Insurance Companies Oppose N.Y. Car-Sharing Bill

The National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC) is opposed to a car-sharing bill in New York that would regulate insurance options for car-sharing programs. This legislation would likely result in lawsuits arising out of disputes over coverage, according to the NAMIC.

The bill (A.8007B) would address numerous insurance-related challenges in car-sharing programs, including the role of the car owner’s personal insurer and what exposure it may have, says NAMIC. Under a car-sharing program, the vehicle owner allows his car to be rented by others when he or she is not using it.

"With a car-sharing program, an insurer lacks important information for gauging the risk," said John Murphy, NAMIC's state affairs director for the Northeast. "Car sharing is essentially a commercial enterprise, and the personal auto carrier should not be required to cover a risk that it never intended to cover."

According to Murphy, it is critical that the insurer of any car involved in a car-sharing program has the freedom to decide whether he or she wants to underwrite the vehicle, exclude any damage resulting from such use, and cancel or non-renew any vehicle that participates in a car-sharing program.

“Unfortunately, the insurance provisions in this bill lack sufficient clarity and will likely result in unnecessary coverage disputes and consumer confusion,” said Murphy.

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