Car Accidents and Auto Insurance in the Age of Coronavirus

man on the phone calling for help after a car accident

Many people out of work because of the COVID-19 coronavirus shutdown are taking delivery driver jobs that could run afoul of auto insurance policies if they get into a car accident. You may need a commercial car insurance policy to cover an accident you get into while on the job working as a delivery driver.

If you start driving as a job and don’t inform your auto insurance company, a future car accident claim could be denied. On the other hand, some insurers are extending coverage to policyholders who use their personal vehicles for delivery jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The bottom line is that you need to know what your auto insurance covers if you change how you use your vehicle. Unless you are a lawyer with insurance law experience and understand the details of your auto liability policy, you should contact your insurer to confirm your coverage. We suggest getting any approvals or guarantees in writing.

If you have been injured in a car accident while working as a delivery driver, you should speak to a lawyer experienced with car accidents, workers’ compensation, and insurers acting in bad faith. In Kentucky, that’s Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer, experienced and dedicated injury attorneys backed by Kentucky Courage.

Does Auto Insurance Cover a Delivery Driver During COVID-19?

The COVID-19 virus does not change your auto insurance coverage, but your driving habits might change.

If you have begun a new job that requires you to use your own vehicle, such as work as a delivery driver, your auto insurance may not cover you while you are on the job. Auto insurers charge more for commercial driving policies than for personal use of a vehicle because commercial drivers spend more time on the road, which increases their risk of an accident.

You should contact your insurer and ask about obtaining a special business use endorsement on your car insurance policy if you have taken on part-time or full-time delivery driver work. This applies to any kind of commercial delivery, from pizza to packages to prescription drugs.

In light of COVID-19 restrictions and the uptick in delivery jobs, several insurance companies are extending coverage to customers who are using their personal vehicles to make deliveries of “essential items,” such as restaurant take-out meals, groceries, pharmacy products, and medical supplies. According to CarInsurance.com, participating insurance companies include:

  • AAA
  • Allstate
  • Farmers Insurance
  • Liberty Mutual
  • Met Life
  • Nationwide
  • Progressive
  • Safeco (a Liberty Mutual subsidiary)
  • Travelers
  • USAA

But don’t assume your insurer will cover you. Contact them to make sure.

In some cases, the business you work for may offer auto insurance that covers you while you’re making deliveries, which you can get in addition to your own coverage. Ask about it.

Does KY Workers’ Compensation Cover a Delivery Driver During COVID-19?

workers compensation claimWorkers’ compensation is state-mandated no-fault insurance coverage that most employers in Kentucky are required to provide for their full- and part-time employees. Workers’ comp provides benefits to workers who are injured or become ill because of their job duties, including payment of medical expenses and a portion of their lost salary.

If you are employed as a delivery driver and are injured in a car crash or other type of accident while making deliveries as part of your job, you should qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. This includes a car accident, a slip-and-fall accident while walking a delivery to the recipient’s door and a dog bite during a delivery. Your main task to obtain benefits is to demonstrate that you were on the job when injured.

Whether the treatment for COVID-19 contracted while on the job as a delivery driver is covered by workers’ compensation is an open question. Some in the insurance and legal fields are arguing that because COVID-19 is a pandemic, getting it cannot be shown to be a workplace injury.

Our workers’ compensation attorneys would argue that you do qualify for benefits as an employee of a life-sustaining retail business exempted from Kentucky’s emergency closure order. You had a greater risk of exposure to the coronavirus through your job duties than other Kentucky residents remaining at home under stay-at-home orders.

If you believe you have a case of COVID-19 coronavirus that you contracted while on the job and/or because of your assigned job duties, you should notify your employer as soon as you or someone assisting you can. It’s entirely possible to file a legitimate workers’ comp claim and have it denied or challenged by your employer or the employer’s workers’ comp insurance administrator. If that happens, you should contact an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. It takes Kentucky Courage to stand up for yourself and keep fighting when your claim has been turned down. Let us help.

Contact Our Kentucky Courage Legal Team

There is no excuse for insurance companies, employers, policymakers or anyone to use the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse to deny benefits to individuals hurt in accidents during the lockdown or who have contracted the virus while working. The personal injury attorneys of Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer will help you fight for benefits and other insurance compensation you are due.

Our team of attorneys pursues full compensation for clients like you through personal injury claims, workers’ compensation, third-party work injury lawsuits, and Social Security Disability benefits. That’s Kentucky Courage – when our neighbors stand up for what they deserve, and we join them in the fight for what’s right.

The law firm of Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer has eight offices across Kentucky. During this time of crisis, we are serving you remotely as well. Contact us today at (877) 809-5352 or online for a free, no-obligation consultation if anyone is challenging your rights to compensation for an injury or illness suffered on the job or through no fault of your own.