Are California Dashers Covered by DoorDash Auto Insurance?

DoorDash doesn’t provide primary liability insurance coverage for its drivers. If you’re going to drive and deliver food for DoorDash, you’re going to need your own primary policy of automobile liability insurance.

What comes to issue is that the company only requires drivers to have an “up-to-date” auto insurance policy, but even minimum liability coverage from the worst auto insurance company in California would appear to be satisfactory. Minimum mandatory coverage in the state is only set at $15,000 per person, $30,000 per accident with another $15,000 of uninsured motorist insurance and $5,000 for property damage. If a DoorDash driver was looking at his phone and hit a pedestrian, that’s not enough insurance to cover a night in the emergency room, a surgery putting a fractured leg back together and a few days in the hospital.

Excess Coverage:

For the protection of its own assets and certainly not the protection of its Dashers, DoorDash does provide excess auto liability coverage with a policy limit of $1 million. It only applies to accidents and damages that are caused by Dashers when they’re in possession of goods that are to be delivered.  First, the driver must first make a claim with his or her own insurance. When that insurer’s coverage is exhausted, the insurer of DoorDash might step in with the excess coverage. Coverage doesn’t apply when a driver is traveling to a pickup location for an order to be delivered. If a Dasher fails to maintain his or her own insurance, it’s highly likely that the excess insurer can legally walk away from coverage.

Exclusions When Vehicles are Used for a Commercial Purpose:

What Dashers don’t perceive is that in one pivotal respect, the DoorDash coverage is an illusion. Indeed, a driver might have a policy of liability insurance that conforms with California’ mandatory insurance statute when an accident occurs. Insured vehicles are typically excluded from coverage when they’re used for commercial purposes though. If the driver’s own insurer walks away from coverage with good cause because of an exclusion, it also appears as if it’s perfectly legal for DoorDash to walk away too.

Making Sure You’re Covered:

If you’re thinking of driving for DoorDash or any other business like it, you’ll want to confirm that your insurance company will cover you when you’re using your vehicle for a commercial purpose. Check the “exclusions” section of your policy. Insurers see drivers who are engaged in commercial endeavors as being higher risks.

If you’re excluded from coverage when using your vehicle for a commercial purpose, inquire into whether you can purchase appropriate coverage. If you can’t, look for another insurer that can provide you with it. You’re likely to find one. Both insurers and delivery services are doing what they can to keep gig workers on the job. If you feel that commercial coverage is too expensive, you’ll want to reconsider your options.

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