New to the game and need some input.

Hello All,

Im new to the pizza business and need some help in the delivery area. I am opening a dine-in and delivery pizzeria in about 6 weeks. Im currently in the process of securing my insurance for the business and it seems that delivery driver insurance is a HUGE concern for the insurance companies. I have been kicking around the idea of hiring my drivers as “independent contractors” and having them do nothing but deliver pizzas and get paid a flat fee per day or per delivery. Im wondering if you guys can enlighten me as to the easiest and best ways to offer delivery to my customers…any thoughts and ideas are greatly appreciated. Thanks!

some of the other guys will come in and better explain WHY NOT to do the contractor bit.

The simple answer is that if you are going to do this and do it right then you have to pay the right price. Someone down the line (either you or the driver) is going to have to a) pay the cost of business insurance or b) think that it is appropriate not to have insurance - at which point YOU (the business owner) ends up carrying the risk when someone gets hit etc.

If there was some ‘magic’ way that using independent contractors would make ‘cheaper’ to run a delivery service then everyone would do that and the answer is they don’t.

If you’re going to do delivery then shop around, find the best rates for the most suitable cover (plenty of guys will chip in with their insurance provider) and get professional drivers in to work for you. Good luck!

You don’t need to carry insurance for your drivers. If you did, you could not afford it. You would be out of business in a year. This is a very hairy situation. Your drivers should have their own car insurance. I check to make sure my drivers insurance is up to date every month. I also make sure they sign a written statement, that while they are employed by me they will hold valid car insurance. Their insurance should state they use their automobiles for their job. However, If their was some sort of accident, and your delivery driver was at fault, I am afraid they could still come back to the shop. You just don’t know. Do you pay out tens of thousands of dollars a year for something that may happen? Or take your chances? That is up to you. Hope I helped.

In my opinion this is very bad advise. If you cannot afford proper insurance to cover yourself against the liability of deliveries then do not do deliveries.

Hired non owned insurance does NOT cost tens of thousands of dollars! Mine costs me about $5,500 while doing over $1,000,000 in delivery sales. Is it worth it to me to dedicate less the cost of a magnet for each delivery to have the piece of mind that I have a two million dollar policy to cover any losses? Absolutely!!

thats one of the worst post’s I’ve ever seen.

Just because they have a policy doesn’t mean that the policy is still live
Just because it says valid for work, doesn’t mean that the policy will cover pizza delivery

If you are prepared to risk your business on the whim of one of your drivers deciding not to insure his car then more fool you and you deserve to be closed down.

‘You would be out of business in a year??’ - you’re clearly a sound business person then. What a joke!

Gosh Wiz…what do you really think? :lol:

I agree though…to play ostrich with insurance issues is a losing game big time!

Let me clear up what I wrote so you all understand. I simply stated what I do. I gave pros, and cons to the situation. My advice is what I do! Not what you need to do! Anyone who states our business is this cut and dry is full of it. Clearly you all are franchise owners, NOT INDEPENDENT Pizza shops! Also, if you clearly read my post, I stated ALL my drivers have valid insurance, and it does include PIZZA DELIVERY. I too do over $1,000,000 in pizza delivery sales. Why have double insurance!? Again, I stated what I do, it is a FREE country. Your way may be right for YOU, and maybe not for others. The law also differs from state to state. So you need to contact your insurance rep, and find out. I think the criticism should be more informative,and constructive, and not attack others business practices. My advice is to do what is right for you.


I think you may be misunderstanding.

They are not talking about vehicle insurance----they are talking about hired non-owned insurance to cover the establishment. This does not cover your driver, their vehicle-----it covers you and your business that could very well get sued if your driver----your employee on your time----gets into an accident.

If you have delivery this is just as important as your fire and liability insurance.

The problem is that your drivers insurance probably won’t pay much to a person the hit and critically injure. What limits of liability do you require them to carry? While this is somewhat a free country, by not having enough liability insurance on your business, you put ME at risk. If I sustain a million dollars worth of medical bills because of something your driver does, how will your business pay for them? I doubt very much a single one of your drivers carries liability levels that high.

A couple of things hit me. The first is that I feel your pain, though I am a far smaller shop. Paying for insurance is sometimes hard to rationalize wth the cost of cheese going up, rent, minimum wage again this summer. It seems endless.

Actually, doughgirl, you post very clearly says YOU when making your insurance references. If you talk about your own practices, use I. I say this only for clarity of communications in this vague typed medium.

The people here who preach the gospel of the non-owned vehicle insurance are nearly ALL independents who are protecting their businesses, houses and livelihoods. The insurance has absolutely nothing to do with the drivers’ coverage. when a lawsuit is filed, it’s about deep pockets, and a shop that passes $1M in gross sales is a fat target wayyyy beyond that driver. If you are defendant in a lawsuit you need a policy who is in it to protect you. Period.

NOt having insurance is taking a risk sort of like russian roulette. You may never have to pay the piper . . … but it’s a real b%tch when you do have to pay.

O.K O.K. Thank most of you for all of your useless information. I have been in business for 11 years. A successful business at that. I don’t need anyones advice. I am a business woman, and have been for 15 years. I know the consequences. I am not an idiot. I know what liability is, and I know the possible consequences of my actions. I did not respond to the original post to get into a debate. I was giving the original postee a point of my view. Please go give someone else advice. And, if you think I am putting my personal assets in jeopardy, you clearly have no idea how to run a CORPORATION! Geeessshhhh!

which is it then? ‘do what you do’ or ‘do what is right for each person?’ Come on make your mind up!

I’m sorry but I’ve little time for people who clearly do not understand the insurance market.

As am employer YOU have NO control over whether a drivers insurance is valid at any time other than sitting with the employee on the end of the phone to the insurance company and asking ‘is this insurance valid’. If you believe that seeing a policy document or checking once a month is enough then you are seriously kidding yourself.

  1. A driver can cancel, lapse or forfeit insurance at their whim and YOU as the business owner will have no idea and will pick up the bill when they crash.
  2. If a driver has supplied any false information to the insurance company YOU will have no idea until a claim is made, the application checked and then YOU as the business owner will pick up the bill.
  3. A driver can modify their car at any time and unless they inform the insurance company will forfeit the insurance
  4. A driver can change car and ‘forget’ to inform the insurance company - had that one a few times.
  5. If there is insufficient then the claimant will come after YOU as the business owner.
  6. A driver can borrow his mates car when his breaks down, you don’t notice as the car is parked down the lot.

the list goes on and on.

As you say it is a free country and if you want to risk your $1,000,000 pizza delivery sales business on the whim of a driver then fair enough. But I for sure am much happier having my business covered and that’s my advice and I bet most of the guys on this board.

Pre-pizza I’ve spent 20 years in the insurance industry and far too often sat face to face with people brought to their knee’s because they didn’t have, didn’t understand what they had, mis-understood what was/wasn’t covered or worst of all those who didn’t want to pay for cover because they thought they could get away with something else. It was a real shame in so many of these cases but not that much a surprise in the ones just like the situation you describe.

Hi, I am also opening a new delivery business, and decided it was less expensive to buy a delivery car than carry non-owned vehicle insurance. Progressive is the only company I could find that would right me a non-owned vehicle policy. My situation is a little different since I am in a small tourist town and my delivery area is only about a 5 mile radius.
Good Luck!

hi just make sure all your plan are organize…

good luck to u, :wink:


I’m calling BS. Your shop does 1 million PLUS and you think hired non-owned insurance is too much? It’s not double insurance. Your driver hits somebody with a penchant for personal injury lawsuits, who do they come after? The driver making minimum plus tips OR YOU the 1 million plus business owner? If you’re doing more than a million in deliveries and havent had one incident like this you have been EXTREMELY lucky. If you’re willing to take that risk great.

Do your delivery drivers carry commercial insurance or do they just think that their regular insurance is good enough? Does it matter to you (the owner)?

What kind of car did you get for delivery, and how much does that cost you?