If we decide to rent our car, to be used by other users, to make their purchase profitable, or to improve mobility, we must consider some risks that we may face.
The new needs of users, and the existing options, make many consider different mobility from traditional solutions. Until recently, those who did not have their vehicle or the possibility of having a friend or relative lend them one was forced to go to a car rental company. Currently, several websites and applications offer ‘carsharing’ services and allow you to rent a vehicle from an individual, with systems that greatly facilitate the work, making the process quick and easy.
The risks involved in renting a car are many and varied, and the ones that first come to mind are usually:
– Damages caused voluntarily or involuntarily, which the vehicle may suffer, due to improper use, or simply by accident.
– Delay in delivery or return of the vehicle.
– Problems in the collection of rents, etc.
But there are other risks, of which we may not be aware of their existence, such as those related to insurance or possible responsibilities that may affect us, and those are the ones that we are going to deal with in this article.
The mobile is the usual channel for renting a vehicle through a ‘carsharing’ platform.
The obligation to take out insurance
In the first place, we must know that, even if we use the vehicle for rental, we are obliged to take out compulsory insurance for said vehicle, regardless of whether, when renting our car, through a platform, they inform us that they have sure. The current Legislation obliges every owner of a motor vehicle to take out and keep in force insurance for each vehicle owned.
The insurance subscribed by the person who rents our vehicle, customarily provided by the platform that manages the rental of the car, does not replace the obligation of the owner to have liability insurance for said vehicle.
Secondly, if the user who rents our vehicle causes an accident, we will have two compulsory insurances. On the one hand, the mandatory insurance of the car, subscribed by the owner, and on the other, the insurance related to the rental, which has consequences that it is necessary to know.
In a car accident, both material and bodily harm can be caused to third parties, damage to the vehicle itself, and damage to the driver and occupants of the same. Most of the existing platforms make available to their users, already included in the price, both comprehensive insurance (with or without excess) and roadside assistance. This insurance comes into force at the time of the start of the rental, at the time agreed in the request made, and ends at the time of completion of the said rental.
The vehicle owner must take into account that his car’s insurance remains in force throughout the contracted period since it is impossible to activate or deactivate said coverage as if it were a switch. Therefore the economic consequences of the accident, when it is in a rental situation to an individual, may be shared between both insurers. However, the most normal thing is that the driver, after the accident, provides, to the injured parties, if any, the data of the insurer that has contracted, together with the rent, and therefore the owner’s insurance is not affected.
What the owners of the vehicles will have covered will be the damages that may be caused to the car itself, so it will be interesting to take specific measures, such as informing us about the possible excesses and conditions of the policy. Typically, franchises range between 150 euros (reduced franchise) and 1,500 euros, and sometimes different franchise amounts are established for their damages with or without contrary. It is also possible to take out insurance without excess, which has an additional cost when renting the vehicle.
Concerning own damages, it is essential to bear in mind that the excess amount must be paid directly by the lessor of the vehicle, which can lead to some setback. Some deal platforms with charging the excess now from the credit card used to pay the rent, which can minimize the difficulty in collecting the amount.
Taking photos of the vehicle, both on delivery and return, at least on the outside, can be helpful in the event of possible conflicts.
Damages to third parties
Concerning the damage caused to third parties, there may also be some conflicting situations, for example, if the material and personal injury caused is due to driving under the influence of alcohol, toxic drugs, narcotics, or psychotropic substances, for part of the driver who rents the vehicle. In these cases, current Legislation allows the insurance company to reverse the amounts paid against the owner of the car, which can put you in a truly complicated situation.
It is not entirely clear that the driver, who rents the vehicle, cannot benefit from the insurance contracted by the owner. Above all, voluntary coverage, such as driver’s accident coverage, where there may be capital for health care and the possibility of the driver’s disability or death in the event of an accident. These situations are not yet apparent, and where the jurisprudence should shed a little more light.
Likewise, when the vehicle owner decides to change insurance when assessing his bonus history, he may find that he is affected by the claims his vehicle has suffered. At the same time, it was rented and therefore did not enjoy the discounts that correspond to him.
Other essential aspects are what happens if the vehicle is not returned within the established period, or if there is a conflict in the responsibility for the damages that the vehicle presents, for which it can be helpful to take photos of the vehicle, both at delivery and a return, at least on the outside.
At this point, the most popular platforms require photographs to be taken. The existence of damages is indicated at the start of the rental. In short, all actions are aimed at avoiding incorrect attribution of damages.
It is recommended to be correctly informed, both for the owner who puts his vehicle up for rent and who rents it, as there are many aspects to take into account:
– The management of the fines received by the vehicle owner and that occur during the rental periods.
– Penalties for canceling the rental of the vehicle.
– The limitations of age or seniority of the driver’s license of potential drivers.
– The limits of kilometers that can be traveled during the rental, both per day and total.
In short, it is an option that of ‘carsharing,’ which requires, how could it be otherwise, good advice and knowledge, and which can sometimes generate certain risks, or damages not initially foreseen, which we must consider. For this reason, it is advisable to have the advice of a collegiate insurance mediator, who will help us make the best decisions.