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Moonlighting is an American institution, and in today’s gig economy, using one’s vehicle to supplement one’s income is more popular than ever.  From the college student delivering pizza to pay for tuition and books to the father driving for Lyft on the weekends to finance his kids’ extracurricular activities, turning one’s car into cash is still as popular.  However, it is an activity not without its perils.

Fatalities among delivery drivers, for example, usually rank high in any list of work-related deaths.  From an article published by Transport Topics, “Delivery workers and truck operators incurred the greatest number of fatal workplace injuries in 2016, according to a December report issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”

When using one’s own vehicle for work, whether you are a business owner, paid employee of another company, or an independent contractor, it is important to understand what your vehicle insurance options are so in the event of an accident, you are not taken by surprise.

Take pizza delivery, for example.  If you are driving a vehicle owned by the pizzeria, it is the pizzeria’s responsibility to insure the vehicle you are driving.  If you are driving your own vehicle, whether you are an employee or an independent contractor, it is your responsibility to cover your own car.  Some personal automobile policies don’t offer any coverage for accidents that occur while making deliveries. While getting a commercial policy is the best way to guarantee coverage for a work-related accident, many pizza delivery personnel take their chances with personal car insurance, as commercial coverage often costs twice as much as a personal policy with the same liability limits.

What about driving for ridesharing services such as Lyft and Uber?  This is where things can get tricky. Transporting fares is divided into three periods.  Period 1 is when you are in your vehicle waiting for ride requests to become available. Period 2 is when you accept a request and travel to pick up your fare.  Period 3 is when you pick up your fare and transport your customers to their destination. While Lyft and Uber both provide liability and collision coverage during Periods 2 and 3, they don’t provide collision and offer much lower liability limits during Period 1.  However, some insurance companies offer personal vehicle insurance that is “rideshare-friendly,” too.

Is using your car for extra cash worth the expense?  How much coverage and what kind are enough? Talk to your insurance agent for help answering these questions and more.  Scott and his team at Johnston and Associates have a quarter of a century experience and represent multiple commercial and personal insurance companies which offer coverage for businesses and residents of Brentwood, Franklin, Nashville, and Middle Tennessee.  You let your car work for you. Let Johnston and Associate’s expertise work for you, too. Contact them today to make sure, in the event of a work-related vehicle accident, you’re not taken for a ride.

 Scott is an agent for Erie® Insurance.

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