YOU ASK:

How can I be legally covered with car insurance when using a carpool service?

WE ANSWER:

Before you begin the carpool, talk to your insurance agent so that you can get the proper coverage.

Providing for a policy that covers carpooling may cost a bit more than the standard car insurance policy, but this is well worth it when you consider the potential liability you are exposed to when you drive other passengers and not just yourself.

And, when you take into account the fact that you're already enjoying savings on parking, gasoline and toll fees due to carpooling, the extra bit of premiums you pay is small change indeed.

A carpool carries its own risks for major liability lawsuits. If you are at fault in the car accident, not only will injured persons from other cars claim from you - your own passengers can potentially sue you for compensation for medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering. A death that resulted from the accident will also be a major liability suit.

Thus, to protect all the participants of the carpool, you also need to talk with all of them so that each of you has information on each other's car insurance details. You may also get all the participants to sign a legal document where each participant states that he already has adequate insurance coverage for the carpool

The coverage that all participants must have is the kind that provides insurance protection to all passengers of the car, particularly for bodily injury.

You see, some insurance policies only cover the listed drivers while they are driving their own car. If you meet an accident with this policy providing the coverage, you may not be compensated for your injuries and you may have to pay for these out of your own pocket.

Another consideration is that the car insurance is one that follows the car, in that carpool participants are allowed to drive the cars of other participants.

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