Most people are anxious for their favorite restaurants and bars to open again. Until that happens, many of us continue to support our local establishments with take out, curbside service and delivery. Such service raises many questions about safety. Two important questions are the safety of the food and packaging and the insurance coverage of the expanded fleet of delivery drivers.
The FDA has published many answers to frequent questions about food and packaging safety. Access to those answers can be found here FDA Food Questions According to the FDA, ” Currently there is no evidence of food, food containers, or food packaging being associated with transmission of COVID-19. Like other viruses, it is possible that the virus that causes COVID-19 can survive on surfaces or objects. ” If you are concerned, the FDA recommends washing hands before and after handling packaging. There are also links to other tips and recommendations. If you are interested in the lifespan of the corona virus, there are numerous articles and studies published. A simple chart can be found here corona lifespan
The second concern is the fact that many personal auto insurance policies do not cover drivers when their vehicle is being used in a business. Thus, if a driver only has a personal policy and is using their vehicle while being paid by a delivery company, the auto policy may not provide coverage if the driver is in a crash. In Wisconsin, Governor Evers issued an order through the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance to temporarily require personal auto policies to cover restaurant workers using their vehicles to deliver food. You can read the OCI press release here Restaurant Delivery
Unfortunately, many insurance companies interpret that order NOT to include delivery companies. Thus, a restaurant worker just delivering for the restaurant that employs them may get temporary coverage, but a driver for a third party delivery company that is separate from the restaurant will not get coverage. If you or a loved one are considering delivery service for a delivery company, it is extremely important to check with your auto insurance company to find out if your personal policy will cover you in the event of a crash. It is best to get the answer in writing. Your company may tell you that you need a commercial auto policy, which can be very expensive.
We hope this helps answer some questions and point out the unexpected pitfalls that can come up in these challenging times. Staying safe should remain the first priority.