California Rental Car Accidents Can Sometimes Present Unanticipated Legal Issues
Proper California Insurance For Rental Vehicles
1. you can refuse altogether;
2. you can purchase the extra insurance;
3. or you can purchase a collision damage waiver.
Depending on what you choose above, any rental car accident later will be handled differently by your insurance company or the rental car insurance company if you bought their insurance or "extra coverage." One advantage of purchasing the rental car agency's insurance (even though you have a private auto policy) is if anything happens, your auto insurance company stays out of it, and you do not even have to notify them. Also, remember, if you decline coverage altogether, you better have an active private auto policy that will provide first-party coverage for the rental car! If you purchase a collision damage waiver, all this means is that you are no longer responsible for the physical damage to the vehicle. If you get into a minor fender bender or full-blown accident with extensive damage to the car, then the waiver will cover the property damage. However, you must rely on your or the at-fault party's insurance if you were injured and incurred medical bills.
Problems Still Happen & Damages Can Still Occur In Rental CarsHowever, given the above diligence that most rental car agencies follow, problems can still occur. For example, one of my injured clients was injured in a rear-end car accident where the at-fault party was a tourist visiting San Diego, California, from Brazil. The rental car agency was negligent in informing the foreign visitor whether he had proper auto insurance. We had to go after the rental car company directly to obtain just and fair compensation for that particular car accident. Another example is where a person does not take out any rental car insurance through a rental agency (like Hertz, Enterprise, or Dollar) and relies only on their state insurance auto insurance policy. We must pursue the at-fault rental car driver for fair compensation in that example.
If you are in a California rental car accident or have issues with rental car coverage, call me at (619) 813-7955.