Memorial Day or any old day, sometimes you’ve just got to get out of town. And sometimes that means you’ve got to find temporary wheels to do the deed.
For years, that “sometimes” ride came from a rental car chain at the airport or a local shopping strip. But now drivers have a wealth of choices, including car sharing services (like ZipCar), or the newer peer-to-peer networks popping up online and on mobile devices (such as RelayRides). With so many options, now’s a good time to figure out how to get the coverage you need without getting taken for a ride.
Whereas traditional rental agencies offer basic standard coverage (which includes local state minimum liability insurance), coverage among car sharing services varies. So your best first step is to read the paperwork and go to the companies’ websites to see what’s covered, what’s not, and what supplemental coverages are available.
No matter what kind of ride you plan to choose, we recommend that you make two quick calls before you start your search for a temporary ride:
The first call should be to your Insurance Professional, to learn what types and amounts of coverage you have (along with your deductible amounts). In most cases, your auto insurance applies to any vehicle you operate—but only for personal (not business) use.
The second call is to your credit card issuer, to find out what types of coverage they may offer.
After you understand the coverage you already have, you can make informed choices about additional protections you may want or need to purchase. For more information on these options—and answers to other questions about car rental/car sharing services—we invite you to check out our Rental Car Insurance article.