Concerns When Renting An Automobile

Welcome tonce again to our guest blogger Tony Lucacio of Merrimack Valley Insurance in Billerica

This time of year many of us head out on vacation. Often these trips require use of a rental vehicle for several days to a week. Most put very little thought into what would happen should they be involved in an auto accident while driving the rented auto.

Your Massachusetts auto insurance policy will provide coverage for damage to the rented auto as if you were driving your own auto. Coverage on your policy transfers to the temporarily rented auto and is subject to the same causes of loss and deductible that you carry. In most cases individuals carry both colllision and comprehensive coverage (other than collision) with a $500 or $300 deductible. Seems simple enough right? Well….not so fast.

True you will have coverage to repair the rented vehicle but what about the loss sustained by the rental car company for days the vehicle was being repaired and could no be rented. Or, the loss of value to the rented vehicle because it is now a vehicle that has been damaged and not worth as much when the rental company wishes to sell the vehicle. These are just two of several concerns that must be addressed.

In the fine print of nearly every rental car contract is the right to charge you for the loss of earnings the rental car company sustains while the car is being repaired and could not be rented. True you could argue that they have other vehicles they could rent so they had no loss but who wants that fight. And on more than one occasion I’ve not been able to rent a vehicle in a certain price class because there were none left. The charge to you for the rental company’s loss of rental income is NOT covered by your Massachusetts auto insurance policy. In many cases your credit card company may pick up this charge if you used your card to rent the vehicle but I strongly recommend you check with them before you rent.

A damaged car also will have a dimunition in value. The loss of value to a vehicle after it has been repaired because the vehicle will now sell for less as a previously damaged vehicle. This too is not covered by your policy and should be addressed before you rent. Nearly all current contracts also pass this charge along to the person renting the vehicle.

The above two concerns can usually be taken care of by purchasing the “Loss Damage Waiver” sold by car rental companies. You should check with the rental company when picking up your vehicle. I strongly recommend to my clients that they purchase the Loss Damage Waiver if it will free them from these two gaps in coverage. I realize it is expensive but not nearly as expensive as being charged for 2 weeks or more of a rental vehicle while it is being repaired and you’ve flown home. Remember they have already run your credit card.

Feel free to phone Tony Lucacio at Merrimack Valley Insurance Agency to ask him how to best cover these gaps and others when renting vehicle. Be sure to ask him what happens when you rent a vehicle and you allow your spouse, child, or anyone else to use the rented vehicle. Tony can be contacted at (978)667-2541.

One response to this post.

  1. Hello! Would you mind if I share your blog with my myspace group? There’s a lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content. Please let me know. Thanks


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