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Delivery drivers are proliferating: Here’s how to insure them

SUMMARY
  • Gig economy delivery services, propelled by the pandemic, pose new personal auto exposures.
  • A multistate update to the ISO Personal Auto Program will provide underwriters additional flexibility for these risks.
  • The update will also add a new option for non-owned auto coverage.

Years before the pandemic sent people scurrying into their homes, gig economy delivery services were growing at a healthy clip. During COVID-19, they’ve soared.1 Just one of these services claims to have a million drivers in its network.2

Open trunk of a personal vehicle used for food delivery in a gig economy.

The rapid uptick in delivery services present insurers with new risk exposures they may not have anticipated and may (or may not) want to address through a personal auto policy.

Similar to ride-hailing apps (aka “transportation network platforms”), these “delivery network platforms” rely on a distributed network of private contractors who use their own vehicle. Only instead of ferrying passengers, they’re bringing food or other items to our doorsteps.

The rapid uptick in these services present insurers with new risk exposures they may not have anticipated and may (or may not) want to address through a personal auto policy. These exposures could also present policyholders who drive for those networks with unexpected coverage gaps. For example, the transportation and delivery network platforms generally only offer comprehensive and collision coverages to drivers for portions of the ride when the driver is logged into the platform, and those coverages may have higher deductibles than what a driver carries on their own personal auto policy.

Delivery network platforms in the ISO Personal Auto Policy

To provide insurers with greater underwriting flexibility to address delivery network platforms, we’re filing a multistate update to the ISO Personal Auto Policy that will introduce several new endorsements, including:

  1. A mandatory multistate endorsement to reinforce that a driver or vehicle isn’t covered when that driver is logged into a delivery network platform (whether or not they’re in process of transporting anything).
  2. A new, optional endorsement will give insurers the opportunity to extend coverage to delivery network drivers. The endorsement lets them schedule the vehicle, coverages, and premiums.
  3. A new, optional endorsement to provide comprehensive and collision gap coverage to make up the difference between the insurer’s physical damage deductible and the physical damage deductible in any coverage offered by a transportation network platform.

The update will also be accompanied by new rules and rating information.

Helping insurers with a new non-owned coverage provision

Life can get complicated—and so can auto usage. In the new multistate update, we’re adding a new, optional endorsement to address certain non-owned auto exposures.

Take Arlene, a hypothetical 17-year-old child of divorced parents who lives part of the year with her mom. Arlene is a named insured on her mother’s personal auto policy, but has regular access to her dad’s SUV.

What happens if, on her way to school while driving her father’s SUV, Arlene causes an accident and injures the other driver, Fred? Fred, in turn, sues Arlene and both of her parents. Arlene’s use of her father’s SUV may be excluded under her mother’s personal auto policy.

The new multistate filing will introduce an optional endorsement that will let insurers provide liability and medical payments coverage, so that Arlene’s mother’s policy could respond to the above incident, particularly if Arlene's mother has higher limits of liability on her policy that she wants available for the protection of her daughter.

We expect to begin filing the update in the first quarter of 2022, with an effective date of January 1, 2023.

To learn more please email Carly Seaman at Carly.Seaman@Verisk.com.


Sandee Perfetto

Sandee Perfetto is senior director, Personal Lines Core Products, Underwriting Solutions at Verisk. Sandee can be reached at Sandee.Perfetto@Verisk.com.

Carly Seaman

Carly Seaman is manager, ISO Personal Auto/Umbrella product development at Verisk. Carly can be reached at Carly.Seaman@Verisk.com.


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  1. Janine Perri, “Which company is winning the restaurant food delivery war?”. Bloomberg Second Measure, December 20, 2021, < https://secondmeasure.com/datapoints/food-delivery-services-grubhub-uber-eats-doordash-postmates/ >, accessed on January 7, 2022.
  2. Form S-1 Registration Statement, DoorDash, Inc., United States Securities and Exchange Commission, November 13, 2020, < https://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1792789/000119312520292381/d752207ds1.htm#rom752207_1 >, accessed on January 7, 2022.

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