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Old Aug 9, 11, 9:50 pm   #1
awd
 
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Liability insurance on Rental Car in California

I rented a car at LAX at the weekend intending to use my own liability insurance. However I did not take a copy of my own policy with me.

The counter agent insisted that it would be illegal for me to drive the car unless I bought the their liability insurance since I would have no proof of insurance if I was stopped by police.

Is this correct or was I scammed ?

I know that the rental car companies do not provide any liability insurance in California but even after I bought their insurance I still had no explicit proof of insurance only an unclear entry on the rental agreement.

I noticed that their was 'a certificate of self insurance' in the glove box.

In the past I have rented without carrying my own insurance policy - was that not allowed?
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Old Aug 9, 11, 10:09 pm   #2
 
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Sounds shady to me. I'm an insurance agent in California. Credit card should have sufficed. You shouldn't need to show proof of insurance at the rental counter.
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Old Aug 9, 11, 10:16 pm   #3
 
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I think you were scammed. it is my understanding that Rental car companies in California are not allowed to require proof of insurance. I would follow up with a complaint to the rental company you were dealing with requesting a reimbursement of what you were charged, and put a CC in to the California Attorney General, they sued Fox rent a car over similar issues in the past. What was the company that you were dealing with?

Quote:
Originally Posted by awd View Post
I rented a car at LAX at the weekend intending to use my own liability insurance. However I did not take a copy of my own policy with me.

The counter agent insisted that it would be illegal for me to drive the car unless I bought the their liability insurance since I would have no proof of insurance if I was stopped by police.

Is this correct or was I scammed ?

I know that the rental car companies do not provide any liability insurance in California but even after I bought their insurance I still had no explicit proof of insurance only an unclear entry on the rental agreement.

I noticed that their was 'a certificate of self insurance' in the glove box.

In the past I have rented without carrying my own insurance policy - was that not allowed?
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Old Aug 9, 11, 10:16 pm   #4
 
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Was it a major rental company? Some small companies would not rent you without a proof of liability. I experienced this in San Diego with Midway Car Rental.
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Old Aug 9, 11, 10:17 pm   #5
awd
 
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He never actually asked to see my proof of insurance.

He just said that it would be illegal to drive the car if I didn't have it. I could have just lied and said that I had but that didn't seem a good idea if he was actually correct.
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Old Aug 9, 11, 10:25 pm   #6
 
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Well it is my understanding from what i have read of California law that it is illegal to require proof of insurance, whether insinuating that if you don't have the proof on you that you may be breaking the law, and using that to get you to buy insurance is illegal is questionable, my guess from what i read is that what he did is probably illegal. What was the company?

Quote:
Originally Posted by awd View Post
He never actually asked to see my proof of insurance.

He just said that it would be illegal to drive the car if I didn't have it. I could have just lied and said that I had but that didn't seem a good idea if he was actually correct.
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Old Aug 9, 11, 10:34 pm   #7
awd
 
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This was with Advantage
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Old Aug 9, 11, 10:40 pm   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by awd View Post
This was with Advantage
I have rented with them at LAX, and haven't experienced that before, My guess is that an overly aggressive agent trying to meet his quotas through questionable practices. Like I said above I would follow up with a complaint and CC the CA AG, that should get there attention.
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Old Aug 9, 11, 11:31 pm   #9
awd
 
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I have sent a complaint to Advantage and will see how they respond.
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Old Aug 10, 11, 1:31 am   #10
 
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It is against California State law for them to rent a car to you unless they provide minimum liability insurance. Most car rental places self insure state mandated minimum liability.

IMO Scam for sure on the part of the counter person. I'm sure there must be some kind of commission or quota for up selling additional coverage involved.
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Old Aug 10, 11, 3:36 pm   #11
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Agree it was a scam. They can post a bond instead of having the insurance, but the effect as far as the renter is concerned is the same.
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Old Aug 12, 11, 9:36 pm   #12
 
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Interesting thread.

What happens in California if you are pulled over by a policeman/highway patrol in a rental car for an infraction or an accident and you are asked for registration and proof of insurance?

Your contract should prove ownership (the rental agency) and if you took out insurance, it will show on the contract. But if you declined, how do you meet the state's requirement of being able to show proof of insurance?
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Old Aug 14, 11, 10:40 am   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FrAAmer View Post
Interesting thread.

What happens in California if you are pulled over by a policeman/highway patrol in a rental car for an infraction or an accident and you are asked for registration and proof of insurance?

Your contract should prove ownership (the rental agency) and if you took out insurance, it will show on the contract. But if you declined, how do you meet the state's requirement of being able to show proof of insurance?
You establish that it's a rental car by showing your contract and that's all they need, even if the "additional liability" is denied.
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Old Aug 15, 11, 12:43 am   #14
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Just finished my LAX 11 night stint..

Picked up rental vehicle and the guy at the counter says.. I should buy additional insurance for peace of mind..

I have 2 vehicles with rental vehicle insurance on it.. and I've got 3 ccs with extra protection.. These guys must be on commission or something.. because the counter agent was relentless.. almost made me question whether I had appropriate insurance or not..
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Old Aug 15, 11, 2:54 pm   #15
 
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Originally Posted by Ancien Maestro View Post
Picked up rental vehicle and the guy at the counter says.. I should buy additional insurance for peace of mind..

I have 2 vehicles with rental vehicle insurance on it.. and I've got 3 ccs with extra protection..
I fully appreciate your position; however, others may be differently situated.

In California, rental car companies provide only the minimum legally required liability insurance, which is 15/30/5. That translates to $15,000 for bodily injury, with a maximum of $30,000 per accident with multiple victims, and $5,000 in property damage. That is grossly inadequate.

A renter who has no primary or secondary auto insurance who gets into an accident where the damages exceed the rental company provided liability coverage may end up suing the rental company for not properly warning him or her about the need to be properly insured.
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