Should you take the rental car insurance? Absolutely! Your auto policy, whether it is personal or commercial, can be changed to include coverage for a rental car but not for all the coverage’s you need. If your auto personal policy includes Collision and Comprehensive coverage then that coverage will extend to a rental vehicle. For a commercial auto policy this must be purchased. There are coverages that do not. There are two coverages that the rental car companies have been collecting for over the past several years. Loss of Use and Diminished Value.
Diminished Value is the resale value of a vehicle after it has been in an accident. If a vehicle has been in an accident it will show on a report. It lowers the resale value of the vehicle. You are responsible for the difference. Your auto policy will not pay for this.
Loss of use is how much income the rental company loses while the vehicle is being repaired after an accident. Again, you will be responsible for this.
- Inspect vehicle BEFORE you leave the parking lot.
- Point out all dents and dings
- Mark ALL damage on the contract
- Verify the VIN on the vehicle and your contract match
- Make sure the employee signs contract
- Take pictures of the vehicle. Front, back and both sides.
- Keep for one year.
- Upon returning the vehicle follow the same steps.
See if possible to get a picture of the employee in the picture.
Why is this necessary?
I rented a car and didn’t take the insurance. Two months later I get a bill from the rental car agency saying I have a bill for $875 for the damage done to the car and how was I going to pay for it. I explained that when I returned the car their employee inspected it and it was fine. They said no the left front fender had a dent in it. I sent them a picture of the left front fender with their employee in the picture and said you must have the wrong car. They then advised that they were wrong it was the right front fender. I then sent them a picture of the right front fender and said again you are mistaken. Again they said no it was the trunk and sent me a picture with a circle in the middle and said it was dented and had several dings. I then sent them a third picture and a copy of my contract that stated the car had several dings in it and if I get one more letter in reference to this matter that I would call the Better Business Bureau. I then received a final letter stating that they found where I had bought the insurance and everything was taken care of.
So in closing purchase the insurance coverage from the rental car company and have no headaches.
-David Kolb, CMIP – President