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Insurance Issues When Rideshares Are Transporting Goods Or Food


When we think of ridesharing, and of accidents involving ridesharing drivers, we often think of, as the name sounds, a service like Uber or Lyft, giving a ride to another person. But there is an entire fleet of drivers that don’t give rides to people—they deliver food or other items.

Services like Uber eats or Delivery Dudes have put an entire fleet of drivers on the road. And if you thought that the insurance and liability issues were complex with traditional ridesharing, where people are being driven, issues continue to arise when it comes to accidents and liability that come from drivers that are transporting nom-human cargo.

Insurance Problem for Uber Eats Driver

Take, for example, a recent article about a  woman who was an uber eats delivery driver. While delivering food, she was in an accident, hitting the car in front of her. Her car sustained serious damage; over $20,000 worth of damages.

She called her insurance company, like any of us would, to make a claim to help her pay for the damages to her vehicle. But to her surprise, the claim was denied. Why? Because she did not have insurance from the rideshare company.

The driver said she did not need insurance, given she wasn’t ridesharing—she was delivering food, not humans.

Blame Goes Around

Of course, everybody is pointing the finger at someone else. Uber Eats says that the driver should have had insurance coverage through the drivers’ policy. The insurance company says the driver should have had coverage through Uber Eats.

A Lot of Confusion

Some personal car accident liability insurers and insurance policies will cover drivers who deliver both goods and humans, but some will just cover accidents when only one or the other is being delivered. And coverage will often depend on whether the driver was active in the rideshare app—that is, whether the driver was actually working for Uber at the time of the accident.

Victims Need to Know

So the question is whether a drivers insurance company will cover them if they are delivering items or cargo, or whether the driver must get insurance from the rideshare company.

It’s a big question, because an Uber driver delivering food can hit another car, or a pedestrian, the same way anybody else can. If that food delivery driver doesn’t have insurance through the rideshare company, and the driver’s own insurance refuses coverage on that basis, the victim of the accident may end up without the ability to recover whatever damages may be awarded by a court.

The answer, unfortunately, is not one that is settled in the law, but one that varies depending on insurance policy. And unlike rideshare drivers that do carry human passengers, Uber Eats and other similar services don’t automatically provide or make mandatory any insurance requirements.

Have you been in an accident with a rideshare driver like Uber Eats or Delivery Dudes, transporting cargo? Contact us today for help.  Call the Boston personal injury lawyers at The Law Office of Joseph Linnehan, Jr. today at 617-275-4200.



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