Gina’s Pizzeria was located in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Gina’s place was the favorite hangout for all the kids after the high school games or events. It was family-friendly and thus attracted family groups who lived in the vicinity. Gina was known for her local charity work and was well liked and respected in the community. And of course the delivery orders kept the phones ringing from 11:00 a.m. until close daily. Life was good!
The Infamous Accident
On this particular day, Mitch, her longest tenured delivery driver who was delivering pizzas for her as a second job to help pay for his children’s private school education, went on a regular delivery. The sun was at that point just before sunset when it was glaring in drivers’ eyes. Mitch, who was driving his own personal car, didn’t see the person stopping in front of him and had a rear end collision. He was doing the speed limit, but, due to the sun in his eyes, he just could not see that the car ahead was stopped. Mitch knew he had great car insurance, and so he didn’t have any undue concern about the matter.
But later he would learn that the driver of the other car, whose name was Craig, had years earlier sustained a sports injury to his back and neck. At the time of the accident, Craig was the head football coach at the local university pulling down a sizable income.
The impact of the rear-ending incident exacerbated the existing injuries to the point that Craig was no longer able to fulfill his coaching duties and so sustained a loss of income. With two years remaining on his coaching contract, he could very closely estimate the amount of the loss that he would incur if the university released him from the contract, which they subsequently did.
Where Will the Money Come From?
Mitch’s coverage allowed for $300,000 in damages. Where will the rest of the over one million dollars come from?
I’m sure you’ve already guessed the answer. A good personal injury attorney quickly discovered that Mitch was running a delivery for Gina’s Pizzeria on business time. Under deposition Mitch was certainly not going to lie—nor would he ever think he needed to. He would clearly state that he was on a delivery for Gina’s Pizzeria. Now that attorney knew that Mitch was on business time, he went after Gina and her Pizzeria.
Gina was certain she was protected because, after all, she had general liability. Then she learned the frightening truth. General liability is only for your premises! And this was definitely not on the premises. all, she had general liability. Then she learned the frightening truth. General liability is only for your premises! And this was definitely not on the premises.
What Was Missing?
What did Gina need that she did not have? It’s called “Hired Non-Owned Auto Coverage” or as I like to call it “Delivery Liability”. Only a handful of insurance companies will even write this absolutely needed protection for Pizza Franchisees & Independent Pizzeria Owners. Because Gina didn’t have this coverage, she would have a lien against her property and be sued for all her profits and put out of business.
While this turned out to be a multi-million-dollar lawsuit, I know that if Gina had the correct coverage, Craig and his attorney would have taken the million offered and gone their way. I’ve seen it happen. They were looking for the easy way out, and proper coverage could have provided it.
A Pizza Franchisee or an Independent Pizzeria Owner reading this may think this doesn’t apply since they do limited deliveries or that their drivers are first in line when an accident occurs so that should be plenty of coverage. Well as you read above, is it worth the risk? Any attorney worth his salt will learn this was on business time, and therefore he will go where the money is. They will sue the business itself.
The majority of Pizza Franchisees & Independent Pizzeria Owners I see do not have the proper coverage. In fact, the handful of insurers nationally that write this type of protection have all kinds of hidden language where the vast majority of the time the claim will be denied.
And to boot it runs on average between $3,000 – $6,000 annually for that “privilege”. Some deal, huh? And it is no wonder so many Pizza Franchisees & Independent Pizzeria Owners forgo this most needed protection. Furthermore, since they are not involved in deliveries, they don’t see the need.
Yet a true Pizza Franchise or Independent Pizzeria insurance specialist will have a preferred market with no hidden fine print where you are left as naked as a jaybird. Why leave yourself naked and wide open to such a disastrous lawsuit when you can finally get preferred protection at $3,000 – $4,000 annually or essentially $10 per day to deliver pizzas? Of course this is well worth it and the biggest risk you face as a Pizza Franchisee or Independent Pizzeria Owner if you deliver.
You can EASILY get a Comparative Analysis done for you to make certain that you have the proper coverage and aren’t at risk of losing thousands of dollars or even losing your entire Pizza Franchise or Independent Pizzeria.
This will take you literally all of 5 minutes to email or fax to make sure that you’re properly protected and not at risk to lose everything. Act today, right now while you are thinking of this!