Jesse Jones

JESSE JONES: The exclusions in car insurance policies that can cost DoorDashers

Ebonye Jones was making a turn on South 228th Street in Kent - when things went boom! “I was turning into the intersection, and somebody was speeding from the opposite direction.”

The man who hit her fled the scene on foot, his car was totaled too, but he was nowhere to be found. Ebonye was not at fault, but the other driver, who was uninsured, left the scene.

Ronnie Jones is Ebonye’s dad. After learning his daughter was not injured he called their insurer Allstate, believing the totaled Ford Fusion was covered. The first thing my agent tells me, oh, there’s nothing I can do. So now I’m in a different kind of shock. I’m in financial shock. Like, what did you say?”

Here’s the issue. Ebonye was driving for DoorDash at the time of the crash. And, Allstate quickly said there was “no coverage” for her claim. See, it’s an exclusion of her policy - saying it was “ insured auto while used to carry persons, products or property for any form of compensation.”

No helping hands with Allstate. As for DoorDash, “DoorDash, finally gets back with both of us and says, no, if there’s nothing we can do.”

Aaron VanTuyl from Washington’s Office of the Insurance Commissioner says DoorDash uses a third-party insurer meaning if you hit another car, injure another person in the car or damage that car, the DoorDash policy would cover the damage to the other person, but it would not cover anything that happens to your vehicle.

Ebonye says she did not remember being asked to prove she had coverage, “When I filled out DoorDash forms, there were barely any documents.”

So, she thought she was covered, even though she was not.

When someone goes through the steps of signing up to be a Dasher it asks you to certify that you have the right insurance by law - but never asks you to show proof.

Uber, on the other hand, does ask for a copy of your insurance card. “What’s missing here is if you’re driving your personal vehicle for delivery or rideshare, in most cases, you must get additional coverage,” says Aaron Vantuyl from the Washington’s Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

Some insurers, insurance companies do offer an endorsement to provide this coverage. You can check with them and see if it’s out there, if it’s available to you,” says Aaron.

DoorDash does require all drivers to have up to date insurance, drivers are asked to agree to the company’s requirements. It also has secondary liability insurance.

The Insurance Commissioner’s office says a typical endorsement for delivery and rideshare is around $20 a month.

Ebonye says DoorDash should make the need for additional coverage clearer. And now, the Jones family is now out $15,000 in losses for a totaled car. A harsh and expensive lesson delivered ice cold.

Ebony’s family has set up a GoFundMe account to help her recover from the losses of her totaled car.

DoorDash did not provide a statement in the case. Allstate promised a response and did not deliver one.

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