Helpful tips from a car accident lawyer in Lexington, SC
If you ever plan to work for a food delivery service such as DoorDash, GrubHub, or Uber Eats, you need to make sure you inform your insurance company first. Otherwise, you may not be able to recover the loss of your own vehicle if you were to get into a car accident and you're determined to be at fault.
Here's an example:
You are a college student and currently work at a gym part-time to save up enough money in order to buy a new car. You finally save enough money and purchase a new vehicle for $20,000. Now, you need auto insurance.
You call an insurance company and they ask if you need a personal use auto policy or a commercial use auto policy. They also ask you if you want minimal limits or full coverage.
After much deliberation, you choose to purchase the personal use auto policy because at that time you only plan to use your car to travel to and from school. You also choose to purchase the full coverage policy.
Two months down the road, you realize that your part-time gym job is taking too much time away from your studies, and your buddy recently told you that he was able to make twice what you make in half the time by working for a food delivery service. So you quit your gym job and sign up with a food delivery service so that you will have more time for your studies and still be able to earn some money.
However, you fail to mention this to your insurance company.
One day, while you’re out making a food delivery for work, you fail to yield the right of way and cause an accident (i.e. you are the at-fault driver). Your brand new $20,000 car is totaled. But you remember that you purchased the full coverage policy, so your new vehicle should be covered, right?
Wrong. That's because most personal use auto insurance policies have an exclusion buried deep in the policy that excludes coverage if you use your vehicle in a commercial capacity. Since you did not inform your insurance company that you began working for the food delivery service, the insurance company will refuse to pay you for the loss of your brand new car.
In other words, you will not recover the $20,000. The insurance company will tell you that you did not purchase a commercial use auto policy and that you should have called and informed them that you were using your vehicle in a commercial capacity, thus you should have purchased the food delivery endorsement.
All of that said, there is good news! Most insurance companies will add a food delivery endorsement to your personal use auto policy if you call them and inform them. And it typically only costs $60 to $90 extra every six months. So if you plan to use your vehicle to work for a food delivery service, call your insurance company ASAP and purchase that endorsement so that you are covered if you get into an accident and are determined to be at fault.
Minimum insurance requirements
In South Carolina, drivers are required to carry auto insurance with minimum liability limits of $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident, and $25,000 for property damage.
Everyone is also required to carry uninsured motorists (UM) coverage equal to the minimum amounts of liability coverage (25/50/25). However, in South Carolina, you are not required to have a full coverage policy that includes physical damage.
Physical damage (collision coverage and comprehensive coverage) insures against damage to the insured’s own vehicle. Collision coverage pays for physical damage to your own car as the result of your car colliding with an object (e.g., a tree or another car). Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your car from most other causes (e.g., fire, vandalism, flooding, theft, falling objects, collision with animals, etc.).
Legal help is available
After an auto accident, it's critical that you know your legal rights and options so that you don't end up missing out on the compensation you're entitled to. Our attorneys know how to investigate, build strong cases, and fight for every dollar you deserve.
Find out how we can help you with your potential legal case by contacting us today for a free consultation with an experienced Lexington, SC car accident lawyer.