What do the UK’s top insurance firms think of car sharing?

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Here at Liftshare we take issues of safety and insurance seriously, and one question we get asked often is how car sharing impacts a driver’s insurance. In short, it doesn’t because Liftshare members are simply volunteering their car’s spare seats to cover petrol costs – instead of making a profit.

We’ve covered this issue in our car sharing FAQ guide, but it’s worth noting that Liftshare calculates a suggested price for lifts per passenger based on the length of your trip, which is in accordance with the HM Revenue and Customs Approved Mileage Payment Allowance. This means you’re never in danger of charging passengers an amount that results in profit, or impacts your insurance.

But don’t take our word for it. To give you piece of mind we’ve spoken with five of the UK’s top car insurers to ask them the simple question:

How does car sharing affect my car insurance?

Dave Meader, head of motor underwriting at Direct Line

“Direct Line encourages car sharing as it is a great way of reducing our carbon footprint. Our policies contain a condition which states that we will not provide cover if the policyholder is profiting from the hire of their vehicle. However, this does not apply to drivers who are covering their running costs or accepting a gesture after giving someone a lift, but to those who are providing a regular hire service that they are profiting from and who require specialist cover.”

A Churchill spokesperson told us:

“Churchill is happy to cover car sharing as long as the policy holder is not profiting from the hire of their vehicle. Anyone making a regular profit out of sharing would need to seek specialist cover.”

Emma Banks, Head of Communications at Liverpool Victoria:

“If you are offering lifts to people via sites like Liftshare.com as long as you aren’t doing it to make a profit your insurance is unaffected and would be covered as standard.

“If you want to add a driver to your policy, you need to contact your insurer with all their details including date of birth, driving history, convictions, address, and they can then add them on for a fee. An additional driver can be added for as little as 24 hours to a maximum of 30 days. Drivers can be added immediately however its best to give your insurer a few hours’ notice so the new driver can be added to the motor insurers database.”

An Aviva spokesperson replied: 

“Car sharing is a recognised concept, and is covered in Aviva’s policy wording. In general terms, as long as there is no element of profit and it’s not part of a business of carrying passengers then it’s covered under an Aviva car insurance policy.”

Lastly, insurance provider Admiral explained:

“It’s a commonly held myth that your car insurance policy may be invalidated if you charge a colleague petrol money for a lift to work. Admiral policies allow you to accept money for fuel if you carry passengers as part of a car sharing arrangement. As long as you’re not making a profit from providing a lift, your car hasn’t been made or adapted to carry more than eight passengers and you’re not carrying passengers as customers, your insurance is valid.

However, this does raise questions about when you can and can’t use your car. You do need to make sure you have the correct class of use on your policy. Most policies have social, domestic and pleasure use, some will have commuting too. However, if this is all you have you can’t use your car in connection with work, such as going to appointments or making deliveries. Your policy may not be valid or you could have a claim refused if your car is used for a purpose not shown on the certificate of motor insurance, so if in doubt, check with your insurer.”

So there you have it folks. There is a consensus that car sharing does not impact your insurance unless a profit is being made, and there’s even recognition by large insurers that car sharing is a great way to save money on transport. So if you’re a driver or someone in need of a lift, why not sign up to Liftshare today for free and either offer or request a lift in your area to start saving?

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