WF resident concerned over liability issues for delivery drivers

WICHITA FALLS, Tx (RNN Texoma) - A Wichita Falls man is wanting change to the way drivers for delivery companies are insured after he looked into taking a job as a pizza driver.

For a lot of delivery companies, if you drive for them, you're considered an independent contractor. That means those drivers are liable if something happens like a wreck.

James Long was looking to make some extra money to help pay the bills and had applied to a handful of pizza shops to be a delivery driver.

"I had been wanting to do part-time work and some friends of mine told me they had made quite a bit of money three days a week delivering pizzas," Long said. "So I went and put in some applications. I asked them what do you require? And they said just to have insurance and you can drive your own car."

But when he called his insurance agent they told him he was not covered if he took the job.

He called around to other insurance company's and they told him the same.

When he called Progressive Insurance, they told him he could be covered if he got commercial insurance for $3,000.

"I said no I don't think I'm going to make enough money to cover $3,000 a year."

Newschannel 6 reached out to Wichita Falls delivery company 940ToGo to see what their policy is.

They said they have their drivers sign a waiver saying they are responsible for their own insurance. As long as they keep a current, valid copy on file with 940ToGo, they are good.

According to insurance companies Newschannel 6 reached out to, drivers for some delivery companies are considered independent contractors, meaning the delivery companies are not liable for anything that happens while they're on the road.

940ToGo said that doesn't apply to their drivers. They are hourly employees. But when the drivers sign the waiver they are responsible for their driving on their shift.

Long said that's not a risk he's willing to take.

"I couldn't imagine what would happen if I had something serious happen and it was all on me," Long said. "I'm not rich. I don't own anything but my car and it's in the loan department. So if I got into trouble, I could lose everything."

940ToGo said the process does sound unfair, but it's truly the best and least expensive way to do it for a small business like theirs.

Long said he doesn't have all the answers but knows something needs to be changed.

State Farm said they do provide coverage for a vehicle used for commercial and personal use, but added it's different from regular auto insurance. So drivers are encouraged to talk with their agents about their coverage.

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