Grocery Delivery Services
Delivery services became a necessity for most people during COVID-19, and now they are a difficult convenience to leave behind. Most people will continue to use these services in the future. Besides single meal delivery, one of the most popular delivery services is grocery delivery. These services have made grocery shopping much easier and less stressful for many people. Usually your biggest concern when you place an order with one of these companies is that your order is going to take too long or something in it will be wrong. However, there are other concerns with how these companies operate.
In order to start delivering for these companies all you need is a car and a smartphone, then you can start delivering right away. The most popular grocery delivery services are InstaCart and Postmates. The InstaCart contract drivers sign says that they do not provide insurance nor training and they do not require training. Additionally, most personal insurance companies do not cover these drivers while they are working for a delivery service. That means if you were to get into an accident with one of these drivers they may ultimately be uninsured, leaving you with little recourse for your injuries. This is also an issue for delivery drivers because they may think they are covered when they actually are not. This is different from rideshare services like Uber and Lyft that do provide commercial auto insurance for their independent contractors.
Insurance Coverage For Grocery Delivery Drivers
Some food delivery services do offer their drivers an option to purchase car insurance through them. However, most grocery delivery companies like InstaCart do not offer any protection to their drivers. InstaCart has independent contractor agreements with their drivers, which requires you to obtain your own car insurance in amounts “consistent with legal requirements, including any required no fault automobile liability or commercial liability insurance.” This means that the burden to secure car insurance falls completely on their drivers. Most drivers think that they are covered by the car insurance they already have, but they fail to realize that their personal car insurance may not cover accidents that occur when making food deliveries.
In order to be covered during deliveries, drivers would have to purchase courier vehicle insurance. This must be purchased separately if it is offered by the insurance provider at all. Some insurance companies did extend this type of insurance to drivers during the height of the pandemic, but it was only meant to be temporary and now they do not offer this type of insurance at all. This means that drivers that choose to only carry personal auto insurance will not be covered in the event of an accident.
Uninsured Motorist Insurance and Commercial Auto Insurance
As either the grocery delivery driver or the other driver, being in an accident without insurance or with someone without insurance can be scary. Without insurance it is hard to imagine how you will have the money for your injuries and repairs or those of the other driver. One way to prevent this situation is to have uninsured and underinsured motorist insurance (UM/UMI coverage). This type of coverage will pay your medical bills, lost wages, and compensate you for your pain and suffering if you are the victim of an accident involving an uninsured or underinsured driver. As an InstaCart or grocery delivery driver, you may want to consider getting commercial auto insurance. Commercial auto insurance covers vehicles owned by a business or used for a business purpose. It takes the place of a driver’s personal liability insurance if they cause a crash while on the job.
When you have an accident with an InstaCart or other grocery delivery driver, it is reasonable to want to sue the company they work for. However, because these drivers are independent contractors companies like InstaCart will deny liability. InstaCart puts the responsibility of determining what kind of insurance is required on their independent contractors to figure out. This makes it difficult to hold grocery delivery companies liable.
While insurance may be an issue of liability that has to be settled between you and the other individuals involved in the accident. Grocery delivery companies may be held responsible for negligent hiring practices if you can prove that the service hired a driver with:
- A record of dangerous driving
- A history of drug or alcohol abuse
- A suspended license
- A known medical condition that makes driving unsafe
InstaCart does criminal background checks on their drivers and checks their driving history for full service shopper applicants. The law around delivery services and their liability is still developing, and an experienced personal injury attorney may be able to help you prove their negligence and liability in an area other than hiring.
Amazon and Walmart Delivery
Some stores use their own delivery service instead of InstaCart. Amazon offers free two-hour delivery from Whole Foods Market for Amazon Prime members, and Walmart also has its own delivery service. As a delivery driver for Amazon, drivers are covered to an extent by Amazon Flex. Amazon Flex provides insurance coverage for liability, comprehensive/collision, and uninsured or underinsured drivers. The only issue is that in order for the Amazon commercial policy to apply, the driver must have their own personal insurance policy with comprehensive/collision coverage. If the driver’s own insurance policy does not have comprehensive/collision coverage, then the Amazon policy does not cover anything at all. Additionally, if a driver lets their personal insurance lapse, then so does their Amazon coverage. Walmart recently began allowing drivers to work as independent contractors delivering products to customers. As independent contractors they are not covered by workers’ compensation, but the company Walmart is working with does offer insurance for its drivers in the event of an accident while on the job.
Our attorneys at Cueria Law LLC have valuable experience with these types of claims. If you have been injured in an accident involving a grocery delivery service like InstaCart, it is important to speak with an experienced attorney. The laws and insurance practices which apply to these situations differ from those of a normal auto accident. Call our experienced and dedicated team of attorneys at the Cueria Law Firm for a free consultation today!
Our attorneys have helped hundreds of injury victims get the fair compensation they deserve so they can get back to their lives and their families. Call Cueria Law Firm at (504)-525-5211 today!