(April 2010) Jones Bill Removes Insurance Hurdle for Expanding Car Sharing


Jones Bill Removes Insurance Hurdle for Expanding Car Sharing 
Legislation faces first committee hearing next week
(SAN FRANCISCO) April 28,2010 – Assemblymember Dave Jones (D-Sacramento) was joined by Spride CEO Sunil Paul and City CarShare CEO Rick Hutchison to announce legislation allowing individual car owners to participate in car sharing fleets. Car sharing organizations give members 24-hour access to a fleet of conveniently located vehicles that are owned or leased by the organizations. Car sharing eliminates the need to own vehicles and reduces the cost of mobility for its members. Individual vehicle owners may soon be able to circulate their vehicles into car share or other fleets and receive a payment for sharing their car. Both car sharing and this new form of personal vehicle sharing will further reduce the number of cars, which can have transportation congestion and environmental benefits. 

With new personal vehicle sharing programs, car sharing organizations will be able to expand their fleets by allowing individual car owners to share their car with others through their organizations. Currently, car owners run the risk of losing their personal auto insurance if they share their car. Receiving even a small amount of money for the use of one’s vehicle is treated by insurance companies as a commercial use of the vehicle, thereby invalidating the individual’s private insurance coverage. 

Jones’ bill, Assembly Bill 1871, makes clear that personal vehicle sharing does not constitute a commercial use of the vehicle. AB 1871 also provides that the vehicle sharing program is held liable for the vehicle during its use in the program, not the individual car owner. This will allow a much larger group of people to benefit from car sharing. 

“Owning a car can be expensive and vehicle sharing programs are a great way to help connect people with cars when they need them,” said Assemblymember Dave Jones. “Individual car owners who do not use their vehicles for extended periods of time should be able to share their vehicles in vehicle sharing programs without the risk of losing their individual car insurance.” AB 1871 (Jones), which will be heard in the Assembly Insurance Committee next week, has received wide support from environmental groups. 

“We want to replace your car with a cell phone and personal vehicle sharing is a major step toward that goal,” said Sunil Paul, founder of Spride. “Imagine cars available to share on every block that can be found and accessed with a cell phone.” 

“Car sharing lowers the cost of transportation while reducing congestion and greenhouse gas emissions,” said Rick Hutchinson, CEO of City CarShare, a Bay Area nonprofit. “We’re thrilled to work with Assemblymember Jones on this innovative legislation that helps put idle cars to work, helping to expand car sharing into more areas for more people.” 

AB 1871 is supported by organizations such as the Sierra Club, Environmental Defense Fund, American Planning Association and Community Action to Fight Asthma 

About City CarShare: City CarShare (CCS) is a Bay Area nonprofit that provides convenient, affordable access to shared cars in order to reduce individual car ownership and usage. With a mission to improve the environment and quality of life in our cities, City CarShare continually strives to make their service so convenient, so reliable, and so affordable that people will prefer using a CCS car to owning their own. In doing so, CCS members are helping to reduce traffic, parking problems, and dependence on oil–while promoting cleaner air, quieter streets, and more open space. For more information about membership and current promotions visitcitycarshare.org. Contact: Anita Daley (415) 970-6217