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New Carsharing Service Launches in Seattle: What Drivers Should Know

By Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S. on February 9, 2021

Once upon a time, almost every major city had a carsharing service where drivers could access on-demand vehicles located on the side of the road. Often charging drivers on a per-mile or per-hour rate, these vehicles were affordable alternatives to using a standard rental company. Carsharing has largely gone out of style given the availability of ridesharing services, and, here in Seattle, carsharing services were all but extinct after Share Now and LimePod shut down services in 2019.

But a new company known as Gig Car Share has recently launched its services in neighborhoods around Seattle. Whether this service become a staple of Seattle or goes the way of other car-sharing companies, it is important for all drivers to understand how liability insurance works with these vehicles.

What Is Gig Car Share?

Gig Car Share is an app-based car rental service that offers on-demand vehicles throughout major cities. Like rental bikes and scooters, these vehicles – referred to as Gigs – can be found scattered around cities where drivers can use an app and pay a by-the-minute rate to drive them around the city. In conjunction with AAA Washington, this service has now expanded to Seattle, with 250 Toyota Prius Hybrids being available as of April 2020.

Anyone who uses these vehicles will have to pay 40 cents per minute or $15 per hour, which includes gas, parking, and insurance. Drivers can only pick up and drop off vehicles in the Home Zone, which, as of January 2021, includes a 15-mile radius around downtown Seattle and includes SeaTac International Airport.

How Does Insurance Work for Car Sharing?

Liability insurance is automatically included in the price for a Gig car and offers more sizable payouts than Washington’s minimum auto insurance. Any driver who uses Gig has liability coverage for:

  • Bodily Injury Liability: Up to $100,000 per person/$300,000 per accident
  • Property Damage Liability: Up to $50,000 per accident
  • Uninsured Motorist/Underinsured Motorist Bodily Injury: Up to $15,000 per person/$30,000 per accident

Gig Car Share does not offer PIP insurance for drivers and passengers and only offers liability coverage when the driver abides by the Membership Agreement. This agreement requires that all drivers:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Have a valid payment card
  • Have a valid United States license that has not been revoked or suspended
  • Have a clean driving record based on Gig Car Share’s requirements

Violating the Membership Agreement will not only result in losing liability coverage, but will also make a driver liable for an accident.

What Should I Do If I’m Injured in a Car Share Accident?

After a car accident, it is important to discuss all of your legal options with an experienced Seattle car accident attorney. Whether you were injured by someone using a Gig vehicle or were operating a Gig vehicle yourself, you have the right to pursue full compensation for your injuries from the at-fault driver’s insurance policy. In some cases, your own personal auto insurance may also apply, such as if you have PIP coverage.

But receiving compensation from any insurance company can be difficult. Insurance companies are not in the business of being charitable and will reduce the value of your claim or deny coverage. Having an experienced attorney at your side is the best way to receive compensation for your injuries and ensure you can recover comfortably.

Our legal team at Hardwick & Pendergast, P.S., has spent more than 40 years representing car accident victims throughout the Seattle area. We can review all available insurance policies in a free consultation, investigate the cause of your accident, and advocate for full compensation in either an insurance negotiation or jury trial. To speak to an experienced team of attorneys, call us at (425) 228-3860 and toll-free at (888) 228-3860.

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