States have increasingly adopted restaurant seating bans to deter the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). In response, many restaurants have shifted to take-out or delivery-only service and may be asking their employees to take on new responsibilities to deliver food. In some cases, employees may be temporarily using their personal vehicles for this commercial use.
Our personal lines policies currently exclude coverage for food delivery. However, to support our customers during this emergency, we are temporarily lifting our exclusion for losses that result from an insured's use of a personal vehicle while delivering food for their employer. In the event of a loss that occurred during use of a vehicle while delivering food, we will provide this accommodation up to the policy's limits stated on the declaration, subject to all other contract exclusions. This accommodation does not extend to any umbrella policy sitting above the personal lines auto policy, nor does it apply to drivers delivering food for a transportation network company or similar delivery company. In addition, this accommodation does not stack with any other coverage that is currently afforded to the policyholder or operator of the insured vehicle.
This temporary modification will be effective for losses that occur between March 16, 2020, through May 22, 2020, and are reported by July 1, 2020. We will continue to monitor the situation during this time period to determine the need to extend or adjust our revised posture.
As more and more states enact restaurant seating bans and restrictions to help deter the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19), many restaurants are moving to take-out or delivery-only service and may be asking their workers to deliver food using personal vehicles on an emergency/temporary basis.
Although coverage for food delivery is currently excluded in our Personal Auto and Motorcycle contract, please know that we will temporarily modify enforcement of policy exclusions to provide applicable coverage for claims involving food delivery activity by our Personal Auto and Motorcycle customers.
This temporary modification will go into effect for claims occurring, Friday, March 20, 2020 through April 18, 2020. Please be aware that, in the event of a claim, a Progressive claims representative will determine coverage at the time a claim is filed.
We will monitor events during this time period to determine the need to extend or modify.
Finally, as a reminder, please know that our dedicated agent and customer service teams are here 24/7, and keep in mind that your customers have access to their policy information any time through online servicing. Visit our Contact Us page for phone numbers, email addresses, and other useful information. We also encourage you to keep in touch with your agency associations for additional industry updates.
From the commissioner's office, with special mention of PEMCO:
Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler today urged all insurers doing business in Washington to immediately extend automobile insurance coverage for personal delivery drivers to aid people temporarily assigned this duty during the coronavirus pandemic and state of emergency.
Kreidler said his office would expedite review and approval of the endorsement filings so that affected delivery drivers can have coverage quickly. He is notifying insurers of this recommendation today.
“Many businesses are going above and beyond to help people get prescriptions, groceries and food during this difficult and unprecedented time,” Kreidler said. “I urge insurance companies to immediately do all they can to help delivery drivers in their time of need. This will also help Washingtonians follow the governor’s directive to stay home and stay safe.”
Gov. Jay Inslee on March 23 ordered all Washington residents to stay home as much as possible to contain the spread of the coronavirus. In response to the public health emergency, many grocery stores, pharmacies and restaurants are offering delivery to people’s homes to meet the increased demand for supplies, prescriptions and food.
Normally, a personal auto insurance policy doesn’t cover the commercial use of a personal vehicle when acting as delivery driver.
Several insurers have already stepped up to help. They include:
- Liberty Mutual.
At least one company, State Farm, has long provided personal coverage for drivers who deliver food or goods.
"We’re working together to keep everyone safe on the roads during this uncertain time, while ensuring that our economy isn’t totally halted by COVID-19,” said Stan McNaughton, chief executive officer for PEMCO.
Kreidler said he appreciates the industry’s effort to help Washingtonians during an extraordinary time.
“This is a time for all hands on deck,” Kreidler said. “I appreciate the companies that have already stepped up and I expect others will quickly jump on board with this greatly needed assistance to those working hard to deliver food, medicine and more.”
The endorsement would apply only to delivery drivers for retail and service operations during the pandemic and Washington state stay-home order. It doesn’t apply to people who drive for other commercial reasons, including rideshare or any commercial delivery businesses. The endorsement would remain in effect as long as the emergency order is in place.
If you are conducting delivery for a business during the state of emergency and aren’t sure if your auto policy covers you for that use, contact your insurer.