Rent a car accident, driver unisured

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 14, 2008 10:16 pm   Post subject: Rent a car accident, driver unisured  

I was in a car accident with a unisured motorist, who was renting a car. If the driver is unisured, is the rent a car company liable for the damages to my car? The driver was 100% at fault as per collision report by CHP.

ucrlamm
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 1:19 am   Post subject:   

Hello ucrlamm,



Welcome to the forum, and I think you will get some good responses to your question. It's a good one, and one that many people will have interest in.



Per your post:



Quote:
I was in a car accident with a unisured motorist, who was renting a car. If the driver is unisured, is the rent a car company liable for the damages to my car? The driver was 100% at fault as per collision report by CHP.




The rental car agency itself is not liable for this loss. Whenever you rent a car, several insurance coverages are normally available to the renter: (1) a collision/physical damage waiver, which protects the rental car agency in case their car is damaged and there is no applicable coverage through the renter's car insurance, and (2) depending on the rental car company- the renter may be able to purchase liability coverage through the rental agency. In the absence of these coverages being purchased by the renter at the time of the rental agreement, you probably won't see anything from the rental company. So, the insurance company who underwrote the insurance available through the rental agency could possibly provide some coverage if purchased by the renter.



If the guy who hit you is liable, and from your post it appears as if he is, and he has no insurance coverage personally or through the rental car agency, then it looks like your only recourse would be through your Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD) coverage (if you have purchased this coverage) or through your collision coverage on your own insurance policy.



If you are only carrying liability coverage on your car, and no collision or UMPD- then your only recourse would be to sue the uninsured moron in a civil proceeding. Hopefully, it's small enough for small claims court, because that's a lot cheaper for you in terms of filing costs, etc., and you don't need a lawyer for this. Seems like a slam-dunk as to liability. But, even if you obtain a judgement from a court- people like this normally don't have many assets that you can go after.



There are other potential remedies available, but let's see what the other experts at AM/PM can detail for you. I'll watch the thread and make additional comments if necessary.



Good luck, and on principle alone- go after the idiot! Evil or Very Mad



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:23 am   Post subject:   

Great response InsTeacher Smile Yeah if the other driver is uninsured then you are required to file the claim with your insurer under the UMPD. Though I am not confident about one thing, normally the renter car companies require the driver to take out the renters car insurance at the time of renting the car.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:51 am   Post subject:   

Go ahead and sue the un-insured driver in the small claim court. They really need to learn a lesson.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 5:58 am   Post subject:   

I wonder how they would have rented him a car with out insurance though, he had to provide some type of proof of insurance to rent the car right?



About four years ago my husband and I rented a car for a trip and they told us that not only did we have to have insurance coverage but it had to be a certain amount of insurance. We could not have it by the companies that offer the bare minimum either like safe auto, we had to have a certain amount of coverage.



I find it very strange that they would let him rent a car with out proof of insurance.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 6:25 am   Post subject:   

Quote:
I wonder how they would have rented him a car with out insurance though, he had to provide some type of proof of insurance to rent the car right?




That's a good question. You can't rent a car without "proof" of insurance. I wish I had a dollar for every insurance ID card that I've seen that was "proof" of a policy being in effect. It's the "in effect" part that normally goes south.



Insurers issue autmobile ID cards that state the entire policy term. For example- if you have a 6-month auto policy, the ID card would prominently state that entire term of six months. If the insured doesn't pay the premium that's due, say, next month- the coverage is out of force, but the ID card still exists. That's all you have to show to the rental agency. I have never seen a rental company actually call the carrier to see if the coverage is in force. Never once. I've rented many times, and they've never checked on me. Has anyone out there seen that? Just curious. I have dealt with companies that sell month-at-a-time (ugh) insurance, but that's a whole 'nother insurance market.



By the way, that dollar for every time I've seen this? Couple of car payments easily.



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:29 pm   Post subject:   

Actually, in _many_ states the rental company _would_ be responsible for the OP's property damage. This would happen if the owner of the vehicle could be held liable for the use of the vehicle in the state where the accident happen (forget anything the contract states).



That is, the vehicle is required to have liability insurance. If the state holds the owner responsible for this, then the owner is responsible, period. Now, the rental contract can transfer that responsibility from the owner to the rented but this only applies between the owner and renter as any 3rd party is not a party to that contract. If the rental company pays the loss they then have a right of recovery against the renter under the terms of the contract... but the rental company would need to pay the loss up front.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2008 7:31 pm   Post subject:   

Quote:
I have dealt with companies that sell month-at-a-time (ugh) insurance, but that's a whole 'nother insurance market.
Worse then that is when the policy is financed (which may be what your referring to). The finance company is not held up to the same notification time frames that the carrier is responsible for. If the payment on the loan is not made, the policy can end _that day_. No warning, no grace period.
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