Don’t Get Zapped by the Zipcar

Zipcar does not provide proper insurance for the people who “share” its cars.  Zipcar may lull people into thinking they have sufficient insurance to cover them if they are in an accident; unfortunately, this is not correct.  If you are at fauld in an accident with a Zipcar, the Zipcar insurance coverage only provides limits of $100,000 per person who is injured.  This means that if someone has injuries that cost more than $100,000 in medical bills, you could be on the way to the poorhouse.

As bad as that situation is, if you are in a collision that is not even your fault but the other party does not have insurance or is underinsured, you are out of luck.  Zipcar’s contract specifically exempts them from accepting any responsibility for your medical expenses.  If you are involved in a hit and run collision in a Zipcar, your damages will not be covered under the Zipcar contract.

If you are under 21, you don’t even get the $100,000 liability coverage.  Instead, you have only the minimum coverage required in the State.  In Washington State, our minimum liability limits are $25,000.00.  It is easy to imagine being in a car accident and unintentionally causing more than $25,000.00 in medical expenses or other damages.

Zipcar has a large “deductible” as well for property damage.  If you are in a collision, even if the collision is not your fault, you may be liable for up to $1,000.00.  I was recently contacted by a person who was very upset that when an object fell off a truck and damaged her Zipcar.   She was going to be responsible for paying $1,000.00.  This situation is very unfair.

It is wise to consult an independent insurance agent before driving a Zipcar.  Some personal insurance policies may exclude coverage for ride sharing services such as Zipcar, so it makes sense to ask questions before “sharing a ride.”