Car Rental Insurance

Sixteen Year Old Crashes Rental Car -- A Story that Should be Impossible

Nissan Altima Collides with Fire Truck

Imagine if you will ... a rental Nissan Altima (easy to imagine) being driven by a 16-year old (hard to imagine), where the driver possesses no license, no insurance, and ignores a stop sign because the driver has not yet passed the state's road sign recognition test. The vehicle with the right-of-way just so happens to be a fire truck. Remarkably, this happens to be a real story out of St. Louis and the outcome was predictable -- fire truck sustains damage but rental car loses the collision contest. The driver of the Nissan (and his passenger) were trapped in the car remnants and needed extrication. Fortunately, the people best at that task -- the fire department -- happened to be on hand! While the newscasts tend to focus on the damage to the fire truck that's going to be out of service temporarily for repairs, the Altima is missing much of a front end, spun around against a building, and the occupants had to be cut out of the vehicle. And while the 16- and 15-year old had minor injuries, the mother of the driver denied medical care on their behalf after extrication. How is the rental company going to view this incident?

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What to Do If Your Rental Car Is Stolen

Auto Theft

Previously, our blog addressed what happens if a rental car is broken into, as that's exceptionally common in the City by the Bay. Yet we know outright theft of the rental car itself also happens. More than 92,000 rental cars have been stolen in the United States between the beginning of 2015 and April 2018, most of them not the fault of the renter (a limited number, such as the individual carjacked by a drug dealer during a drug deal are the renter's fault). So how does a renter prepare for the possibility of rental car theft and what does one do if a rental car gets stolen while under contract?

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Tourist Causes Accident in Foreign Country, Flees Responsibility

Unhappy Campers

In a previous blog post, we noted how the concept of vicarious liability is the reason we can no longer rent from Tilden Rent A Car. Courts in many nations have since ruled that the liability of rental car companies for actions of drivers is routinely limited, especially when drivers make egregious deviations from the law. That's the case in New Zealand, where a story recently made global news after a head-on collision caused by a tourist resulted in financial harm to a local resident. The tourist fled the country and the local resident (of course) blamed the rental car company instead. When condensed, the New Zealand story is a simple one of insurance and has lessons for all rental car users, both domestically and abroad.

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Intentionally Damage a Rental Car? Expect to Encounter a Hefty Bill

Damaged Car

In a classic story, Alex Lloyd wrote about an impromptu race he (and some unnamed compatriots) participated in on the way to a race at Sebring International Raceway. Entitled "Why a Rental Car is the Fastest Car You'll Ever Drive", the story includes Lloyd (in a Chevrolet Aveo) and cars "driven like a rental" with extreme results. One rental vehicle ends up in a ditch and at least five other rental cars sustain damage during the race. Lloyd writes off the incident as "Glad I took out the coverage" and "You do not need to replace the tires, brake pads or live with the damage you will undoubtedly cause by driving like a buffoon". And while it's an incredible read as a story, the coverage is not going to help and the renter will get stuck paying for the damage (but not necessarily living with it). Good stories sometimes need fact checks, so here we go!

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Why I Buy Travel Insurance—And When

Travel Insurance

Chances are you've seen them—the ads for travel insurance or the box to check (with a hidden "skip" button) to add trip insurance when buying your flight.

Is travel insurance a good deal? Should you buy it? The answer is, of course, as clear as mud: "it depends."

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