According to Carsharing.org, “carsharing is designed for local users in support of community transit and environmental goals. Its mission, vision, and values lead to actions aimed at decreasing personal car ownership, reducing vehicle distance travelled, improving urban land use and development, providing affordable access to vehicles for all constituencies, as well as motivating residents to walk, cycle and take buses and trains, and decreasing dependence on fossil fuels while reducing the emission of greenhouse gases.”
How it Works: Carsharing was introduced as a membership-based service that provides users access to a network of automobiles 24-hours a day, 7 days a week at unattended locations. Once the membership fee is paid, the user is sent an electronic card that opens any of the rented autos and keeps track of usage.
In an attempt to decrease personal auto ownership, extraneous emissions, and costs, car-sharing memberships include gas, insurance, and specific daily mileage. Any miles over the daily allotment is additional, similar to that which one would pay through a traditional car rental company.
Yet, the concept was developed for shorter time rentals and shorter distance trips. It is meant to save people money from not having to own their own vehicle and pay all of the corresponding costs. Another great part of its concept is that a variety of automobiles are available, depending on the geographical area. They are more available in urban and heavily populated areas, such as metro and college areas.
It’s a fantastic concept until someone gets into an accident in a car they do not own.
All carsharing companies include some type of insurance with their membership fees. Unfortunately, most people who use this service don’t read the fine details of the associated insurance policy. In Canada, the FSCO has approved auto insurance products for Outdoorsy, ShiftRide, and Turo. Yet there are many carsharing companies that also have insurance policies. Bottom line is that it is prudent to familiarize yourself with how your membership’s carsharing insurance policies work.
Even if you have your own auto insurance policy, make sure you understand the carsharing company’s policy. The amount of coverage under a carsharing company’s policy will vary greatly depending on the company, particularly as pertains to how insurance and liability are handled.
If You’re in an Accident
Simply follow the same steps you would take if you owned the car.
Get contact information from the other driver
Obtain statements from any witnesses
Take photos of the damage to all involved cars
Take photos of the area and its surroundings.
Call the carsharing company immediately.
How to Make a Carsharing Claim
Each carsharing company has its own procedures, which is why it is crucial to understand its insurance company’s provisions and limitations. You may be responsible for a repair deductible that could cost $500 and more! Some companies recommend their members purchase an additional waver that could eliminate the deductible altogether. Of course, the optional waiver could end up costing the same amount as the deductible over a period of time.
The most important thing to take into consideration is that If the accident was your fault, you may be liable for all expenses above the carsharing company’s insurance coverage. Understand your financial responsibilities before signing up… but if you haven’t don’t fret.
How Wynperle Law Can Help
Wynperle Law is one of Canada’s top injury law firms. If you’re in a carsharing accident and are worried you might not get the compensation you deserve, or have concerns that you might get stuck paying more than you should, save time and frustration by getting legal advice and support. Our Hamilton law firm will be able to answer all of your questions and ease any anxiety you are feeling about the situation. Call 1-866-696-0300 or fill out this quick contact form to get started. Our consultations are provided at no cost to you. We are on your side.