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Carpool Insurance: Necessary for School Activities?

Carpool insurance may be the last thing on your mind as the days of summer come to an end. School is back in session! So you’re probably frantic gathering up school supplies and figuring out a daily schedule that includes taking the kids to class as well as after-school activities. Depending on your neighborhood or other nearby parents, you might even carpool other children along with your own. After all, it saves on gas money, cuts down on time, and gives your little ones extra time to socialize. It also evenly distributes vehicle wear between carpoolers and can help the environment by reducing emissions. That’s where carpool insurance may come into play, and why you should consider the effects of carpooling on your policy.
When you agree to carpool other children (or anyone), you’re taking responsibility for their safety and well-being. Just how far does that responsibility go? One of the biggest questions we receive about auto insurance is if carpooling is covered under the policy or if an additional carpool insurance is necessary. No matter what insurance provider you have, it’s best to ask this question directly, as with any other specifics you are concerned about, because each provider is different. 

Defining Carpooling in Insurance Terms
For insurance purposes, carpooling is when there is a steady and consistent or long-term arrangement to carry other passengers who aren’t from your household. If you are helping a friend get around for a week during a visit or driving someone to the airport on a single planned trip, that is not carpooling.

Casual Carpooling: No Carpool Insurance Needed
Agreeing with other parents in your local area to take turns driving the kids to school is a form of casual carpooling in which you are essentially just taking on a few more passengers. In this case, your liability auto insurance should cover you completely at a certain dollar amount per passenger. If carpooling happens more often, you may want to increase that amount per passenger. But ultimately, there’s no risk in a lapse of coverage.

Carpooling for Compensation: Carpool Insurance Needed
When any kind of money changes hands in exchange for a service (in this case, a ride), your auto insurance policy no longer covers the liability of those carpooling passengers. This is because accepting money changes the definition of what you’re doing to a business transaction, even if you’re only accepting money to pay for gas.
If you carpool other children for any kind of compensation, inform your insurance provider so that they can make an adjustment to your policy. Adding carpool insurance may not alter your policy premium by much and it can make a large difference in both peace of mind and future stress.

For more information on the auto insurance policies and carpool insurance from Higgins Insurance, call us today at 1-866-273-2911.

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