MoneyDon't Waste Your Money


DWYM: Why gig workers need to update their auto insurance

DWYM: Why gig workers need to upgrade their auto insurance
Posted at 10:37 AM, Sep 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-09-09 11:37:38-04

During the pandemic, many people took up gig jobs.

If so, did you tell your insurance agent about your new employer?

Here's why staying silent can be very costly, so you don't waste your money.

Millions of Americans now are gig workers. And many of them use their personal car for that work.

But one woman just had her accident claim denied because her insurer didn't know she was driving for her job.

Terrina Sheppard shows me the $3,000 damage to her car's fenders.

"That's dented, this is too, around here," she says.

When Sheppard hydroplaned during a recent rainstorm ...

"It hit the front and rear on the guardrail and I was turned the wrong way," she said.

But when she contacted her insurer, her claim was denied.

"They said they are not covering the accident? They are not covering it," she said.

Sheppard learned her insurer wouldn't cover the accident because of her job as a courier for local hospitals.

"I told them I did a driving position, that I'm an independent contractor," she said. "I did not know I needed business use insurance."

But her policy did not list business coverage and she was driving for work at the time.

So many gig worker now use their personal cars for work, whether they are working for Door Dash, Uber Eats or a courier service.

But are you covered by insurance?

The law firm M.R. Parker, which handles many cases involving gig drivers, says "you absolutely must tell your insurer or they can decline to pay out anything."

Money Magazine says if you drive for Uber, Lyft, Door Dash or courier services you need to purchase rideshare or business insurance.

It is typically a $200 a year add-on to your policy.

Sheppard says she gladly would pay that.

But instead ...

"As of tomorrow, my policy is canceled," she says.

Bad news: Sheppard's insurer told us they cannot cover this accident since the car was being used for business.

So talk to your insurer if you want to be a gig driver you don't waste your money.