Rental car damage waivers not necessarily superfluous

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Car Rental News - 01/09/2008


Many car renters decline the damage waiver offered thinking they have adequate cover without it.

A spokesman Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America, Bill Wilson, says: "But, even if your policy includes rentals, there may be costs it doesn't cover." He explains: "For example, the rental company may well use a more expensive way of calculating vehicle damage than your auto policy and you might be stuck paying the difference."

Most auto insurance policies allow the insurer to appraise damage to a vehicle before repair or disposal is authorized. Rental companies are not required by law to follow this procedure, though, and may feel that they need to act more quickly to protect their interests, which could well determine whether the individual renter is covered.

The rental company may also require that payment be made immediately for damage, using the renter’s credit card for payment, which could "max out" the credit limit on the card.

Most automobile insurance policies will cover the rental company’s loss of income during the repair period, although the amount calculated for "loss of use" could in fact surpass the renter’s policy limits by as much as hundreds of dollars.

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