Over the past decade, peer-to-peer carsharing services like Turo, Getaround and Zipcar have grown in popularity. These services can be more affordable than renting a car and you often have a wider variety of vehicles to choose from.
The problem is, insurance coverage for these vehicles is complicated, particularly if a crash occurs and one or more people get injured.
Can you use your personal insurance? Will your liability insurance apply if the driver of your car is at fault for the crash? What if you are the victim of a crash with a vehicle that is being rented?
If you were injured in a crash involving a peer-to-peer rental vehicle, our experienced Harrisburg-based auto accident lawyers are ready to help you seek full compensation for your damages. We represent injury victims at no upfront cost, and there is no obligation to hire our firm after your free initial consultation.
New Pennsylvania Law on Peer-to-Peer Car Rentals
In July 2022, Pennsylvania passed a law to help set guidelines for insurance companies on peer-to-peer carsharing programs. However, the law still allows insurance companies to exclude coverage for policyholders who rent the cars out.
If your insurance company excludes coverage, you would need to turn to the insurance coverage provided by the peer-to-peer carsharing company. Unfortunately, the law only requires insurance companies to provide the same minimum required coverage that is required by state law. This minimum coverage may not be enough if the crash results in serious injuries.
Many attorneys have concerns that the law does not go far enough to address the myriad issues raised by peer-to-peer car rental programs.
Insurance Offered by Peer-to-Peer Carsharing Companies
Turo allows you to choose the third-party liability coverage that works best for you. This is coverage that will apply to your vehicle if you allow others to rent it. The coverage would pay compensation to those injured by the person who drives your car if they are at fault for a crash.
Every Turo host plan provides $750,000 in liability coverage. Hosts (the people renting their cars out) can choose from five different plans, and all of them offer reimbursement for car repairs up to the car’s actual cash value.
Getaround also provides liability coverage. The amounts are $50,000 bodily injury per person, $100,000 per accident and $30,000 for property damage, or the state minimums, whichever amount is larger. Hosts are covered up to $1,000,000 for liability. This coverage is personal liability for the guest who is driving the car, third-party liability for property damage and for passengers and others affected by the accident.
Getaround also provides personal injury protection (PIP) in no-fault states at the minimums required by law.
Zipcar provides physical damage insurance, but members are responsible for up to the first $1,000 of damage. There is also third-party liability coverage and PIP coverage in states where this coverage is required. However, coverage is not available until all other coverage has been exhausted.
Insurance That May Apply to a Peer-to-Peer Carsharing Crashes
If you were hit by a car that was being rented by someone else, the process for filing a claim for compensation would be like the process for filing a claim for a crash with any other car. You would first seek compensation from your no-fault insurance, which pays for medical bills and other financial losses regardless of fault for the crash.
However, you may also need to file a claim against the liability insurance that applies to the vehicle that hit yours. For example, you would file this type of claim to recover compensation for damage to your vehicle, or if your coverage runs out and you still have damages to pay for.
This is where things may get complicated. If the insurance on the car does not apply because coverage is excluded for carsharing, you may need to seek compensation from the carsharing company’s liability insurance. It is possible the driver has a separate commercial policy to provide liability coverage in case of an accident.
If the carsharing company’s policy runs out of coverage, you may need to use your underinsured motorist coverage to pay for the remaining damages.
What if You Were Driving a Rented Car?
Your no-fault coverage may still apply (PIP coverage follows the driver), so you could use it to cover your medical bills and some other losses from the crash. You should be able to file a claim against the other driver’s liability insurance if he or she is at fault. This claim could provide compensation for damage to the vehicle and other losses not covered by your no-fault coverage.
If you are at fault, your personal auto insurance should apply unless it is specifically excluded from coverage because you are using a carsharing program. That means the other driver can file a claim against the liability insurance in your policy.
If your policy is excluded, the other driver may be able to file a claim against the liability insurance of the peer-to-peer company.
What if You Were Allowing Your Car to be Rented Out?
If the person driving your car gets injured, he or she may be able to use no-fault coverage and/or file a claim against the at-fault driver’s liability insurance.
If the person driving your car is at fault for the crash, the victim may be able to file a claim against the driver’s liability insurance or commercial insurance. If the driver’s personal insurance does not apply, the victim may be able to file a claim against the carsharing company’s liability insurance.
As there may be multiple insurance policies you need to seek compensation from, it is important to hire an experienced attorney to help you. The licensed attorneys at Schmidt Kramer have been dealing with insurance companies for decades. We know how to evaluate insurance policies to determine available coverage and how to pursue full compensation for your damages. We are also prepared to take the case to court, as insurance companies routinely try to underpay or deny claims.
Call to Discuss Your Claim for Compensation for Crash Injuries
Contacting a lawyer is an important step to take after suffering injuries in a crash, particularly a crash involving a peer-to-peer rental vehicle. You do not need to try to sort through liability and insurance coverage on your own. You can instead focus on treating your injuries and leave the legal process to an experienced advocate who deals with these issues every day.
The licensed attorneys at Schmidt Kramer have a track record of success and we work on contingency. That means you do not pay us unless we recover compensation for you.
Free consultation and no upfront fees. Contact us by calling: (717) 510-1770.