How Ridesharing Affect Your Ohio Car Insurance
For many years in Ohio, if you needed to get somewhere you drove your own car, took public transportation, or hailed a cab. The advent of instantaneous Internet communication using smartphones has added ridesharing and vehicle sharing to the ways you can get around.
The coverage you were entitled to when you purchased Ohio car insurance for your own car was easily understood, and consumers knew exactly what they were buying when they wrote that first check to the insurance company. Assessing the insurance needs of a car that’s used for ridesharing services or vehicle-sharing arrangements isn’t so easy.
Ridesharing lets car owners transport passengers in their personal vehicles for a fee. Ridesharing is arranged using large crowdsourcing applications that connect willing riders with willing drivers, usually by using a smartphone. The passenger pays the service. The service takes a fee, and then forwards the rest to the driver. This arrangement opens up many questions about the applicability of personal Ohio car insurance policy that’s used to insure a car that has become a de facto taxi. Taxi drivers are heavily regulated, and like most businesses, have much higher levels of liability insurance than regular drivers need. If something happens to you while you’re riding in a cab, the insurance ramifications are easily determined. In a rideshare situation, there are still many gray areas about who is responsible for what.
Vehicle sharing is an even thornier situation. Instead of a willing driver picking up a willing passenger to drive to a destination, vehicle sharing lets car owners loan their cars out for a rental fee when then they’re not being used. This service relies heavily on the gray areas in personal Ohio car insurance policies that let other people drive your car.
Ohio car insurance policies aren’t designed to cover the use of a personal vehicle for business use. Many people have attempted to make money using rideshare and vehicle sharing services without examining the liability ramifications. Ridesharing services are trying to plug the holes in coverage with umbrella policies, but even these can leave drivers with big liabilities if they don’t qualify for coverage under the ridesharing policy while the business use of their car voids the personal car insurance policy as well. In all cases, it’s smart to seek out the advice of a qualified Ohio car insurance agent to determine how much insurance you need to safely participate in ridesharing and vehicle sharing programs.