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​Peer-to-Peer Carsharing

Peer to Peer carsharing allows a car owner to share their vehicle with other people to drive for a fee.  Car handoffs, returns, and payments are usually coordinated through a third-party carsharing app or website.

Below are some common questions about carsharing including some very important insurance considerations.

Q: Do I need to buy insurance if I use a carsharing program?

Act 93 of 2022, requires carsharing programs to confirm that the vehicle owner and driver are insured for at least the minimum limits required by law.  This requirement can be met by the shared vehicle owner's insurance policy, the shared vehicle driver's insurance policy, the carsharing program's insurance policy, or a combination of all three.  

The carsharing program's insurance policy applies if insurance coverage does not otherwise exist or is excluded.  However, the carsharing program's insurance policy might not provide as much insurance as you want or need.

Q: Does my existing car insurance policy cover my car if it is involved in an accident while being shared? 

You should speak to your local agent or insurance company.  There is a possibility your policy may contain an exclusion that would prohibit coverage while your vehicle is being shared as part of a carsharing program.

It is also important to check with your insurance company at renewal, as carsharing is a new product and there may be changes to laws, regulations, or court rulings that may impact coverage.

Q: How do I find out if my current car insurance policy will cover me or my car?

You should speak to your local agent or insurance company before participating in a carsharing program. Your policy may contain an exclusion prohibiting coverage for carsharing.

Q: I don't own a car.  Can I still rent a car from a carsharing platform?   

You should speak to your local agent or insurance company about a named operator policy.  A named operator policy is a car insurance policy that provides coverage to drivers who do not own a car but plan to drive regularly using rental cars, carsharing services, or borrowed vehicles. Named operator policies are sometimes called non-owner car insurance and may be more affordable than traditional auto insurance.

Q: I don't have car insurance.  Can I still rent a car from a carsharing platform?   

Drivers must purchase and maintain car insurance to legally drive in Pennsylvania. This is called maintaining "financial responsibility" on your vehicles. Operating a vehicle without the required insurance may result in a fine and the suspension of your driver's license. Restoration fees and proof of insurance must be provided prior to having driving privileges returned.

Q: What are the minimum limits required by law?

Medical BenefitsThis coverage pays the medical bills for you and others who are covered by your policy, regardless of fault, if there are injuries resulting from an accident. The minimum limit is $5,000. Higher limits are also available.

Bodily Injury LiabilityIf you injure someone in an auto accident, this coverage pays damages for which you are liable, such as medical and rehabilitation expenses. The minimum limit is $15,000/$30,000. The $15,000 pays for injuries to one person, while the $30,000 represents the total available for one accident. Higher limits are also available.

Property Damage LiabilityIf you damage someone's property (such as their car) in an accident and you are at fault, this coverage pays for repairs to that property. The minimum limit is $5,000. Higher limits are also available.

Q: Does the carsharing program provide any coverage in an accident?

Yes, depending on the circumstances and timing of the accident. Check with the carsharing program to learn how much insurance coverage they provide, and how and when that coverage would apply.

It is important to note a carsharing program may not cover an accident if:  

    1. The shared vehicle owner makes an intentional fraudulent representation or omission to the program before the carsharing period during which the accident occurs; or
    2. The shared vehicle driver, acting in concert with the vehicle owner, fails to return the vehicle at the agreed-upon time.

Q: If I am in an at-fault accident while using a shared vehicle, who pays for the damages to the shared vehicle?

If you are using a shared vehicle and are at fault for an accident, you may be responsible for the damages to the vehicle if you, the vehicle owner, or the carsharing company do not have collision or comprehensive coverage on your respective insurance policies or if it is excluded while participating in a carsharing program.  

Talk to your local agent or insurance company to fully understand your coverage limitations before using a carsharing program. You may also want to check the insurance provided by the carsharing platform.  While the law stipulates minimum levels of coverage, it is possible the carsharing platform may provide coverage that exceeds those.