How Does Car-Sharing Work With Insurance?

Car share apps may not have been around for long, but for a lot of Canadians, it’s now hard to imagine a world without them. Car-sharing, not to be confused with its Uber and Lyft focused cousin Ride-sharing, is a service that allows you to rent a car for a short period of time (even a half-hour). It’s a convenient way to rent a car quickly without having to go the traditional car rental route.

So what does this auto innovation mean for you and your insurance? Whether you’re heading to an important meeting or just in need of a vehicle for an hour to pick up groceries for the family, this is what you should know about car-sharing coverage.

How Am I Covered By A Car-Sharing Membership?

When you sign up for a car-sharing service, insurance is included in your membership. The insurance included sometimes requires the driver to meet certain requirements to be fully covered. It’s really important to check the policy of the company you’re renting from so you know the terms, conditions and coverage that come with your rental. (Don’t speak insurance? That’s okay! We have a glossary that breaks down insurance terms without you needing to scramble for a dictionary.)

While there’s a minimum level of insurance that needs to be provided by the company, you may want to consider additional options so you can feel comfortable with your coverage when getting behind the wheel.

Here Are Some Things To Consider With Car-Sharing

  • Consider Non-Owner Insurance: The coverage provided by the car-sharing company can help cover some things (like liability), but there are some gaps that may not be covered. Non-owner insurance can be a great asset if you’re looking for comprehensive and collision protection when driving a rental car. This coverage can help pay for the cost of repairing or replacing a vehicle in collisions and unexpected situations, a feature that your car-sharing company isn’t likely to cover.
  • Check Your Waiver: Your damage waiver gives you the details of what you’re signing on to be responsible for. Have a copy of the waiver for yourself, so you know what you’ve agreed to and can reference it if needed.
  • Inspect Your Vehicle Each Time: You could be held responsible for damage to your vehicle, so why risk having to take responsibility for damage you didn’t cause? Before you step into your vehicle, document if there are any issues.
  • Don’t Forget To End The Rental: It may feel like the rental is over once you’ve returned the car, but unless you’ve officially ended your rental, you could be liable for what happens to that car in the meantime. Not to mention, you wouldn’t want to risk having to pay for extra time when you didn’t use it.

You might be surprised how much you can do to reduce your risk in a car-sharing scenario. Check out our related car insurance articles for more information on how you can feel more confident while sharing a set of wheels.