Do I Need Zipcar Insurance? How Does Coverage Work?

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Any time you rent with Zipcar, **the car-sharing company will always include the legally-required, state minimum amount of insurance ** in the cost of the rental, so technically, you don't necessarily need to buy coverage to drive. However, you may want to supplement Zipcar's basic coverage to ensure you're fully protected in case of a crash. If you already have your own car insurance, your liability coverage will likely apply while driving a Zipca, but collision and comprehensive typically will not.

Zipcar insurance: liability and other legally required coverages

You'll automatically have at least the legal state minimum of insurance coverage of whatever state you rent the Zipcar in. Minimum car insurance requirements vary by state, but may include:

  • Liability coverage for bodily injury: pays for medical treatment if you're responsible for someone else's injuries in a crash; often split into per-person and per-accident limits.
  • Liability coverage for property damage: pays for repairs of someone else's vehicle if you're responsible for damaging it in a crash.
  • Personal injury protection/medical payments: pays for the cost of your own medical care in a crash, regardless of who is at fault.
  • Uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage: pays for your own medical care and vehicle repair if the other driver is at fault, but doesn't have adequate car insurance coverage.

Each of these coverage types also has a dollar limit associated with it. For example, if you rent a Zipcar in Texas, you'll have at least bodily injury liability coverage of $30,000 per person and $60,000 total per crash, plus property damage liability coverage of $25,000.

When you signed up changes your coverage level

Whether you receive more than the state minimum amount of coverage from Zipcar depends on when you signed up, as the liability protection provided in the Zipcar contract has changed over time. If you signed up before March 1, 2015, you have a single combined liability limit of $300,000 — that includes bodily injury and property damage coverage, with no limits on how the funds are disbursed.

If you signed up between March 1, 2015, and July 31, 2018, you have 100/300/25 liability coverage. That means in any accident where you are at fault, Zipcar's insurance will cover up to $100,000 of medical coverage per person that is injured, up to $300,000 total, plus up to $25,000 of damage to property, such as another car.

Drivers who signed up after Aug. 1, 2018, receive only state minimum coverage.

However, all drivers under 21 years old always receive only the state minimum coverage, regardless of when they signed up.

Liability insurance coverage provided by Zipcar

Driver age
Join date
Liability coverage amount
Over 21After Aug. 1, 2018State minimum only
March 1, 2015-July 31, 2018100/300/25
Before March 1, 2015300K combined maximum (BI/PD)
Under 21AnyState minimum only

Can I use my own liability insurance with Zipcar?

If you already have a car insurance policy, it often will will protect you while driving a Zipcar.. However, we recommend confirming with your insurer that Zipcar is included, as some insurance companies may not protect you.

In addition, if you want more coverage than Zipcar provides but don't have your own insurance policy, you may consider a non-owner car insurance policy from an insurance company. A non-owner insurance policy is especially designed for someone who doesn't own their own car, but frequently borrows or rents a vehicle and wants to have a consistent level of protection when they do so.

Note that credit card rental car benefits never include liability coverage.

Zipcar insurance: coverage for vehicle damage

If a Zipcar is damaged while you're renting it, you'll be responsible for the costs of repairing the car, up to $1,000. However, if you’re over age 18 and have had no accidents with Zipcar in the past 12 months, you are eligible to purchase damage protection coverage.

Zipcar damage fee by coverage level

Fee waiver level
Monthly fee
Damage fee maximum
Standard$0 (included in membership)$1,000

You can also add a damage fee waiver for an individual trip at a price of $2 per hour, with a daily cap of $9. This eliminates the damage fee for any accident.

Keep in mind that while renting a Zipcar, you're financially responsible for all damage to the car, even if it wasn’t caused by you or due to a crash. This includes things like flat tires, hail damage and theft. The only exception is if another driver is at fault in a crash, in which case you will be able to make a claim on their liability insurance.

Does my own car insurance cover Zipcar vehicle damage?

Your own car insurance policy may or may not cover damage to a Zipcar. If you don't carry collision and comprehensive coverage on your own policy, you won't be protected. If you do carry these coverages, it's possible that they will apply to rental cars as well. Contact your insurance company to find out if you’re covered. There is sometimes an additional fee for this extra protection.

Does a credit card rental benefit cover Zipcar damage?

Some credit cards come with a benefit that’s called either a collision damage waiver (CDW) or loss damage waiver (LDW). When you rent a car using that credit card, that benefit will provide a certain amount of loss-damage protection.

Whether these benefits apply to a Zipcar depends on the terms of the credit card agreement. It's essential that you check directly with your provider to confirm that Zipcar rentals are covered. Do not assume that you are protected.

Additionally, keep in mind that car rental benefits offered with a credit card often come with restrictions. For example, many have a limit on the length of rental, while some may not cover every type of vehicle. Read the terms of yourcredit card benefits guide carefully to ensure you're adequately protected.

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