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Do not assume that your personal auto insurance will cover any business activities. We have seen this before and your coverage will be denied.

A Burlington woman, who used her vehicle while working for a food delivery service, said she was shocked to realize that damage sustained in a crash would not be covered under her current insurance policy.

Tanya Maiato said that she signed up to work with Skip the Dishes in December to earn a little extra money. She said she would do a couple of delivery runs a week.

Maiato said she used her personal vehicle to deliver food. In February, she said someone crashed into her crash, resulting in about $8,400 in damage.

Everything went smoothly when she filed her insurance claim, Maiato said, and she was provided with a rental car while her vehicle was being repaired. But after they found out she was working for a food delivery service, the claim and her policy were both cancelled.

“I was honest and let them know that I was driving for Skip the Dishes at the time and they had asked me, did I inform my insurance company about this and I said no, I had no idea I had to.”

The company said that the standard auto insurance policy does not cover commercial or for-profit use of the vehicle.

Maiato said that when she joined Skip the Dishes, she was unaware she required extra insurance. But the company told CTV News Toronto that the information was in the driver’s contract.

“When a courier joins the Skip network, they do so as an independent contractor and they’re considered to be operating their own business,” a spokesperson said. “They must abide by all legal requirements. This may include additional insurance.”

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, owners should always check with their insurance company if they use the vehicle to earn income.

“The last thing anyone wants is to be involved in a crash and find out that they are not covered because they did not tell their insurer how they are using their vehicle or if that use has changed,” said Pete Karageorgos.

Maiato now has to pay for the damage to her vehicle herself and says she regrets signing up with the food delivery service.

“I’m incredibly upset,” she said. “It’s been a very stressful time.”

“Had I known about this, I would never have signed up in the first place.”

Footnote: If you are using your personal auto in any commercial business capacity (ie: pizza delivery, taxi, Uber, newspaper delivery, construction, etc) if you have an accident, 9 times out of 10 your claim will be denied. You need a commercial auto policy if you are using your vehicle in a business capacity.

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