Pizza Owners Need to Check Their Auto Insurance Coverage


Pizza delivery “time guarantees” used to be prevalent among pizza shops as well as other fast-food restaurants. Being used mainly as a promotion tool, pizzerias would often incorporate or promise delivery within a pre-determined period. However in 1993, this practice was stopped primarily because of different lawsuits which arose from accidents that pizza drivers figure because of the time limit for delivery. But nonetheless, customers are still attracted by how fast a pizzeria could bring their orders.

Auto insurance experts estimate that there are thousands of pizza delivery drivers who ply the road on an everyday basis. On occasions such as Halloween, Super Bowl Sunday and before Thanksgiving, more than one million pizzas are ordered and delivered. It must be noted that if ever a road mishap occurs, the shop owner is liable for their drivers. Such a liability is even more accentuated if the employee has no ample accident coverage.

Georgianna Stump of Risk Services Corp. said that insurance premiums depend upon the number of drivers that an employer has on the road. The more drivers, the higher the premium the owner has to pay. And if ever lawsuits occur because of a mishap, “the buck stops with the owners.”

But while some restaurant owners are a bit apprehensive because of the higher insurance costs, insurers on the other hand are also reluctant in taking in pizza delivery coverage. Although the number of accidents is not that significant, such accidents could sometimes be severe. Insurance companies state that such coverage services have the potential of having big claims.

According to Brian Gerritsen, company spokesman for Fireman’s Fund, the uniqueness of the “pizza shop insurance” lies on the fact that every delivery is different. Their company, which has a 15 to 20 percent market share, also offers a driver safety course for pizza deliveries. Most pizza deliveries use a motor scooter or an automobile. Before, delivery is free on several pizzerias but restaurants nowadays charge only a minimal fee.

Meanwhile, Stump said that most auto insurance policies do not include in its coverage accidents occurring during business deliveries. This, she added, is a common exclusion practiced by auto insurance providers. She also suggested that pizzeria owners must require their employee drivers to include bodily damage liability coverage to their own and personal motor insurance policies. Aside from this, at least $1 million in extra liability coverage must also be carried by restaurants in cars they don’t own. She stressed that are only necessary because a worst case scenario must be considered to make insurance protection well covered.