Minnesota Pizza Delivery Driver Is Lucky to Be Alive but Finds Himself in an Insurance Nightmare
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As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a huge shift in working patterns across the U.S., with some industries forced to close their doors and others suddenly booming.
With an unprecedented number of people stuck at home, food delivery became more popular than ever, and thousands of unemployed Americans joined the gig economy to meet an increased demand for drivers.
While these opportunities helped many people, the sad tale of a Minnesota pizza delivery driver serves as a reminder to secure the right car insurance coverage. Following a carjacking and assault, he is facing not only a long recovery, but an insurance nightmare, too.
If you’re a food delivery driver, make sure you have proper insurance.
Minnesota pizza delivery man carjacked and assaulted
Fox 9 Minneapolis-St. Paul reports on the terrifying situation that befell Dave Rabenstein, a 20-year veteran of Domino’s Pizza, as he was making a delivery in the Twin Cities in June.
Mr. Rabenstein was waiting for the customer at their front door when an opportunistic thief jumped into his Hyundai Tucson, which still had the engine running, and tried to flee. Rabenstein doesn’t remember much more, but witnesses say he attempted to run after his SUV, when the suspect quickly turned and ran him over.
The thief then crashed, almost totalling the car, but escaped in a getaway vehicle being driven by an accomplice. Minneapolis police are on the hunt for two suspects.
Aside from being knocked unconscious, Mr. Rabenstein suffered a fractured back and broken wrist. As he described to Fox 9, “Every time I lay down, I get a head rush, every time I stand up, I get a head rush…I can’t turn my head too fast. I have to take it slow.” His smashed Hyundai is still sitting in his driveway.
A car insurance nightmare for the Minnesota man
While Dave Rabenstein is lucky to be alive, he must now figure out how to pay for his medical care, in addition to the ballooning costs of rehabilitation. The reason for this, aside from being attacked, is that he didn’t have the right type of car insurance.
While car insurance policies in Minnesota must include some personal injury protection, and many drivers opt for medical payments coverage on top, Rabenstein did not have the necessary waiver to use his personal vehicle for commercial deliveries.
Without this special endorsement, his insurance policy does not cover the cost of repairs or rehabilitation incurred on the job.
Find the right coverage before it’s too late
Millions of Americans are using their own cars to provide food delivery, e-commerce delivery, and rideshare services. And many of them, like Mr. Rabenstein, don’t realize they are not covered should something go wrong.
The majority of insurance companies won’t cover delivery drivers under a personal insurance policy, because of the increased risks associated with the job. More time spent on the road increases the likelihood of being involved in an accident.
Some drivers are reluctant to tell their insurance companies that they are using their vehicles for work, because they will have to pay a higher premium. While this is true, most insurance companies offer specific waivers which are quite affordable.
For example, Progressive offers “pizza delivery insurance” for significantly less than a full commercial policy.
If you ignore the need for improved coverage, and make money from driving under your personal policy, any claims you make may be denied by your insurer. To make matters worse, you could be accused of fraud and even lose your driver’s license.
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