Saving money and helping the environment by taking on carpool passengers can be a great strategy. However, you will want to make sure that your car insurance coverage is adequate to the task of protecting you and the others in your car pool in the event of an accident. Accidents can be very pricey and they can open you up to lawsuits as well, even from the passengers in your car pool. Protect yourself by being well informed about the issues involved in setting up a well-insured car pool.
You should start by comparing insurance policies with your carpool passengers. Everyone should be open and honest about his or her car insurance coverage. You should sit down and have a meeting about the kinds of car insurance that everyone in the car pool needs to get. Every member of the car pool should call their insurance agent to make sure that they have all of the coverage they need. Some policies automatically cover car pools, others do not. If someone in your car pool does not want to share information about his or her insurance policy, it may be time to question whether that person is a good candidate for participating in the car pool. Some insurance companies even recommend that every member of the car pool signs a document warranting that they'll get the proper insurance coverage to protect everyone.
You do not, for example, want to find out after the fact that the driver in your car pool on the day of an accident only covered himself, while driving his own car. If that happened, you'd be saddled with all of your own medical bills, with nothing from the car insurance to help cover them. Every member of the carpool, therefore, should carry medical coverage on all passengers.
If part of your car pool ever involves driving other people's vehicles, you all will want to have "non-owner" car insurance as well. That means you will be covered no matter whose vehicle you are driving at the time that you are driving it. That kind of peace of mind is very important when you are getting your car pool together.
Though increasing your insurance coverage to protect your car pool may cost you a little bit of money, chances are that will be offset by the money you are saving by participating in the car pool. Car pools can also make the daily commute much more pleasant, and will give you access, in some cities, to the High Occupancy Vehicle lane, meaning an even faster, safer trip. Don't let car insurance concerns frighten you away from this wonderful resource in your workplace and community.