Zipcar is a well-known rental car service. Users around the world, including the U.S., can rent a car completely online as the insurance company operates fully by web. After registering through the website to become a member, you can reserve your car online and pick it up at the assigned location. Memberships include a monthly or annual rate and you will have to pay a fee to become a member, which will be discussed later on in the article.
Zipcar operates like most other car rental companies. This means that you are liable for damages done while the vehicle is under your rental. Since Zipcar’s insurance coverage may not be enough, you may need to consider using your auto insurance as some car insurance policies also cover rental cars.
What is Zipcar insurance
Zipcar insurance is only for registered Zipcar members. If you are a member of Zipcar, the insurance will only cover up to your state minimum requirements. Those who may be interested in a Zipcar membership include drivers who do not necessarily want to commit to owning a car but are interested in driving. Zipcar can offer an alternative for those in this situation.
To apply for a membership, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be over the age of 21, or must by 18 and attend a Zipcar affiliated university.
- Must have a valid driver’s license.
- Have less than two moving violations and accidents within the past three years.
- Have no major traffic violations within the last three years.
- Have no alcohol or drug-related driving offense.
After Zipcar verifies your application, once you are approved, you will receive a Zipcard. Zipcar provides each driver’s state minimum requirements, so insurance will be different for each person depending on the state they reside in. Some of the common coverage options in Zipcar insurance include the following:
- Bodily injury coverage: In an at-fault accident, bodily injury will cover injuries for all passengers of the vehicle.
- Property damage: If you damage property, property damage will cover your damages to fences, poles, front yards, etc.
- Personal injury protection: This coverage will pay for you and your passengers’ medical bills from an accident.
- Uninsured motorist: If you are in an accident and the other driver is at-fault and is uninsured, this will cover you for any expenses incurred from the accident.
How does Zipcar insurance work
Zipcar insurance covers you up to your state’s minimum insurance requirements. If you have your own personal auto insurance, most policies will extend to your rental car. Therefore, if you have liability, then your own coverage may pay for whatever Zipcar’s liability does not cover. If you have comprehensive or collision, then your insurer will help pay for the damages incurred on your Zipcar.
However, what happens if you do not have any insurance? Since most Zipcar members do not own a car, many do not have their own car insurance. If you do not carry your own car insurance and frequently rent cars from Zipcar, you may want to consider non-owner car insurance. Non-owner car insurance provides coverage for those who do not have a car but need liability when they drive. Most car insurance providers offer this special insurance.
Additionally, if you obtain non-owners car insurance, you can also add-on coverage options to your policy such as personal injury protection. With your Zipcar insurance and your non-owners insurance, if you ever get into an accident, you will still have your medical expenses or lost wages covered. Additionally, non-owners car insurance can help cover damages not covered by Zipcar insurance.
How much insurance does Zipcar offer?
Zipcar insurance covers each driver up to your state minimum requirements. Therefore, insurance will be different for each person depending on the state they reside in. Zipcar members are covered by Zipcar physical damage insurance on the rental vehicle. However, members must pay up to the first $1,000 of damage to the vehicle. Afterwards, Zipcar insurance will cover the rest.
Because Zipcar only covers state minimum requirements, there will still be gaps in the insurance coverage. For example, if your state’s minimum insurance requirements do not include uninsured motorist protection, then you will have a gap with your Zipcar insurance. To fill the gap, you may want to consider using your own personal insurance or obtaining non-drivers insurance.
What does Zipcar insurance cost?
Zipcar insurance cost varies depending on the membership and the location. There is a monthly and an annual plan that users can choose between. The monthly plan costs $9 per month and has driving rates from $12.50 per hour and $103.75 per day. The annual plan cost $90 per year and has driving rates from $12.50 per hour and $103.75 per day. Both plans include maintenance and 24/7 roadside assistance. Additionally, both plans include 180 miles per day and cost $0.58 per mile after that.
Depending on the type of regular car insurance policy and coverage options you get, Zipcar may or may not be cheaper. Regular car insurance companies will look at your driving history, credit score, age and multiple other factors to come up with a quote. Additionally, many car insurance companies will require you to add-on some features like roadside assistance.
Is Zipcar insurance right for me?
Zipcar insurance isn’t for everyone. If you already own a car and have an excellent driving record, then sticking with your own car insurance and your own car will probably be a better idea. However, if you do not want to commit to owning a car yet, but still want to drive, then Zipcar insurance may be right for you. However, keep in mind that Zipcar only covers up to your state’s minimum requirements. A few things to consider when determining if Zipcar insurance is a good fit for you include:
- If you don’t have a car but like to drive.
- If you are a zipcar member.
- If you rent cars often.
- Have less than two moving violations and accidents within the past three years and no major traffic/drug-related violation.
- If you are not ready to commit to buying a car yet but want to drive.