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Personal Vehicle Sharing a Major Movement Despite Insurance Questions

Personal vehicle sharing is a major trend, especially in areas near major cities, and the trend is revealing potential liability issues that may be of concern to brokers and insureds.  Below are three popular types of personal vehicle sharing, each with its own issues as to how they pertain to AIG’s Personal Automobile and Personal Excess Liability policies: 

  • Zipcar is advertised as an alternative to the traditional way of renting a car or owning a car.  From an insurance standpoint Zipcar is viewed just like any other car rental company, such as Hertz or Avis.  Yes, insurance may come with the rentals, but it may also come with certain requirements that must be met for coverage to be provided.  AIG’s Personal Automobile and Personal Excess Liability policies respond to a Zipcar rental in the same manner as they would to a standard rental car scenario.
  • Person-to-Person car rental services can place an individual on either side of the rental transaction. Depending on which side they are on, such services can mean different things from a personal auto and excess coverage perspective.  If the insured is renting a vehicle from another person through one of these services, it should be viewed the same as Zipcar or any other car rental scenario.  However, renting an insured vehicle to third parties through services such as Relayrides would not be a covered exposure under the Personal Automobile or Personal Excess Liability policies.  AIG is attaching the new Personal Vehicle Sharing Program Exclusion Endorsement to our Personal Automobile policies countrywide to clarify that stance.
  • Lyft, Sidecar, Uber and similar taxi-like ride sharing services are all commercial exposures, and using the insured vehicle for one of those services would not be covered under an AIG Personal Automobile or Personal Excess Liability policy, regardless of whether the operator charges a fee or accepts “donations”.   Ride sharing is usually reserved online or through a smartphone app, which is still considered a commercial reservation system.


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