DOI Consumer Alert on Ride- and Car-Sharing Services

Hands on phone app for ride share

The Massachusetts Division of Insurance (DOI) released a consumer alert warning of the potential insurance coverage risks for people involved in ride-sharing and car-sharing programs.

These programs provide the general public with easy access to private transportation by allowing individuals to either rent privately owned cars for a fee, or to receive rides from drivers operating privately owned cars for a fee.

The alert urges Massachusetts insureds to carefully review both their existing auto insurance policy and the ride or car-sharing company’s policy before engaging in these services. It’s important to understand all potential risks since, according to the DOI, “most Massachusetts insurers will not consider using your vehicle for a car-sharing service ‘permissible use,’ and are unlikely to cover claims arising from such use.”

Alert highlights include:

  • An insurer can deny coverage if an accident occurs while giving rides to strangers for a fee or other economic incentives.
  • If you share your car with another driver through a car-sharing program, your insurer can deny coverage for an accident happening during that time.
  • Even if your insurer doesn’t explicitly exclude coverage of car-sharing services, it may not renew your policy if your car is involved in an accident while being shared through this type of service.
  • The car-sharing company might provide insurance coverage to its drivers, but it’s likely the coverage is subject to limitations and exclusions.

Click here for the full alert and more information on car and ride-sharing services.

If you are considering participating in these programs, it might be helpful to first consult your insurer or an insurance agent to better understand your coverage options, and what risks you could be exposed to through these services.

Headquartered in Boston, Plymouth Rock Assurance Corporation provides auto insurance to personal and commercial auto insurance customers in Massachusetts and Connecticut. Plymouth Rock is a member of The Plymouth Rock Group of Companies, which together write and manage over $2 billion in auto and homeowners insurance throughout the northeast.

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