Some car insurance doesn't cover work-related accidents

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Employees who drive their personal cars for business may not have the auto insurance coverage they think they have. That's what happened to an Oakland woman, who shared her story with 7 On Your Side.

Angelic Lockett described the damage to her 2015 Hyundai Elantra. "When we collided, my whole bumper pretty much came off," she said.

The crash happened near an intersection in West Oakland. Police have not determined who was at fault.

Lockett was making a delivery for the laundry service Washio when the accident occurred. She called her insurance company, Progressive, but they told her she wasn't covered for work-related accidents.

Lockett's employer wouldn't cover the accident either. "They couldn't even send me a tow truck," she said.

She recalls getting the email from Washio when she was hired, asking for a copy of her driver's license, insurance and car registration.

"When they asked for my insurance, you know, I pretty much thought I was covered," Lockett said.

It turns out she wasn't.

Joe Ridout is with Consumer Action in San Francisco. "If you have a commercial insurance policy, you'd be good to go. But for your personal use, your full coverage claim might be denied," he explained.

Lockett said Washio never advised her to get a commercial policy and that upsets her.

"I paid for auto insurance and the negligence of Washio not telling me that you're insurance is not going to cover this, it's very upsetting," she said.

Almost two years ago, an Uber driver struck and killed 6-year-old Sophia Lio on New Year's Eve. Uber refused to accept responsibility, saying at the time its insurance policy did not cover the driver.

A new law that took effect July 15 requires services like Uber and Lyft to provide liability coverage for its drivers.

But the law does not require collision coverage and only applies to those so-called ride share companies.

"Perhaps it's time for us to look at compelling other businesses to make sure that their employees will be safe in the event they get hurt while on the job," Ridout said.

Washio said it had no comment for this story and Progressive Insurance did not get back to us.

As for Lockett, the California Department of Insurance has agreed to look over her personal auto policy to see if this accident should be covered.
Copyright © 2021 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.