The car rental app Turo has become popular in recent years. Through this app, private vehicle owners can rent out their cars at a daily rate, while travelers can browse for and book a vehicle they like. Unlike ridesharing or ride-hailing, where vehicle owners drive their own car and pick up passengers, the Turo model is purely vehicle rental – customers drive the vehicle they book.
While this “peer-to-peer car sharing” system offers convenience and affordability, it’s also a new business model that creates some confusion. In particular, people ask: Who pays for injuries in a Turo accident? How do I make a Turo accident claim? Let’s explore the answers.
Turo Insurance Coverage in the U.S.
A car owner who lists their vehicle for rent on Turo is called a host. When they list their car, they must choose from the list of the insurance plans that Turo provides, and each of these plans has a third-party liability insurance coverage of $750,000. One exception is if the car owner lists themselves as a “Commercial Host,” which means they’ll provide their own insurance instead of Turo’s.
Liability coverage pays for other people’s losses if the policyholder causes a crash. A Turo host may not be the one driving their car, but they could still be found liable in some situations – for example, if they listed a malfunctioning or poorly maintained vehicle.
Meanwhile, a guest (renter/driver) who books a car on Turo does not need to have their own personal insurance. They can book a car with Turo’s protection plan for guests, which has a liability policy limit of $1 million.
If the guest does have personal insurance that covers Turo accidents, Turo’s guest insurance policy would only supplement that guest’s personal policy.
How to Claim if You’re Hurt in a Turo Accident in California
California is a “fault-based” state when it comes to auto accidents, meaning the party that caused the crash is liable to pay for your injuries and other losses. You’ll need to file a personal injury claim against the appropriate insurance company.
Before initiating your claim, make sure you have consulted with a personal injury attorney regarding your rights and next steps. You’ll also want your lawyer on your side to help you negotiate with the insurer. Start collecting documentation surrounding your accident and injuries, including the police accident report, photo or footage of the scene, medical records, and missed-work records. These will help prove your claim for fair compensation from the insurer.
If a Turo car is involved in your accident, your claim depends on where the fault lies:
If a Turo driver caused the crash
If the renter-driver carries personal auto insurance and this insurance covers Turo accidents, you’ll have to file a personal injury claim from that policy. If you exhaust that coverage up to the policy limit, you may claim from Turo’s guest protection policy.
On the other hand, if the Turo driver does not have personal insurance, you’ll need to claim directly from Turo’s guest insurance. Note, however, that Turo drivers have the option to decline the company’s guest protection plan. If you find that the at-fault Turo driver is not covered by either personal insurance or Turo insurance, you may have to explore other compensation options. Speak to a competent car accident attorney in California.
If you were driving a Turo car that malfunctioned
It is possible to hold the vehicle owner accountable if their listed car had dangerous defects. If you are successful in your claim against the owner, their Turo liability policy would have to pay for your losses (unless they are a Commercial Host, in which case their own insurance plan would have to cover you).
Car defect claims are generally more challenging to prove. In addition, the defendant may argue that the accident was at least partially your fault. This is significant because California follows the “comparative fault” principle, where your compensation could be reduced based on how much fault you had in the crash. Consult with a lawyer immediately after your Turo accident to see your best strategy to maximize your compensation.
Call a Temecula Personal Injury Lawyer Today
Turo accident claims can be confusing, and sometimes, injured claimants end up in insurance limbo. Get the help of a personal injury attorney experienced in car-sharing accident cases.
In the Temecula area, we at The Zucker Law Firm handle crash cases like yours and have obtained maximum settlements for many Californians over the years. Consult with us for free about your Turo accident. Call (951) 699-2100 today or send us a message through our online form.