Wisconsin to Insurers: Give Restaurants 10-Day Notice on Expiring Delivery Coverage

June 22, 2020

Wisconsin Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable has asked insurers that provided coverage under personal auto policies for food delivery services during the COVID-19 pandemic to help restaurants by giving the businesses at least 10 days written notice if their hired and non-owned coverage will expire.

In late March, the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance (OCI) directed insurers to extend coverage for delivery drivers for restaurants, even if those drivers and/or restaurants did not already have that coverage in place, so they could offer delivery service to their customers while the public health emergency remained in effect. The coverage was to be extended at no extra cost to the personal auto policyholders.

That requirement expired when Wisconsin lifted its public health emergency order on May 13.

In a bulletin, OCI asked insurers to notify personal auto customers about any change in coverage in the same way they were notified of the extension of the coverage for delivery service, but only if the insurer notified their personal auto policyholders when the first bulletin was issued.

The updated bulletin also asked insurers to offer permanent coverage for delivery services, for an additional cost if normally required, if eating establishments that began offering that service during the emergency wish to continue doing so.

The required special coverage did not have to be offered to drivers who otherwise had coverage for deliveries through their personal policy or another policy. It also did not apply to drivers working for a transportation network company or similar delivery company.

The March 2020 order did require insurers who provide commercial general liability coverage to a restaurant to notify their restaurant insureds that hired and non-owned auto coverage was available if requested. If the insured restaurant requested hired and non-owned auto coverage, the insurer was required, either through a rider or stand-alone policy, provide this coverage to any insured restaurant. That requirement also has expired.

Afable is encouraging restaurants and drivers who started providing food delivery services during the COVID-19 pandemic to touch base with their insurance companies and make sure they have the coverage they need to continue providing that service.

Source: Wisconsin OCI

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