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Does being a Shipt driver have an impact on my car insurance?

Update 8/1/2017 – We now have an insurance company offering affordable coverage for Uber, Shipt, and Lyft drivers! Contact us at 616.891.0123!

Update 2, 2/13/2018 – after you read this article, read this one too: https://goo.gl/K1K6fy

Hey Grand Rapids!  Have you had your groceries delivered yet?!  If not, you’re missing out!  Earlier this spring Meijer rolled out a grocery delivery service in coordination with Shipt – a service that coordinates drivers to deliver goods.  As a consumer, business owner, and father of four kids, I can’t being to describe how much we love this service.  But.  There is a problem.

The Insurance Issue

As a consumer, I love the service.  But would I let anyone I know and love drive for Shipt?  Absolutely not.  Not unless they bought commercial auto insurance anyway.  In every regular personal auto insurance policy I’ve ever read there is a clear exclusion for using your car as a livery or conveyance.  What does that mean?  It means hauling people or goods for a fee.  It means that if you are delivering groceries for Shipt in your personal car, with personal auto insurance, and you hurt someone – you’ll have no coverage.  Read end someone.  Hit someone in a crosswalk.  Run into a child in the neighborhood.  No coverage for defense or the law suit.  This applies to Shipt, Uber, Lyft, Zipments, you name it.  Some companies have insurance to cover you while you have a shipment or person on board (Uber, for example). But to my knowledge, Shipt does not!

Yeah, but!

As insurance agents, we inevitably hear the “yeah, buts.”  Yeah, but I know you deliver insurance policies to people’s doorsteps!  Are you not covered?  Yeah, but I know my sister delivers Mary Kay to people who buy at her parties!  Is she not covered?   The difference is in the details.  When I delivery a business insurance policy to a commercial client, they are paying for the insurance, not the delivery.  When your sister delivers nail polish to a client, she’s being paid for the nail polish, not the delivery.  In those cases, the delivery is incidental. With Shipt, delivery is the actual service being paid for.  Thereby, no coverage.

So what do we do?

Update: we can now write Shipt, Uber, and Lyft drivers on a personal auto policy, call us or email us today.

There is only one right way to cover this. That is to buy commercial auto insurance.  With a commercial or business auto insurance policy you can choose a type of business (such as “retail delivery”) and you’ll have the proper coverage.  But it will cost a lot more than your average personal auto policy.

On the horizon

Update: we can now write Shipt, Uber, and Lyft drivers on a personal auto policy, call us or email us today.

We have it on good authority that at least one personal auto insurer in Michigan is going to release an endorsement (meaning: an optional coverage) that you can add to your personal auto policy that will allow this sort of delivery without having to buy commercial insurance. We are told it will be a 20% surcharge to the policy.  The timeline is roughly August, but until then, commercial insurance is the only way to go.  For now, reach out to us at CustomerService@BrouwersAgency.com and we can help you find the right coverage.

After you read this article, read this one too: https://goo.gl/K1K6fy

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