Insurance Gaps: Carpooling

When you take the wheel with friends or co-workers in your car, you also take responsibility for protecting them, morally and legally.

Your auto liability insurance covers damages and injuries you’re legally responsible for after an accident, but it also cover injuries to other people in your car. That means the more co-workers or friends you drive with, the greater the risk to you personally to have to cover them.

So what?

Do you carpool to work, drive friends to the mall, or take the entire soccer team to games (and ice cream afterwards)? For many people, it’s a regular occurrence to have a car packed with people. What if, though, you were at fault in an accident on your carpool day, and some of your co-workers were injured? Would you have enough liability insurance to cover the other driver, damages to their car, their injuries, and the injuries to your passengers?

That’s a major coverage gap!

Question: If you were legally responsible for injuries to your passengers, do you have enough coverage?

Answer: Perhaps, consider additional liability coverage or even Personal Injury Protection, or Medical Payments coverage.

When you first purchased liability coverage, you may not have thought about a time you’d actually have to use it, or even what limits you’d need if you did.

The problem is, costs after an at-fault accident can stack up quickly. Covering damages to the other party’s car, injuries, or property that you’re responsible for can be staggering enough. With friends, or co-workers in your car, covering their injuries only adds to the costs.

Without appropriate liability limits, you could end up putting your own financial assets at risk!

Other types of insurance can also help to cover you and your passengers from injuries in an at-fault accident:

Medical payments coverage goes into effect after an auto accident, and can help cover injuries to yourself, your passengers, or any family hurt in an accident with your car. Typically, medical payments coverage can cover things directly associated with medical care (up to the specified coverage limits), like:

  • Hospital stays
  • Doctor visits
  • Ambulance fees
  • X-rays
  • Surgery

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) is another type of medical coverage that’s actually mandatory in some states. Depending on the state, PIP can cover most injured parties in an accident, including any passengers or pedestrians involved. Typically, PIP goes into effect regardless of who’s deemed “at fault” in order to help the injured parties immediately. Up to the specified coverage limits, generally, PIP can cover:

  • Medical expenses
  • Funeral costs
  • Lost wages

If you’re regularly driving other people, or part of a daily carpool, consider the extra risk when deciding on liability limits and coverage options, and talk to Paul today about your insurance needs.


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