Starting a carpool can be enormously beneficial to your monthly gas bills, and it's also a great step to take to become more ecologically conscious. Many drivers enjoy carpooling for the social aspect too, as a carpool can be a great way to learn about coworkers. Some drivers even get to work faster, as HOV lanes can greatly speed up a commute. However, before you start a carpool, it's important to think about your car insurance coverage. Many drivers could benefit by changing their coverage options slightly for more protection.
In particular, drivers should look for personal injury protection (PIP) coverage when starting a carpool. Personal injury protection pays for medical bills in an at-fault accident and extends to all of the people in your vehicle, even during an at-fault accident. If you're involved in an accident and you're at fault, you could be sued by the other people in your vehicle for their medical bills, and personal injury protection avoids this by paying these costs. PIP is also mandatory in some no-fault states. One of the lesser-known aspects of personal injury protection is that it can actually pay for medical bills for the policy holder, even if he or she isn't driving. In fact, you can be in a completely different car than the one that you've insured. This means that your PIP is even more useful if you carpool regularly, as you'll be protected while another person is driving.
Regular carpoolers should also look at how their driving habits change when starting a carpool. You may drive much less frequently thanks to the carpool, especially if you live in the city, and if this is the case, you could probably stand to lower some of your liability and collision coverages. The thinking behind this strategy is that since you're on the road less, there's a smaller chance of being involved in an accident. You'll save money by lowering your coverage limits or raising your car insurance deductibles, but be sure to keep yourself financially protected with a respectable amount of car insurance coverage. Otherwise, you could be setting yourself up for a dire financial situation if you're ever in an accident on the way to or from work.
Starting a carpool is a great idea, and drivers who take the time to look at their car insurance coverage before planning a carpool will see lower rates and better coverage. Be sure to check your car insurance quotes online when making any changes to your car insurance coverage, and you'll end up with a policy that's ideally suited to your new carpool.