personal insurance only.
If you are making a delivery on behalf of a food delivery or ridesharing company, inquire about their coverage if an accident were to happen. Take the time to ask questions and understand limitations as third party liability coverage by a food delivery or ridesharing company may be limited.
It would be prudent to determine beforehand whether the cost of appropriate insurance and risk of potential liability outweighs the potential income from making deliveries with your personal vehicle.
Financial Recovery for Injured Parties
If you are injured from a collision arising out of someone driving their motor vehicle, including a bicycle, during a commercial activity without appropriate commercial insurance, you may need to look to your own insurance. Depending on the facts in your situation, multiple insurance companies may be involved with some trying to deny coverage.
In the usual case, you would seek Accident Benefits (such as income replacement, medical and rehabilitation benefits, and attendant care benefits) by applying to your own auto insurer. If you do not have access to a motor vehicle insurance policy, you would claim Accident Benefits against the at-fault driver’s insurer regardless of their coverage.
Also in the usual case, you would seek other losses (such as loss of income and damages for pain and suffering) from the at-fault driver. This recourse takes the form of a lawsuit against the at-fault driver, the owner of the motor vehicle (if different from the at-fault driver), and other applicable third parties such as the food delivery company for which the at-fault was making a delivery.
If you find yourself injured from an accident with an at-fault driver who does not have commercial insurance, and it is not possible to make a claim against another person or entity, the at-fault driver would be considered an uninsured driver. In such case, your insurance company would assume the defence of the at-fault party. An average person commonly has $1,000,000 of third party liability insurance as part of their own auto insurance policy. If you do not have your own insurance to make a claim, you should consult with a personal injury lawyer. They will be able to assist in determining whether a personal injury claim can be made through other legal options.
It would be prudent to work with a personal injury lawyer who has experience with dealing with recovery from multiple insurance companies. For over 30 years, Douglas Strelshik has been representing injured parties in personal injury claims and vehicle owners in vehicle insurance claims. He can assess whether an insurance company’s denial of coverage and amount of any settlement offers are reasonable. Contact Douglas at 647.348.5422 to discuss your specific case.