Have you seen the I-go and Zipcar zooming around your town lately? Some retirement communities such as CCRCs and assisted living facilities are examining whether the car-share concept is portable to retirement communities? Many facilities are recognizing that seniors have these assets and their cars are idle for much of the time they are at the community. Most commercialized car sharing entities have an age cut-off at 70 but can have that limit raised by obtaining a letter from a physician showing that they are capable of operating a motor vehicle. With this being said, is it better for a community to try to operate its own car sharing program, work with a national provider (if possible) or partner with a car rental company to provide an “on-site” rental office for the resident’s need? The largest challenge besides purchasing and operating the fleet of cars is the insuring the cars and drivers. While its possible to get car rental insurance, the costs associated for short trips with these types of vehicles makes insuring an expensive proposition for consumers. As for insuring a fleet of cars, adding residents to a commercial auto policy would not make business or economic sense either. While the concept of car sharing maybe taking off in major metropolitan markets, it will be some time before the concept can be fully tweaked for retirement communities.
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