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Do You Need Zipcar Insurance? Everything You Need to Know

Do you need Zipcar insurance? Read and explore the rental company’s driver protection policies. Discover their insurance coverage and whether you need one.

Key Takeaways

  • Zipcar provides basic insurance coverage with every rental.
  • Users can opt for additional coverage through Zipcar’s insurance upgrades.
  • Personal insurance policies may offer additional coverage, acting as primary.
  • Insurance limitations and steps for accident claims are clearly outlined by Zipcar.

Does Zipcar Provide Insurance?

As the law requires, Zipcar and other vehicle rental companies provide basic insurance for their users. As such, you won’t necessarily need to purchase additional coverage wherever you are in the U.S.

But if you plan on using their services long, you’ll want to supplement Zipcar insurance for better coverage in case of an accident.

Let’s show you how it works—from the insurance scope, limitations, and supplements.

How Does Zipcar Insurance Work?

Renting a car from Zipcar comes with essential insurance coverage for the user. This basic protection comes with the rental cost, and you won’t have to pay for it.

Minimum physical damage and liability insurance automatically cover members who comply with Zipcar’s membership contract.

But you need to be at least 18 years old or a student in a university partnered with Zipcar to become a member.

Standard Vehicle Damage and Accident Protection

In case of an accident causing property damage, the user will be responsible for paying up to $1,000. Zipcar will shoulder additional costs beyond that.

Unlike comprehension and collision insurance, the renter will pay the minimum damage fee regardless of circumstances. That is, no matter who caused the accident.

Users won’t need to pay for typical wear and tear. However, it could apply to dents, flat tires, dead batteries, broken windshields, vandalism, third-party personal injuries, and other damages.

Zipcar’s basic liability coverage only includes the renter or the person permitted to drive the vehicle.

It also comes secondary to your personal insurance (if any), which means they’ll only pick up any fees your primary car insurance doesn’t.

As with physical damage, users will have the option to upgrade their Zipcar liability insurance. You can opt for an hourly or a daily subscription when upgrading.

Members affiliated with businesses, universities, and other organizations partnered with Zipcar could have different coverage.

Types of Coverage Included

Here are the types of coverage offered by Zipcar when renting their vehicles:

1. Liability Insurance

Having liability insurance protects you from accidents resulting in bodily injuries or damages to property. It covers legal costs and charges if the renter is responsible.

Note that these types of insurance can have a dollar limit depending on where you live.

A dollar limitation refers to the maximum amount a policy will pay in the case of an accident that causes harm, death, or damage to others.

For example, renters in Texas can have a minimum of 30/60/25 liability limits.

It means $30,000 bodily injury coverage per person, capping at $60,000 per crash, and $25,000 for property damage.

2. Comprehensive and Collision Coverage

Comprehensive car insurance protects your vehicle from non-collision-related damages, including theft and vandalism.

Collision coverage applies to accidents involving crashes and shoulder costs for damages and repairs.

Zipcar doesn’t offer these types of insurance, but some credit cards do. When renting a card using such credit cards, they could come with a collision damage waiver (CDW) or loss damage waiver (LDW).

That said, check with your credit card provider whether these benefits apply to rental vehicles, including Zipcars.

Credit card policies vary and can impose limitations on rental length, vehicle type, and whether they function as primary or secondary.

3. Personal Injury Protection (PIP)

Personal Injury Insurance, or “no-fault” coverage, can assist you or your passenger’s medical expenses in an accident. It typically covers loss of income due to physical injuries as well.

Zipcar’s standard insurance comes with personal injury protection in states that require it.

These states include Florida, Hawaii, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Jersey, Utah, Oregon, North Dakota, Delaware, and New York.

The insurance applies whether or not the renter is at fault for the accident. They’ll provide the minimum financial assistance required by law and only when the member exhausts every other source of coverage.

Additional Insurance Options

Many Zipcar users don’t own a car and, thus, insurance policies.

You aren’t required to get more than the standard coverage the membership contract provides, but it could be an excellent idea to consider Zicar’s other offers.

Besides the basic coverage, Zipcar offers supplemental liability protection (ALI or SLI) if you want a better policy.

It provides users a combined single limit of $300,000 for third-party injury or property damage liability coverage.

Users over 18 with clean driving records can also purchase Zipcar’s damage fee waiver (DFW) to reduce or avoid paying damages altogether.

If you’re eligible for a DFW, getting one is straightforward and only uses the Zipcar app. You can do it by selecting and confirming higher coverage limits in your profile.

A damage fee waiver subscription has two plans available: plus and premium.

Plus costs $5 per month or $50 per year. It reduces the minimum damage fee ($1,000) to $375 for every accident you get into.

Premium costs $9 per month or $75 per year and eliminates any damage fee for all accidents. It’s also available in an hourly subscription worth $0.95 and a daily plan worth $5.95.

How Personal Auto Insurance Policies Interact

Except where the law dictates them to be primary, the standard insurance provided by Zipcar will usually be secondary to the renter’s auto insurance coverage(if any).

It means Zipcar will only pay for damage once you deplete all your insurance benefits.

For example, let’s say you have a comprehensive vehicle collision policy before renting a car from Zipcar. In the event of an accident, your insurer will pay the company for vehicle damage fees.

The company’s standard insurance will only shoulder any excess payments your primary insurance can’t cover. It also applies to third-party injuries and property destruction.

Zipcar’s Additional Liability Protection, however, acts as a separate policy. Purchasing one could provide a duplication of coverage on top of your personal insurance policies.

Unlike the basic liability protection, ALI will act as a primary to your other policies.

So, the $300,000 afforded by ALI should be exhausted before a third-party insurance provider could apply to pay for a claim.

Keep in mind that some insurance policies won’t cover rental cars. Some providers could also require you to pay an additional fee for the extra protection.

Contact your insurance provider to check whether your policy’s benefits include Zipcar.

Insurance Limitations and Exclusions

As a rental company, there are certain limitations to what Zipcar can guarantee for its users. Violating the membership contract could lead to renters losing some coverage as well.

In most cases, Zipcar doesn’t cover uninsured or underinsured drivers. These renters will need un-/underinsured motorist liability coverage to pay for any damages they cause while driving.

The insurance only applies within the borders of the United States and Canada. Its coverage won’t be applicable in neighboring countries, including Mexico.

Belongings lost inside the vehicle will be the driver’s sole responsibility. Zipcar won’t reimburse or offer any amount for lost items, regardless of value.

Violations can void your insurance’s damage fee waiver, too. These breaches include permitting non-members to drive, failing to lock doors and windows, and forgetting to notify Zipcar in an accident.

Of course, there are plenty of options as a supplement to Zipcar’s standard and premium insurance policies. For one, you can get a non-owner policy to get higher coverage.

Another fantastic alternative is getting rental car insurance before renting a Zipcar.

This policy provides short-term protection that covers the costs of injuries and property destruction while driving a rental vehicle. Rental car insurance typically costs $50 per day.

Your credit card benefits can also give you an additional buffer for traffic mishaps.

Except for liability, major cardholders could get loss and collision damage waivers and avoid paying out of their pockets.

Steps to Take in an Accident

Proper and prompt notification is crucial when claiming after an accident occurs. As discussed in Zipcar’s member contract, failing to notify the company can mean losing your insurance benefits.

Follow these steps to make a claim:

  1. Report the accident to Zipcar by calling their hotline number (966-4ZIPCAR).
  2. Document the damage by taking clear pictures and compiling the date, time, and contact information of everyone involved.
  3. After documentation, call the police and fill out a police report.
  4. Zipcar will automatically send an incident report to your email address.
  5. Fill out the report and cooperate with Zipcar’s claims administrators.

Zipcar’s administrator will evaluate your coverage, liability, and claims. They’ll inspect the vehicle’s damage and make the necessary repairs.

The evaluation can take several weeks to complete. During the claim assessment, Zipcar will suspend your account. They’ll only lift the suspension after reviewing your driving history.

Zipcar could charge you for the minimum damage ($1,000 or $375) fee for repairs. They’ll send an account status email, including the details of any charges.

For any inquiries about your claim, you can contact Zipcar’s claims administrator, Sedgwick CMS, at 866-345-2474.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still curious about Zipcar’s policies and protection guidelines? Here are a few commonly asked questions about Zipcar insurance you could find helpful:

What is the Damage Fee for a Zipcar?

Zipcar’s damage fee can vary between members. Users with standard insurance can pay up to $1,000 to cover the cost related to an accident. It can include dents, broken windshields, engine issues, and other damages.

Members subscribed for extra coverage will pay $375 (for Plus) or nothing (for Premium).

Does Zipcar Track You?

Yes, Zipcar vehicles have anti-theft and vehicle-tracking features. Their cars come equipped with a GPS that allows the company to pinpoint their location 24/7.

Zipcar also installed an on-board device that monitors a vehicle’s condition. It could transmit vital information, including the driver’s behavior information like rate of acceleration and brake habits.

Final Thoughts

To recap, Zipcar provides standard insurance that covers the required minimum property damage and liability protection.

However, renters can also get extra coverage by purchasing subscription plans offering more expansive coverage.

Drivers can pay a minimum amount in case of an accident that damages the car. But you can subscribe to Zipcar’s Plus and Premium plans to reduce or waive your damage fees.

Zipcar’s basic coverage will act secondary to the policy the driver has. So, they’ll only pay for excess damages after the renter exhausts their third-party insurance.

Coverage is only applicable within the U.S. and Canada as well.

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