New Florida law could pave way for peer-to-peer carsharing industry to grow – Insurance

United States: New Florida law could pave the way for peer-to-peer carsharing industry growth

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florida new status creates special liability protections and additional insurance requirements for the rapidly growing peer-to-peer carsharing industry. It came into effect on January 1 and applies to both the owner of the peer-to-peer carsharing vehicle and the carsharing program. The law could mean major changes for ride-sharing programs and their insurers.

The Impact of Florida’s Strict Liability Laws on Peer-to-Peer Car Sharing

Under this law, “peer-to-peer car sharing” is defined as the authorized use of a motor vehicle by someone other than the owner of a vehicle shared through a car-sharing program. which puts motor vehicle owners in touch with drivers in return for financial consideration. In Florida, however, owners should always be wary of allowing someone else to use their motor vehicle due to the wide scope of the dangerous instrumentality doctrine. Exclusive to Florida, this doctrine imposes strict vicarious liability on the owner of a vehicle for the negligent actions of those licensed to drive their vehicle, subject to a few exceptions.

How the new law limits owner and company liability

the new status exempts both the owner of the shared vehicle as well as the carsharing program from vicarious liability under federal law Modification of graves and any state or local laws that impose liability based solely on vehicle ownership. This includes Florida’s Dangerous Instrumentality Doctrine. The Graves Amendment provides that a motor vehicle owner who leases or leases the vehicle to someone else will not be held vicariously liable for the user’s actions so long as these two factors are met:

  • The owner is engaged in the trade or business of renting or leasing motor vehicles.
  • There is no negligence or criminal act on the part of the owner.

In 2005, the Graves Amendment was passed largely to protect car rental and leasing companies from harm or injury caused by the multitude of renters who use their vehicles. Similar to the Graves Amendment, Florida’s new law could open the door to continued growth for the car-sharing industry by providing broad exemption from liability for its longstanding dangerous instrumentality doctrine.

The law also requires the peer-to-peer carsharing program to ensure that the owner of the vehicle and the driver of the shared vehicle have an automobile insurance policy. The policy must provide all of the following during the carsharing period:

  • Property damage civil liability insurance in the amount of at least $10,000, as required under Section 324.022, Florida Laws
  • Bodily injury liability insurance in the amount of at least $10,000 for bodily injury or death of a person in an accident or in the amount of at least $20,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more people in a crash accident as specified in
    Section 324.021(7)(a) and (b), Florida Laws
  • Injury protection benefits in the amount of at least $10,000 for medical and disability benefits and in the amount of at least $5,000 for death benefits required under section 627.736, Florida Statutes
  • Coverage of uninsured and underinsured vehicles for an amount equal to the bodily injury limits as required by Section 627.727, Florida Laws

These insurance requirements can be met by an auto insurance policy owned by the shared vehicle owner, the shared vehicle driver, the car sharing program, or a combination of the three.

Because of this law, carsharing companies and their insurers should be aware of the unique protections that will provide liability limits to both shared vehicle owners and carsharing programs – which is a big step outside of Florida’s well-established policy. dangerous instruments doctrine – and additional insurance requirements for parties involved in such transactions.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide on the subject. Specialist advice should be sought regarding your particular situation.

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