Is insurance of person charged with causing an accident responsible for rental car costs, including damage waiver, if we have liability coverage only?

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Is insurance of person charged with causing an accident responsible for rental car costs, including damage waiver, if we have liability coverage only?

Two car accident, other driver at fault, insurance refusing to pay for damage waiver which rental company is requring.

Asked on April 21, 2009 under Accident Law, South Carolina

Answers:

L.M., Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I cannot tell if this a rental car that you got after the accident while waiting for your car to be repaired.  Generally, damage waivers are optional and rental car companies do not require it.  You can initial on the contract that you turned it down.  That is probably why the insurance company won't pay for it.  It is referred to by the rental car companies as "insurance", but technically, it's not.  Rental car agencies are not licensed to offer insurance and it is not regulated by their state's insurance commissioner.  It is actually a waiver of the rental car company's right to to make the renter pay for damage to the car.  It does cover accidental damage as long as the renter complies with the rental contract--only authorized drivers driving the car, in the locations specified, no racing of the vehicle, etc.  It may also cover vandalism, theft and loss of use. 


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