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Insurance Commissioner Lara extends auto insurance coverage to delivery drivers for California’s essential businesses

News: 2020 Press Release

For Release: April 10, 2020
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Insurance Commissioner Lara extends auto insurance coverage to delivery drivers for California’s essential businesses
Commissioner’s action ensures food, medication, other essential goods can continue to be delivered during COVID-19 pandemic

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – With restaurants and businesses expanding deliveries to comply with “shelter in place” rules, Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara today urged insurance companies to extend auto insurance coverage for drivers who are using their personal vehicles to fulfill deliveries for California’s essential businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Because personal automobile policies do not typically provide coverage for vehicles used for commercial purposes and some drivers may not be covered under their employer’s commercial automobile policy issued to a California essential business, temporary delivery drivers may be inadvertently uninsured as they carry out their job duties. Today’s action ensures that businesses can continue to provide essential goods to residents and families at their homes and that delivery workers are protected at all times so that they may continue their work critical to public health and safety.

“This is an unprecedented time so we must take unprecedented action to help Californians comply with public health ‘shelter in place’ orders,” said Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara. “Delivery drivers are performing essential services to help our seniors and families, and this action will protect them while on the roads.” 

Under today’s Notice, insurance companies should not deny a claim under a personal auto policy solely because the driver was providing delivery service on behalf of a California essential business impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Notice applies to 16 categories of “essential critical infrastructure workers” identified by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security on March 19, including those who deliver food, medication, and other essential goods. 

The Department is also requesting insurance companies to extend delivery coverage for motorcycle and bicycle riders, and allow essential businesses to retroactively add drivers to their commercial automobile policies beginning on March 19, 2020.

“We appreciate Commissioner Lara’s attempt to help our industry in these historically challenging times," said Matt Sutton, Senior Vice President for Government Affairs and Public Policy at the California Restaurant Association. "Any and all help is welcome.”

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Media note:

Led by Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara, the California Department of Insurance is the consumer protection agency for the nation's largest insurance marketplace and safeguards all of the state’s consumers by fairly regulating the insurance industry. Under the Commissioner’s direction, the Department uses its authority to protect Californians from insurance rates that are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory, oversee insurer solvency to pay claims, set standards for agents and broker licensing, perform market conduct reviews of insurance companies, resolve consumer complaints, and investigate and prosecute insurance fraud. Consumers are urged to call 1-800-927-4357 with any questions or contact us at via webform or online chat. Non-media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800-927-4357. Teletypewriter (TTY), please dial 800-482-4833.

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