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Uninsured motorist: Pizza delivery invalidates full coverage

Drivers in Wisconsin may be taking significant financial risks without realizing it. A common clause in auto insurance policies might leave the vehicle owner responsible for any damages, depending on the reason for the trip when an accident occurred. A Pizza Hut employee in another state who thought she had full coverage found herself to be an uninsured motorist.

The driver was delivering a pizza -- using her personal vehicle -- when she crashed into another car. She knew she was at fault, but she thought her insurance would cover the damages. However, her claim was rejected because there was a clause in the policy stating that coverage would not be provided if the vehicle is used for any other purpose than personal transport if the driver does not have commercial coverage. Her insurers suggested she file her claim through Pizza Hut, but the company would only cover medical expenses.

It was pointed out that personal auto insurance typically covers only the insured person and passengers traveling for personal reasons. Commercial coverage is required for using a personal vehicle for business purposes, and this could affect caterers, door-to-door salespeople, real estate agents and more. In this case, the insurance company agreed to pay in the end because of an error in the way the driver's claim was handled.

This is certainly something to keep in mind when using personal vehicles for any traveling that might be seen as commercial. Any driver in Wisconsin who finds him or herself in similar circumstances of being regarded as an uninsured motorist may find the necessary support and guidance by consulting with an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney. A lawyer can explain all the clauses in the insurance policy and determine whether any coverage can be claimed.

Source: kutv.com, "Common clause leaves drivers with 'full auto coverage' uninsured", Matt Gephardt, Michelle Poe, Sept. 12, 2017

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