Car Share Rental Car Accidents
As home sharing grows in popularity throughout the world, car owners decided to get in on the sharing economy, too. Car sharing companies such as Zipcar, Getaround, and CarHopper allow car owners to make their vehicles available for rent on a short-term basis. Online platforms connect vehicle owners and renters.
What do you need to know to participate in car sharing? Does your personal vehicle insurance cover car sharing? What happens when you’re in an accident in a car share vehicle? Here’s what you need to know from our Florida attorneys for car accidents.
What Is Car Sharing, and How Does It Work?
Car sharing is a way to rent a vehicle either from a private individual or from a car rental company. Car sharing works by using the internet to connect people who have cars to rent with people who want to rent them. The person lending the car chooses when the vehicle is available and the cost for rental.
How Is Car Sharing Different Than Car Rentals?
Car sharing is different than car rentals because the car is available for short-term rentals while car rentals typically begin at a minimum 24-hour period. With car sharing, a person can loan out their car for as little as an hour.
In addition, with car sharing, the person who leases the car decides when it’s available, and the cost. Prices for car sharing may vary even on the same platform. While car rental companies are primarily businesses with large fleets, even an individual can rent out a single vehicle through a car-sharing service.
Are There Car Sharing Services in Miami?
Yes, there are car sharing services in Miami. A number of platforms exist to connect people who want to loan and rent cars in Miami, including Getaround, Turo, CarHopper, and ZipCar. Each car share platform has its own rules and requirements.
Can I Rent out My Car With Zipcar, Getaround or Turo?
Yes, you can rent out your car. Car share services have grown in recent years. The services allow individual car owners to rent out their vehicles on a short-term basis. People who want to rent a car can rent from an individual for a short period rather than contracting with a car rental company for a daily rental. When you rent out your car, your personal car insurance may not apply.
Renting a Car With Zipcar, Getaround, or Turo
When you rent a vehicle through a car share service, there are some important things that you need to know. All Florida vehicle owners are required to carry car insurance. However, there’s a good chance that your personal car insurance doesn’t cover commercial activity. Even though it’s called sharing, renting your car out for a fee is a commercial activity. If a car share driver gets in an accident with your vehicle, there’s a good chance that your insurance company will deny your claim.
Car Share Insurance From the Car Share Company
Many of the online platforms for car share services offer their own insurance guarantee. They may provide you with insurance that helps protect you from liability when an accident occurs. It’s important to read the owner guarantee carefully so that you know what it covers.
For example, does it cover repairs to your vehicle? Does it include only accident injuries and damages to the people inside your car at the time of the accident? What if the car share renter is responsible for the accident? Does the insurance policy cover damages to third parties? It’s important to know exactly what the car share platform is offering you in terms of insurance.
Car Insurance for Car Share Rentals
You may supplement the car share platform’s owner guarantee with your own commercial insurance. An insurer, like the insurance company that sold you your personal policy, may sell you insurance for your renting activities. It’s essential to be completely candid with the insurance company about your car sharing. When an incident occurs, you don’t want to be surprised that your insurance isn’t what you thought it would be.
Car Maintenance Requirement for Car Shares
As a car share lender, be sure to keep your vehicle in the best working condition possible. If an accident occurs because of a maintenance issue on the car, you may be legally liable for damages that result. You as the car share lender have a very high legal obligation to keep your vehicle in good working order. Regular maintenance checks can go a long way to protect you. If you receive a report of a maintenance issue, it’s important to address the issue quickly. Taking care of your vehicle and documenting maintenance can help protect you in the event that an accident occurs.
Who Is Liable When an Accident Occurs in a Zipcar Vehicle?
Who is liable when an accident occurs in a car share vehicle depends on the person at fault for the accident and the laws of the state where it occurs. Usually, the party whose driving leads to the accident is the party who is legally liable. State laws regarding negligent car accidents and vehicle liability stay the same even when car share vehicles are involved.
However, when an accident involves a car share vehicle, there are additional contractual obligations between multiple third parties. Drivers, occupants, car share owners, the car share platform, and their respective insurance companies may all be involved in sorting out legal liability for a car share accident. In states that use a no-fault system, victims may have to recover from their own insurance if their injuries are minor.
Contact Our Miami Attorneys for Car Accidents
Have you been in an accident in a Zipcar, CarHopper, Turo, or Getaround vehicle? Were you in a crash involving a car share vehicle? We can help. The Bernstein & Maryanoff Miami-based attorneys have helped thousands of car accident victims. We have helped victims who are in accidents that involve rental vehicles.
A car share accident claim is complex. You deserve professionally trained, determined legal representation aimed at getting you nothing less than everything you deserve. Let us sort through the insurance policies, handle negotiations on your behalf, and take all of the necessary steps to get you justice under Florida law. The faster you begin, the sooner you can have a check in your hands. Call us today for a free consultation.