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Rental Car Liability Claim
Old 05-14-2006, 07:01 PM   #1
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Rental Car Liability Claim

Back in January I was rear-ended in a rental car on a business trip in Austin. All signals at the time were that the other party's insurance would cover the claim. Today's mail includes a letter from the rental company saying they tried to get the full amount from the other party's insurer but they didn't pay up completely, and now they're billing me for the difference.

From their invoice it appears the other party's insurer paid property damages but not $214.39 in other claims including $75.90 "Loss of Use" and $138.49 "Admin Fee".

After my initial curse my second thought was to just send them a check and mentally write it off to hassle saved. I am thinking making an underinsured claim on my insurance will just cost me more in the long run in increased premiums somewhere down the line, especially since I am 3 weeks from moving to a different state and changing insurance policies.

On the other hand, I never signed the medical waiver the other party's insurance company offered me for $250. You know, that wreck did affect me noticably for two to three weeks afterward. I was on ibuprofen a lot. And I never did go to a doctor and make sure I have no lingering damage...

(Afterthought...was wondering how they came up with the "Loss of Use" amount...it's possible that's the amount they would have charged me for the days after the wreck; they had to provide a substitute car for the remainder of the agreement.)

Okay, so the amount in question is $214.39 . Here are the options I can think of:

- Pay the thing and forget about it
- Gripe to one or more of:
-- rental company
-- other party's insurance
-- my insurance
- File a claim on my insurance for the difference
- Get a lawyer

Any thoughts? I could gripe about the money and whether or not this is fair, but I am a more practical person who is about to quit, move to a different state and find a new job, and this doesn't seem to be an attractive battle to fight right now.
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Re: Rental Car Liability Claim
Old 05-14-2006, 07:26 PM   #2
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Re: Rental Car Liability Claim

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMoneyJim
Okay, so the amount in question is $214.39 . Here are the options I can think of:

- Pay the thing and forget about it
- Gripe to one or more of:
-- rental company
-- other party's insurance
-- my insurance
- File a claim on my insurance for the difference
- Get a lawyer

Any thoughts?
My recommendation would be to assert to the rental company that they should either go back to the other party's insurance for the amount or write it off. Argue that you shouldn't be penalized for their (rental co's) inability to negotiate with the offending party's insuance co. I don't think this will work but I would continue this line of argument for as long as you can string it out. Respond in writing and continue trading letters with them until you think you've totally exhausted their patience.

Then offer to compromise and pay a portion (not more than half) of the amount they are seeking. My bet is they will settle with you just to get the matter over and done with.

EDIT: Oh yeah, and go back to the insurance company and negotiate that $250 they offered you up to $500 or so before you sign a medical release. :


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Re: Rental Car Liability Claim
Old 05-14-2006, 07:27 PM   #3
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Re: Rental Car Liability Claim

I once had Hertz try to bill me for $600 for fuel, because I returned a car without refueling, and they claimed I went 10,025 miles in the half a day I had the car.

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Re: Rental Car Liability Claim
Old 05-14-2006, 09:10 PM   #4
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Re: Rental Car Liability Claim

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigMoneyJim

- Pay the thing and forget about it
- Gripe to one or more of:
-- rental company
-- other party's insurance
-- my insurance
- File a claim on my insurance for the difference
- Get a lawyer
I would say "get a grip."* Pay the thing and forget about it before you wind up working for $2/hr putting in hours screwing around with it.* If you feel the need to bitch and moan, post here and we'll gladly commiserate with you!

BTW, the situation would irritate me too! I'm just trying to teach myself to keep things in perspective and also to not expose myself to risk without an appropritate level of offsetting reward. $214 isn't much reward to offset the risk of your insurance company being brought into the fray.

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Re: Rental Car Liability Claim
Old 05-14-2006, 09:19 PM   #5
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Re: Rental Car Liability Claim

This is a very low risk situation. I would do anything that doesn't cost anything, and might get you off the hook. At the very least, you can feel good* that you cost them more than they will get out of you even if they do eventually prevail.

Ha
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Re: Rental Car Liability Claim
Old 05-14-2006, 09:43 PM   #6
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Re: Rental Car Liability Claim

Quote:
Originally Posted by dory36
I once had Hertz try to bill me for $600 for fuel, because I returned a car without refueling, and they claimed I went 10,025 miles in the half a day I had the car.
Cool. So where'd ya go?
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As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
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Re: Rental Car Liability Claim
Old 05-14-2006, 09:54 PM   #7
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Re: Rental Car Liability Claim

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Cool. So where'd ya go?
Not sure where he went but averaging over 835 MPH, he left a sonic boom.

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Re: Rental Car Liability Claim
Old 05-15-2006, 07:34 AM   #8
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Re: Rental Car Liability Claim

BMJ, did you pay with a credit card?* Try their coverage - it is automatic, I believe. I recently had a good experience with A*** getting a rental company off my case.
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Re: Rental Car Liability Claim
Old 05-15-2006, 08:21 AM   #9
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Re: Rental Car Liability Claim

Quote:
Originally Posted by F M All
BMJ, did you pay with a credit card? Try their coverage - it is automatic, I believe. I recently had a good experience with A*** getting a rental company off my case.
Yes, I paid with a CC. Thanks. Interesting you mention this. I was sorthing through papers late last night and happened to find a paper describing a rental damage waiver feature for the CC I paid with. Great timing!

I got to thinking this morning; it's pretty ballsy for them to come back to me with a bill for that crap. The car was rented on a corporate plan, and I was not at fault in any way, and I properly handled all the reporting and paperwork. They got their property damage covered and then come back to me for a piddling $214.39. Hey, *I* lost half a day or more, too, and performed "administrative" duties. You don't see my company docking my pay or me going after the other party's insurance for lost time. And my company does *lots* of business with them; they're one of two corprorate preferred rental vendors. The nerve of some companies!

Anyway, back to the CC thing. If I don't shame Hertz (yes, it was Hertz) into backing off the Admin fee and Loss of Use they couldn't get from the insurance company that just paid them a couple thousand in property damage and use my CC's damage waiver coverage, is there any way that could result in increased insurance premiums or other financial detriment to me?
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Re: Rental Car Liability Claim
Old 05-15-2006, 09:25 AM   #10
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Re: Rental Car Liability Claim

Every case may be different.
In my case the rental company could not provide evidence to Amex that their repair claim was valid (it was 3 times their standard deductable for 3 scratches!Nearly $2k!). Amex asked the rental company for photos and repair details. After about 5 months they cleared the charges off my account. I don't think this counts as a claim that I need to inform anyone about.
For once I felt I had support from a major corporation instead of being the poor customer stuck in the middle who has to pick up the tab.
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Re: Rental Car Liability Claim
Old 05-15-2006, 11:00 AM   #11
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Re: Rental Car Liability Claim

First, try the CC... if they pay.. done..

Next, call the insurance company of the guy who hit you... claim that you will have to pay $X and you should not be out any $$$s...

Last, call Hertz and say, bullS$*%... no admin fee, no loss of use...
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Re: Rental Car Liability Claim
Old 05-18-2006, 12:57 PM   #12
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Re: Rental Car Liability Claim

Quote:
Originally Posted by F M All
BMJ, did you pay with a credit card? Try their coverage - it is automatic, I believe. I recently had a good experience with A*** getting a rental company off my case.
BMJ, I definitely think you should try the CC company. If it's MC, then their service is called MC Assist. They'll ask you to send in a form and paperwork and give you a claim number. It's was very painless to me even though I rented the car in a foreign country. This didn't seem to affect my car insurance either although I wouldn't expect it to since it was just a damaged tire and rim.

Actually, since it is a corporate rental, why isn't your company handling all of this?
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Re: Rental Car Liability Claim
Old 05-18-2006, 01:24 PM   #13
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Re: Rental Car Liability Claim

I *think* most credit card insurance only covers personal rentals, not business.

BMJ, will your company cover it since you were on company business? Mine said not to get the insurance, and they'd cover it.

Barring that, I'd call them up and say that the guy hit YOU, so go chase him for the money.

I think they're just going through a progression to see who will pay them something. Loss of use and an administrative fee...

In fact, I'd call them and tell them that their attempt to file a claim has resulted in a billable time period of one hour of your time, plus five hundred dollars in irritation, that you're currently billing your time at $200 an hour, so the good news is that they only owe YOU five hundred. So far.
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