Posting in Cities
The new law, to go into effect January 1st, establishes that personal vehicle sharing does not constitute a commercial use of the automobile, eliminating insurance constraints on carsharing.
Carsharing -- in which car owners make their vehicles available to a managed pool of potential drivers when idle -- is an idea that has gained a lot of followers, not to mention an emerging industry of broker providers. However, the whole concept has been hung up on insurance issues -- non-owner drivers would not be covered by existing insurance policies.
Now, in California at least, that hurdle has just been cleared. On Wednesday, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed Assembly Bill 1871 into law, enabling Californians to share cars in carsharing pools without jeopardizing their insurance policies.
The first-in-the-nation law, to go into effect January 1st, establishes that personal vehicle sharing does not constitute a "commercial use" of the automobile, eliminating the primary barrier to broad adoption of personal car sharing opportunities. Prior to the law, car owners ran the risk of losing personal auto insurance if they received compensation for sharing their cars.
Neal Gorenflo of Shareable: Work & Enterprise reports that the new law "could accelerate the growth of an already fast-growing carsharing industry." Existing carsharing services "could expand their fleets by allowing car owners to share their cars through their services," he writes.
If the idea spreads eastward to the rest of the nation, this may spur a whole new business model everyone can participate in. "Because your car spends on average more than 90 percent of the time parked and idle," asks Matthew Roth of the SF Streets Blog, "why not make money instead of sitting by as your investment depreciates in a garage?"
Frost & Sullivan estimates that car-sharing grew by 117% between 2007 in 2009 in North America, and will have more than four million drivers within the next five years. Well-known car-sharing networks include Spride, which employs social networking to help link up drivers with available vehicles, and ZipCar and City CarShare, which maintain actual fleets of vehicles for general sharing.
In the wake of the bill's enactment, Spride and CarShare announced they are collaborating to launch the state's first personal vehicle share program. The new Spride Share pilot program enables car owners to loan their vehicles to the more than 13,000 screened and qualified members of City CarShare. Drivers can visit the City CarShare Website or use a mobile phone application to reserve an automobile, which is then accessed with an electronic key fob.
Spride’s vehicles are equipped with City CarShare’s access and tracking technology to prevent theft or abuse. With hours and mileage included, the average rate is $6.75 per hour for Spride Share or City CarShare members.
(Photo credit: US National Institutes of Health, Noisy Planet site)
Sep 30, 2010
What if they actually got smart and instead had "driver" insurance instead of "vehicle" insurance...? Then everyone who drives would be insured exactly the same way and no need for nonsense. Oh wait, that would make sense.
- My hearing was permanently damaged because the last user left the radio too load. - I am offended by the type of music left on by the last driver. - I am offended by the talk radio channel left on by the last driver. - My back was hurt because the seat adjustment would not work. - My seat is broke because you are over weight. - My back is hurt because your seat could not hold me. Let the games begin.
Ride a bicycle to help save the environment. Many cities have bike-share and/or free city bikes - like the infamous Portland all yellow bikes - that are essentialy the same concept but with no strings attached in terms of personal liability. Though there implied concent issues and suitability restrictions most cities ahve overcome this with broadbased disclaimers and public awareness campaigns. Ride a bike!
I would never share my vehicle. I have owned THREE vehicles in 40 years, and that's because only I have ever driven them. This is just another california stupidity. What do you think happens when you 'share your ride'??? THE INSURANCE RATE GOES UP, as well it should! BUT it goes up for EVERYONE else who is not stupid enough to share their ride! Another reason why I finally 'broke off my relationship' with California and moved to North Carolina, many years ago.
Interesting that they would call it "non-commercial". I suppose the implication is that the owner is compensated, but not so as to make a profit, only to break even. Seems like a good idea for some locals, but I'd be afraid my car might not make it back in time for me to get home.