Can a car rental company force you to buy their insurance and refuse to rent to you even if you have your own?

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Can a car rental company force you to buy their insurance and refuse to rent to you even if you have your own?

I have bee renting cars from a certain car rental company for many years. I have used my own car rental insurance because it cost much less than the rental company. The last time I went in, they refuse to accept the insurance and told me they were losing money. They refuse to rent me a car without purchasing their insurance. If that legal?

Asked on September 7, 2010 under Business Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

It could easily be legal. Businesses may choose to "bundle" their services and only sell one to someone who will also buy another--think about how cable channels and services are often bundled, for example. There is no law saying a car rental place has to allow people to rent without purchasing insurance, the same way a landlord could refuse to rent to anyone who will not take out renter's insurance.

However, if this is not a stand alone company or outfit, contact their corporate parent; it may be that this particular location is violating corporate policy, and the larger corporation (or franchise, etc.) would force them to rent to you w/out your buying their insurance.


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