Rental car damage and insurance issues

<p>My son recently flew out west for a job interview and had to hire a rental car (expensive when you are under 25!) He decided to pay the extra insurance. Unfortunately the car was broken into, his camera stolen, and a car window smashed in the process. He did all the right things - called the police, filed a report, did the necessary paperwork with the rental company and they gave him a replacement car. Now he received a letter about the damage and asking for his insurance or credit card details if those are responsible for the damage or otherwise is he going to pay for it. I'm confused -isn't that what the extra money he paid for insurance is supposed to cover? </p>

<p>He's dealing with himself but I'd like some back up info in case he needs it.</p>

<p>He paid for the car with our credit card that he is on and I think it may cover him for the damages if need be. But as he paid for the extra insurance it seems like they are getting (pocketing?) the extra money for that then trying to get someone else to pay anyway.</p>

<p>Also might his stolen camera be covered by the insurance or credit card? It wasn't a real expensive one ($125 maybe) but it would be nice if he could replace it.</p>

<p>SCM - I'm not sure any information your CC friends provide will be applicable to you and your S ... so many different practices for states and rental companies and insurance policies. But it can't hurt to collect a few experiences others have had.</p>

<p>Hertz/California - Hit a car making an illegal turn in front of me. No police report as they refused to come due to lack of injury. Never heard a thing ... Hertz took care of it entirely.</p>

<p>Alamo/Florida - Got run into from behind. Police report indicated other driver at fault. Alamo immediately started calling to ask for my insurance information. I sent them a copy of the police report. They responded by repeating demands for my insurance information.</p>

<p>Dollar/New Orleans - Trumped up claim that I'd damaged interior of car ... damage they "hadn't noticed" when inspecting the car when I turned it in. I called the credit card company and got a ridiculously bad answer ... something like "you have a million dollar limit on your insurance? We'll cover anything above that number." I called back a couple days later and this time the answer was "We'll cover anything your insurance doesn't." I still don't know what the correct answer is ... Dollar withdrew their claim.</p>

<p>It's my understanding that personal items stolen from an automobile are covered under the homeowners policy. Unless the deductible is really low ... or this type of loss falls under the zero deductible portion of the policy ... you may be out of luck on the camera.</p>

<p>Not to hijack but a few questions on a related matter. My D is going to need to rent a car for a couple of days to attend a required event at her new school. She is also under 25 so I know we will have to pay extra. Normally when I rent a car I don't buy the extra insurance. I pay with my American express and I also have excellent car insurance on my personal vehicles. I was planning on advising her to purchase the insurance. She is no longer on our car insurance. She has her own auto insurance in another state which she pays for to insure her car. Not sure how her insurance company works for a rental car. She has her own credit card but it is not American Express. Any advice on whether she should pay for the insurance? Also am probably going to go with Enterprise since they are coming in cheapest.</p>

<p>My son went with enterprise as it was quite a bit cheaper. We weren't sure how the insurance worked as far as our car insurance (he is still on ours but our vehicles are all old and we only have insurance to cover the other guy) or the credit card (visa) and didn't have time to research it. That is why he went ahead and paid the extra $9 a day. I will let you know how it all works out.</p>

<p>^^ mom60 - My advice it to purchase the insurance ... even though I always decline it when renting. This advice is based on the premise "what should an inexperienced and uninformed person do?"</p>

<p>^^ SCM - Since your S purchased the optional insurance, that should take care of it. If Enterprise in insistent ... and I don't think they will be as I've had good luck with the company ... you can encourage them "do the right thing" by turning the inquiry around:</p>

<p>"Dear Enterprise, Since I purchased your company's optional insurance, MY insurance company needs the following information, which I'd appreciate you send to my address via REGISTERED MAIL:</p>

<li>Specifics of the damage</li>
<li>Either the Estimate to fix, or actual cost of the repair</li>
<li>The reason why the optional insurance did not cover the damage.</li>

<p>Feel free to include any other information you consider pertinent to your claim.</p>

<p>Yours sincerely,"</p>

<p>Well he called them and somehow they were not informed he had purchased the additional insurance. So it looks like he is covered. </p>

<p>I agree with NewHope - buy it to be on the safe side unless she talks to the insurance and credit card company and is sure she is covered. My son is glad he did!</p>

<p>If he has any problems I will suggest that NewHope. Thanks.</p>

<p>Fortunately he has started keeping track of paperwork so has it all at hand. Big change from me trying to help with his taxes this year and no receipts for book purchases to substantiate the AOC credit!</p>

<p>If he gets the 2nd interview and goes back he will need to rent again so he wants it all straightened out!</p>

<p>Document everything from the moment your son picked up the car. Keep a copy of the rental agreement.</p>

<p>I have never purchased the additional insurance and only once had any kind of claim when I brushed a pillar in a very tight parking garage. Damage was less than $500 Canadian. So I just paid it, because it was less than my deductible. I've figured over the years, I've saved several thousand dollars in insurance costs, so even if I did have a problem that wasn't covered by cc or by my own insurance, I've come out ahead. But I agree that an inexperienced driver in a strange place should probably go ahead and purchase it.</p>

<p>I had the same problem with Enterprise once. A month after the rental, I received notice that there was a dent and some deep scratches on the car. I never noticed them, and nothing was said when the guy did a quick physical exam of the car upon return as he did when I rented it. I thought he checked off things, but I really did not remember much of anything. I had not purchased their insurance so they were really after me. </p>

<p>I finally sent a request for all of the paper work including the inspection made the day I returned the car that I said I initialed or signed (which I did not). They could not come up with it. Apparently the inspection was done again, weeks after my returning the car. It all got resolved, but, oh, what a pain. </p>

<p>While I was arguing with them, I had another rental scheduled with them. I was on a "bad list" and they would not give me the car. </p>

<p>For young and inexperienced drivers, definitely get the insurance for them.</p>

<p>I have never bought the extra insurance for me, but correct me if I'm wrong, the charge that the rental company can levy for something like "lost opportunity to rent the car while being repaired" - this isn't covered, is it?
Another unrelated comment - we went to the West coast for a week to drop our son off for his internship and I rented a sedan for $145/wk (sans insurance). When I settled the bill, it was sixty bucks more - turns out when I had added my wife as a second driver I had no idea that was another ten bucks a day and our friendly sales staff didn't tell us and we didn't read the fine print; don't believe she sat in the driver's seat once.</p>

<p>IF you have an under 25 driver and use USAA, book the car rental through their website and the companies waive the under 25 fee.</p>

<p>what is USAA?</p>

<p>Insurance for military folks and their kids.</p>

<p>I have never bought the extra rental insurance, either, and was driving back to an airport when we were rear-ended by a semi-cab (no load) and the rental car was totaled. The semi driver admitted fault and his insurance company paid for everything, including all of my medical bills. I called Budget from our taxi on our way to the airport and basically said the car would not be coming back to them, that it had been towed away. I gave them all the information and never heard from Budget again. I'm guessing the other trucker's insurance company was very timely in their response to this matter.</p>

<p>there was no levy for them not being able to use the vehicle. It was just the insurance adjusters apparently were not aware he'd paid the extra insurance.</p>

<p>Wow $145 for a week. Cost my son $260 for 3 days.</p>

<p>swimcatsmom, glad that worked out - as it should have if the collision coverage was purchased.</p>

<p>The optional collision damage waiver is necessary if you have no insurance coverage or do not want claims going on your personal insurance, imo. </p>

<p>Has anyone ever had their credit card pick up a damage bill?</p>

<p>The rental company should not be charging for opportunity cost of loss of days of rental due to repair. They are entitled to damages to the car and repair costs, and of course if there is ever an injury the driver responsible will have to suffer with that. The fact that cars are damaged, and the company chooses to repair and the car is off the road is an ordinary type business matter for a car rental company, and that is covered by what they charge to rent in the first place.</p>

<p>I was told that most insurance offered by a credit card would be secondary insurance. I read a few fine prints, and it does seem to be the case.</p>


<p>I'm glad your son took the insurance. I never do, as it doubles the cost. I rented locally twice in past few months, and both enterprise and alamo checked my insurance card. Since my company, Amico, covers damage to rental, I didn't have to take it out. My friend's insurance is minimal, and Enterprise refused to rent her car unless she took their insurance.</p>