Fall has officially arrived and the school year is underway. However, as you may finally be settling into a comfortable transportation routine for your children, it is important to be aware of the gaps in your coverage that are allotted with the different types of commonly used transportation services. Ride sharing, vehicle sharing and carpooling each come with their own hazards that we believe our policyholders need to be aware of.
According to the Insurance Services Office (ISO), ride sharing is a term generally referring to a peer-to-peer service that enables the arrangement of vehicular transportation services, often on a very short notice generally utilizing smart phone applications.
In most cases, ride sharing is not protected through a basic auto policy, as it excludes coverage for liability, bodily injury, physical damage or property damage arising out of the ownership, operation or occupation of a vehicle while it is being used for such purposes.
Listed below are the potential gaps in Personal Auto policies that you should talk to your OceanPoint agent about immediately prior to engaging in ride sharing:
– Coverage for Damage to your Auto: your policy will not pay for loss to your covered auto or any non-owned auto while being used as a public or livery conveyance
– Medical Payments Coverage: most policies exclude this coverage for any insured for bodily injury if the injury occurred while the vehicle was being used for public or livery conveyance
Distinct from ride sharing, but equally as prevalent, is vehicle sharing. These types of programs, also known as peer-to-peer car sharing, allows an individual to rent out their personal vehicle for a fee to another individual. Vehicle sharing rental fees are shared between the individual and the vehicle sharing company.
Such as the case in ride sharing, insurance for vehicle sharing excludes coverage for liability, bodily injury, physical damage or property damage when “your covered auto” or a “non-owned auto” is being operated within the context of a personal vehicle sharing program.
On the other hand, using your vehicle to carpool children to school is still covered under your basic auto policy, as long as you do not make a profit from it. Accepting gas money does not fall under the terms of making a profit.
However, we highly suggest that you consider additional liability or umbrella liability insurance if you continue to carpool throughout the year. Remember, costs could add up quickly after an at-fault accident. In addition to covering the damages to the othr party’s car, injuries, or property that you’re responsible for, covering any injuries for your passengers only adds to these costs.
In the case that your liability coverage isn’t enough to cover the damages of an accident, a personal umbrella policy will assist you right where your other liability underlying limits have been reached.
It is for this reason that we at OceanPoint Insurance strongly recommend that you talk to your agent soon about your options for increased coverage. Call us today to discuss your current policy, and to ensure that you and your passengers are safe and fully protected.