Am I legally covered with car insurance when carpooling?

You should have specific car insurance for carpooling that covers all passengers in your vehicle so no one pays for their medical expenses out of pocket after an accident.

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UPDATED: May 4, 2022

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Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: May 4, 2022Fact Checked

Here's what you need to know...

  • If you’re going to participate in a carpool, make sure you ask your insurer if you need to make any changes in your policy to ensure proper coverage for all involved
  • Carpooling helps save money
  • If you’re driving the carpool and cause an accident, your passengers could sue you, so make sure you have proper coverage in place to protect you in this situation

The best way to be legally covered with car insurance when using a carpool service is to contact your car insurance company prior to beginning the carpool. They can tell you if you if you have the proper coverage.

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If you don’t yet carry car insurance, you will need to find a policy. The following article will provide additional information on being legally covered when driving or riding in a carpool.

What type of car insurance do I need for carpooling?

If you are thinking about carpooling, you should know that carpooling requires that all participants be forthcoming with their car insurance information.

If someone refuses to share their car insurance policy information, you may want to question your choice of carpool participants.

If you do not own a car or currently have insurance coverage, you may want to look into non-owner car insurance. This will cover you when you drive other people’s vehicles.

There are two differing coverage types:

  • The one you do NOT want – Some people have policies that only cover themselves while driving in their own vehicle. If this is true of a carpool driver’s policy and an accident occurs with you as a passenger, your injuries will not be covered under the driver’s insurance and you could end up paying for your medical needs out of pocket.
  • The one you DO want – Other types of policies cover you as well as any passengers in your vehicle for bodily injury. This is the type of policy you want to have and you want all other carpool participants to have. This way, anyone driving the carpool at any time will be covered along with all passengers.

If you are unsure if your policy covers carpooling, call and ask your car insurance company. Explain to them the exact situation you will be in and ask if your policy will protect you and your passengers when you are the driver.

You may have to add additional coverage to be legally covered in case of an accident. It doesn’t cost that much more to add more coverage, especially when you consider the fact that carpooling saves you money in these areas:

  • Gas
  • Parking
  • Tolls

And it’s good for the environment!

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The Risk of Carpooling

If you do not have proper coverage and are in an accident while driving the carpool, you are opening yourself up to the possibility of major lawsuits. Each member of the carpool could sue you for injuries, lost wages, and emotional distress.

If someone were to die in an accident, their family members could sue you as well. No one wants to think about potential lawsuits, accidents, or injuries, but covering all your bases before joining a carpooling group is worth it.

The best thing you can do when starting or joining a carpool is to produce a legal document for all carpool members to sign. This can be done online at little expense.

All members sign the document stating that they have adequate coverage through their car insurance company.

This document can also provide other expectations and restrictions on the carpooling situation. Sometimes just one person making a bad decision can hurt everyone involved.

How can I find car insurance to cover my carpool participation?

Almost all car insurance companies provide policies that can be specialized to cover carpooling situations. Many car insurance policies don’t even need specializing because they will automatically cover a carpool situation.

If you are unsure where to look for car insurance, don’t waste time on the phone or looking through the yellow pages. You can find a quality car insurance company by using an online comparison tool.

The free online car insurance comparison tool is a convenient way to get rates and quotes from several top companies. Finding all the information necessary from several companies in one convenient spot saves you time and money.

All you have to do is enter your pertinent information one time and then you will receive rates and quotes from several companies.

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Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

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