MHC Related FAQ Pertaining to Zipcar

1. Employees

If an employee uses a Zip Car for college business, it is treated as any other rental, i.e., the college's insurance will be excess of any provided by Zip Car. Since Zip Car fully insures for physical damage to its vehicles, we would not expect to have to cover any physical damage claims to the rented vehicle. The insurance cannot be waived. Excess auto liability is provided by our commercial insurer. Drivers of vehicles rented for college business must be credentialed but do not have to be fleet certified (as that is the process for using fleet vehicles; as a corollary, we do not require employees who drive a personal vehicle on college business to be fleet certified, only credentialed).

2. Students

  1. The College does not permit students to drive personal vehicles on college business, except in exceptionally rare circumstances (see Five Colleges Risk Management Auto Insurance Information - Use of a Personal Car). If students would be expected to get to an event on their own, even if it is related to a school event (such as a club event) we would consider the Zip Car rental to be "personal" and it would not be covered by college insurance.
  2. If students would have been permitted to drive a college vehicle or rent a vehicle on behalf of the college for a specific event and they use a Zip Car, it is treated as any other rental, i.e., the college's insurance will be excess of any provided by Zip Car. Since Zip Car fully insures for physical damage to its vehicles, we will not expect to cover any physical damage claims. The insurance cannot be waived. Excess auto liability is provided by our commercial insurer. Drivers of vehicles rented for college business must be credentialed but do not have to be fleet certified.

When the student is also an employee

Managers must exercise caution when asking students to drive on college business, but we recognize that this requirement may be unavoidable. If a student/employee is driving a college vehicle or rental vehicle on college business, she is no different from any other employee (see 1 above). The manager should make sure that the student/employee has carefully read and understood the Driver Agreement to Terms, Conditions, Rules and Regulations.

Zip Cars offer a big advantage to our students who would rent vehicles for college related programs because there are not enough college vehicles to go around, as they can be rented by students in the 18-25 year old range. Most rental companies do not rent to anyone under 25. Note that Zip Car also has as strict or stricter credentialing rules than we do, and they eliminate bad drivers (as evidenced by accidents) quickly.  We may see an increase in the number of students seeking funding for Zip Car rentals for club or other student organization activities, so please keep the above guidelines in mind when affirming whether or not the rental is on "college business".

Drivers can be credentialed without being Fleet Certified. Once a driver submits his/her credentials, they are considered to be credentialed (approved) until notice is otherwise given. Managers should verify the driver's credentials before providing reimbursement on Zip Car rentals (let students know that reimbursement will be dependent upon satisfactory credentials).