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Warning to check your car insurance before lift-sharing

24 November 2014

9% of comprehensive car insurance policies exclude lift-sharing

The warning comes following a review of over 230 comprehensive car insurance policies*, which revealed that just under one in ten policies specifically exclude cover for lift-sharing. While the remainder provide cover for social car sharing, this may be subject to certain conditions such as your vehicle can’t carry more than eight passengers or that you cannot make a profit.

Insurers stipulate that drivers offering lift-shares are only permitted to ask passengers for a contribution towards fuel and other running costs. The amount charged must not include an element of profit, otherwise insurers would consider that you are operating as a passenger service for hire and profit.

When travelling alone to work most insurers can include cover for commuting to a main work place but if drivers are going to company sites other than their usual workplace (for example, an occasional meeting or branch visit) then they should extend their cover to include business use.  If they are not covered for business mileage then the insurer may refuse to pick-up the bill for any claims incurred on work-related journeys.   

Gocompare.com’s motor insurance spokesman, Matt Oliver, commented: “The rising cost of motoring coupled with the current financial squeeze has made lift-sharing an attractive proposition for many drivers.  And, the growing number of dedicated car-sharing websites are making offering and finding lifts easier than ever.  But, before signing-up to offer a lift, we strongly recommend you speak to your insurer to make sure that you are covered for both lift-shares and the journeys you intend to undertake, otherwise you may accidently invalidate your cover.

-ends-

Notes to editors:

*Source: Defaqto Matrix of 236 full comprehensive car insurance policies - instant and unbiased market and competitor intelligence, from independent financial researcher Defaqto (7 October 2014).