The Covid-19 pandemic has created a lot of opportunity for delivery drivers. Food, grocery, and package delivery can offer a lucrative source of income, but they do put you at greater risk for an accident.
Here’s what you need to know about getting into accidents while you’re a delivery driver.
You need to check your insurance policy before you start making deliveries.
Many delivery drivers assume their employer will cover them with some manner of commercial car insurance policy, or that they’re covered by workers compensation. In most cases, this is not true, or this coverage is an election that you have to buy.
Remember, most delivery drivers are independent contractors. That makes you responsible for your own insurance as well as your own taxes.
Many insurance policies do offer add-on coverage for delivery drivers. Speak to your insurance agent about getting proper coverage. If you are driving for UberEats and have had trouble finding insurance in the past, try Economical Insurance. If you are driving for one of the other delivery services you’ll want to check with your insurance company.
If you’re having trouble finding a policy you can afford you may want to turn to an insurance broker, who works with multiple companies at the same time. This will give you access to a professional who will shop multiple policies on your behalf.
Remember to guard against distracted driving.
The nature of food delivery apps means that there’s a lot of potential for distraction. You’re constantly having to grab orders, program your GPS, and offer status updates.
Keep in mind that in Alberta, even programming your GPS counts as distracted driving.
This could mean you’re found at-fault for an accident even if you were doing everything else right. Always set your GPS and make your updates while the car is parked so you don’t run the risk of getting into an accident or invoking a distracted driving ticket.
You can still launch a personal injury suit.
If you were not at-fault for an accident and another driver’s negligence caused you to get into an accident, then you can still launch a personal injury claim just as if you were driving for personal business.
This is especially true because delivery drivers do not get workers compensation, which is usually the reason that an employee-driver does not launch a personal injury case when they get into an accident.
You should take the same steps as any other driver after an accident. Get the other driver’s contact and insurance information, take the names and numbers of any witnesses, contact the police, get medical attention, and take lots of pictures. It will be advantageous for you to contact an attorney as soon as you are medically capable of doing so.
Don’t allow your participation in the gig economy to leave you vulnerable. Know your rights, know your options, and get help when you need it.