Residents of large metropolitan areas are increasingly turning to a vehicle-free lifestyle in order to save money and help the environment. There are many options for getting around a city without owning a personal vehicle, including metro bus and rail service, taxis and ride-hailing apps like Uber or Lyft, carpooling services like Waze, and the plethora of shareable personal vehicles like docked bicycles, dockless bikes, and electric scooters. All have advantages and disadvantages that may or may not fit a person’s schedule or needs.
However, sometimes the need for a personal passenger vehicle is hard to avoid. An individual may have multiple stops which are not suitable for using an Uber or Lyft, or they may need to carry objects from one part of the city to another. They may simply want the convenience of having a dedicated vehicle to take a large group from place to place, rather than hoping to get a ride-hailing trip when pricing and surges are unpredictable.
More and more often, Indiana residents are turning to services like Zipcar to solve this need. Zipcar borrowed from European car-sharing cooperatives to bring a simple, straightforward microrental service to the United States. The system is similar to renting a car at an airport or other car rental establishment, though there are some differences. Driver typically must be over 21, have a valid driver’s license, and have few or no moving violations in recent years. A Zipcar trip can be as brief as half an hour or up to a week in certain circumstances, and can be even cheaper than an Uber or Lyft ride.
However, the convenience of using Zipcar or similar car-sharing services like Car2Go carries several disadvantages. One thing most users may not consider is that Zipcar only carries liability insurance, not collision or any form of personal injury protection. For most users, Zipcar only pays insurance premiums for the jurisdictional minimum, meaning that if they cause a serious accident, they could be on the hook for any damages beyond the minimum liability coverage required by law. Additionally, they will be entirely responsible for the cost of repairing or replacing the vehicle. This is one of the many reasons why it’s important to connect with an experienced Indianapolis, IN rental car accident lawyer if you should suffer a collision while operating a Zipcar.
Worst of all, using a Zipcar without a supplemental personal auto insurance policy can leave a driver vulnerable if they become the victims of an uninsured driver. Zipcar carries no uninsured motorist coverage, so if a Zipcar driver is struck by another motorist whose insurance has lapsed, they could be left paying for medical bills out of pocket. An Indianapolis, IN rental car accident lawyer from Ward & Ward Law Firm can look at other existing policies in order to determine whether there is the potential for coverage. Similarly, an Indianapolis, IN rental car accident lawyer from our firm can help accident victims fully explore their legal options.