Uber Eats and DoorDash for my car

It’s relatively easy to sign up to drive for Uber Eats and DoorDash. The car insurance situation is more fraught. To an insurance company, there are three coverage windows: when you’re logged in and waiting, when you’ve agreed to a job and are on the way to a pickup, and when you’re transporting the food.

I contacted my insurance company, Liberty Mutual. They offer an amendment that removes some exclusions from my original policy. That amendment extends my coverage to the logged in and waiting window.

Uber has done the work needed to provide insurance coverage for its drivers. Uber maintains commercial auto coverage policies for drivers in every state. I’ll always be covered while I’m working for Uber because their insurance is compatible with mine. Uber also offers insurance for damage to my vehicle when I’m earning fares but it’s at a high deductible. I need the amendment to have damage covered while I’m waiting for a call and to have the Indiana mandated under/uninsured motorist coverage for that window.

I believe DoorDash has not thought about it as thoroughly nor with the drivers in mind. They have “excess auto insurance” for the time you’re transporting the food. You can only file with them for liabilities that exceeds your normal insurance company’s limits. This is a problem: my normal insurance company’s limits are zero while I’m underway because of policy exclusions. Also, this isn’t compatible with my amended insurance because it leaves a gap of no coverage between when I’ve agreed to a job and I pick up the food to deliver. Beyond those problems, they don’t cover damage to my auto at any time. Their website doesn’t say that they include the required under/uninsured motorist liability. Reading the text carefully, they don’t even cover my own injuries either!

In addition to the coverage gap, DoorDash’s coverage pays the excess once my regular insurance company settles. Health insurance has rules to handle a first and second payer, but a second payer don’t seem like a “thing” with auto insurance. Normally, when I get coverage by one policy, the old policy ends. With DoorDash, if either insurance company is recalcitrant, I will have (a lot of) trouble getting things settled. Also, I have experience with being sued after an accident. Liberty Mutual took care of everything at the time. Since a lawsuit can come a couple of years after the accident, I’m not confident about DoorDash’s anonymous underwriter.

If there’s an accident, Indiana requires me to provide proof of insurance. I don’t see how to fulfill that with DoorDash if the accident happens in the large window where Liberty Mutual doesn’t cover me. Uber provides a certificate of insurance that I can keep in my car. I don’t have any information about what company DoorDash uses; not even verification that it’s licensed in Indiana.

In conclusion, I can’t drive for DoorDash because I have a gap in coverage between when I accept an order and pick up the food. I won’t have coverage for myself nor my property. In addition, the process of making a claim to them is inherently intimidating. For Uber, I need to weigh out the money earned vs. the exposure of a higher comprehensive deductible.

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