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Insuring the Gig Economy

Fri Aug 30th, 2019 on     Insurance Claims,    

Experienced Insurance Coverage Lawyer in Miami, FL

On an annual basis, the “gig economy” is growing significantly across the United States and the world at-large, spearheaded by big-tech efforts such as Uber and Fiverr, among other applications that connect independent contractors with those in need of a one-time service.  In fact, industry observers estimate that nearly 40 percent of the United States will be employed as independent contractors by 2020 (though of course many will be engaged in longer-term project-based arrangements, and not necessarily the gig economy).

Though “gigs” have created an incredible way for many Americans to supplement and grow their income, the work can be somewhat risky.  If you work “gigs” independently, whether through a specific app or not, then you may find yourself in a situation where you’re facing liability or other losses that are sufficiently extensive to warrant insurance coverage — even if you are covered by a pre-existing policy, however, there’s a good chance that your insurer will deny your claims.  They may use a number of justifications to explain the denial, such as a coverage exclusion.

An insurance denial is not final.  You have the right to challenge the adverse decision and potentially even sue to recover compensation.  We therefore encourage gig workers to consult an attorney for details on how to proceed.  Contact us at Ver Ploeg & Marino, P.A. to learn more.

Coverage-Related Issues Faced by Gig Economy Workers

Commercial Policies vs. Personal Policies

As a gig worker, your personal policy may exclude liabilities and losses sustained while conducting yourself in a commercial capacity.  Generally speaking, a separate commercial policy will have to be purchased (though insurers are increasingly offering more comprehensive plans than in years past).  It’s therefore not uncommon for gig workers who only have personal coverage to have their claims denied on this basis — if you can show that your losses were sustained while engaged in a non-commercial capacity, however, then you can overcome the insurer’s arguments for exclusion.

Strategic Denials and Delays

Gig workers are often surprised to find that their insurer is not on their side.  Insurers are fundamentally opposed to their policyholders by virtue of their competing interests.  Knowing that gig workers may have access to other insurance coverage through their “app” (i.e., Uber liability coverage, etc.), insurers who provide policies purchased separately by gig workers are much more likely to delay and deny claims in the hopes that alternative coverage will be pursued instead.

Variable Tasks Could Lead to Coverage Exclusion

Gig workers are frequently engaged in variable, one-time projects.  As such, their tasks may differ in kind on a day-to-day basis.  A delivery assignment may not necessarily be categorized the same as a dog walking assignment, for example, and this could lead to coverage exclusions under insurance policies that are highly-specific in defining covered conduct.

Contact Ver Ploeg & Marino for Further Guidance

Here at Ver Ploeg & Marino, P.A., our team of skilled attorneys has spent decades working on behalf of insurance policyholders — individuals and businesses — in various coverage disputes with their insurers.

Over the years, we have gained significant insight into what is necessary in order to effectively litigate such claims.  Unlike many of our competitors, we invest into each of our clients, learning the ins-and-outs of their insurance coverage so that we can tailor our advocacy to the particularities of their dispute.

Ready to speak to an experienced Miami insurance coverage lawyer at VPM Law?  Call us at 305-577-3996 or complete an intake form through our website to request an initial consultation today.

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