What are my rights to coverage for an accident if I rented a car for a week with full insurance coverage?

The accident happened in the parking lot, when a friend of mine at the back seat opened the back door of a car and left a pretty significant dent on the counter-party’s car. I left a number on the damaged car, the owner called me and I gave him the insurance reference number so that he could get his car fixed. However, the insurance company claims that because the accident was caused by a non-driver, it is not covered and I will have to pay for the damage. Is this fair? I purchased damage waiver, personal accident insurance, supplemental liability protection and roadside assistance protection.

Asked on August 16, 2014 under Accident Law, Illinois


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Unfortunately, rental car insurance is limited to the authorized or permitted drivers--only they are covered for damage to other vehicles or injuries to ohter persons. If your friend damaged the rental you were driving, that would be a different story: the proper coverage covers any damage to your rental, regardless of who causes it. But if a non-driver damaged another person's car, then no--the insurer is most likely correct that you do not have coverage.

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