Rental car damage

Old Mar 3, 19, 9:03 pm
  #1  
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Rental car damage

I left a rental car in a parking lot, and when I returned, I found a note from someone saying that they accidentally bumped into my rear left bumper w/ a phone number, name, and their license plate information and offered to provide insurance if I call them back. I then took a couple pictures of the damage - the area has a couple of scrape marks and the bumper is cracked open a bit. I do not have a car or auto insurance but do have a Chase Sapphire Reserve card without purchasing LDW and I'm due to return the car tomorrow. I've rented with the HLE location very frequently over the past couple of years so I do know the agents there pretty well but the biggest issue that I've had was that I returned a car with a gas tank that wasn't full and the agents let me off the hook for that one. I also did have an issue with a Hertz rental in Portland 3 years ago where I ran over something and ended up with a flat tire, installed the emergency tire, and swapped the car at PDX but Hertz never billed me for it. Not sure I'll be as lucky this time around, so I'm a bit worried. The car is probably due to exit the fleet because it's at 38K miles - not sure if that plays a role.

Should I let the rental agent know about the damage when I drop off the car? I'll definitely file a claim with Chase if Hertz bills me directly for the damages - not too sure about the person at fault because I haven't even called him yet.

Thanks!

Last edited by ab2013; Mar 3, 19 at 9:22 pm
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Old Mar 3, 19, 9:28 pm
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You're not at fault in the accident so don't bother filing a claim with Chase. Report the accident to the HLE and put down the insurance information from the other person on the vehicle incident report. I would suggest reaching out to the person- at least they were nice enough to leave you a note. Also, make a copy of the note and keep it somewhere safe. There's no reason to try to hide this from Hertz, you're not at fault and everything should be paid for by the other person's insurance
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Old Mar 3, 19, 10:12 pm
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We'd agree with @xeron72 but before you write off your Chase coverage completely, we'd suggest contacting the other party's insurance company to confirm that they plan to pay for the damage and also confirm the same with Hertz. If for any reason the other party's insurance pushes back, you may be on the hook for the damage, and there is a time window in which you have to report it to Chase, and if you miss that deadline, they can refuse to cover it, so best to be 100% certain of everything before forfeiting your rights to a claim. Keep in mind that you can always report it to Chase and then not take advantage of it if the other party's insurance pays up.
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Old Mar 4, 19, 11:27 am
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I would immediately file a claim with Chase, and give them the other party's information -- including a copy of the note that was left. Let Chase's insurer deal with the other insurer.
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Old Mar 4, 19, 1:23 pm
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Filed a claim with Chase before dropping off the car by calling the Benefits administrator line. Iíll submit the other partyís note and insurance info to Chase using the claim form. When I got to the HLE, I had to point out the damage and ended up getting stuck at the location for 45 minutes to complete the incident report because they were so swamped (understaffed).

Lets see how how this plays out. Thanks everyone! Super thankful for the dude who bumped into my bumper for being honest and cooperative. Could have been a hit-and-run. I guess thereís still good left in humanity.
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Old Mar 4, 19, 1:30 pm
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Originally Posted by ab2013 View Post
Filed a claim with Chase before dropping off the car by calling the Benefits administrator line. Iíll submit the other partyís note and insurance info to Chase using the claim form. When I got to the HLE, I had to point out the damage and ended up getting stuck at the location for 45 minutes to complete the incident report because they were so swamped (understaffed).

Lets see how how this plays out. Thanks everyone! Super thankful for the dude who bumped into my bumper for being honest and cooperative. Could have been a hit-and-run. I guess thereís still good left in humanity.
Hope you took several pictures of the damage, as Chase will want those.
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Old Mar 4, 19, 1:37 pm
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Originally Posted by guv1976 View Post
Hope you took several pictures of the damage, as Chase will want those.
Yup! This isnít my first claim with a rental company - had an accident where someone rearended my National rental 5 years ago. The difference was that I was still in college and covered by my parentsí AAA insurance policy because I had a car in college. Funny... now that Iím working full-time, I donít even have a car.
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Old Mar 4, 19, 1:42 pm
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Originally Posted by ab2013 View Post


Yup! This isnít my first claim with a rental company - had an accident where someone rearended my National rental 5 years ago. The difference was that I was still in college and covered by my parentsí AAA insurance policy because I had a car in college. Funny... now that Iím working full-time, I donít even have a car.
OT, but if you don't own a car, what do you do for third-party liability coverage when you rent? Do you buy the SLI from the rental-car company? Have your own non-owned-auto liability policy? Just roll the dice?
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Old Aug 21, 19, 2:28 pm
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Posting in this thread since its probably relevant.

Rented a car from Hertz LAX last week. Returned the car on Monday, and the agent noted scratch damage on the front driver side bumper. Only issue is, there was never an incident - there was no contact with another vehicle, curb, etc....at least not while we were in the car. I didn't even know there was anything until the agent noted it on return. My wife and kids were with me at all times when driving and can verify (well, kids are too young, but my wife can). The agent said they needed to file an incident report, and told me to note that I am denying knowledge of the damage, and that I wasn't in an accident, which I did. Like I said, there wasn't any contact with anything while we were in the car. My only thoughts are a) someone scraped the side of the bumper when we were parked, and left the scene without a note (based on the way the scratches were, and lacking any dent, it feels like any contact was done at very slow speed, and around the curvature of the front, perhaps it was someone turning out of or into a parking spot, or b) the damage was there when I picked up the car, but neither I nor the check out agent noticed. I think it must have been scenario a - I probably would have noticed the damage when I picked up the car, but to be honest, I wasn't checking that closely since my kids (4 and 1) were screaming while we were trying to get going, so we were trying to get going quickly. I imagine in scenario b - the agent at the gate should have noted It also - there were several scratches, so was pretty visible as long as you were looking roughly in the right direction.

I did take a picture (though only 1) while the incident report was being filed. I do have CSR and paid the fees I owed with it, however, Chase is telling me I'm not covered since the whole amount wasn't on the card - I did have a $63+ charge for a car seat and taxes which was on the card. I usually rent directly from Hertz - but this time, used UA miles to cover the rental cost (I know....not the best use, but it was easy at the time, the rental was pretty pricey in cash...and I didn't realize it supposedly invalidate Chase rental coverage - I have filed trip cancelation claims, which only require a portion of the charge to be on the card). I do have personal car insurance which should cover me, but really hesitate to use it unless I have no choice.

Right now, I'm waiting....Hertz says they send this to claims, and they will call me back about 5 days after the car was returned (I assume business days, so that would be Monday). Any idea what happens from there? I did try to call to find out, but they told me I have to wait. I do rent from Hertz maybe 2 - 4 times a year for the last several years, and have never returned a car in a different state than when it was rented out - not sure if that helps, but it also means I am completely new to this kind of thing. I also have a feeling that even though I wasn't in the car at the time of any damage, they are going to say I am responsible (haven't read the full rental agreement in a long time, but I assume that's in there).

Any thoughts as this process plays out, or tips for dealing with Hertz as this process moves forward?

Originally Posted by xeron72 View Post
You're not at fault in the accident so don't bother filing a claim with Chase. Report the accident to the HLE and put down the insurance information from the other person on the vehicle incident report. I would suggest reaching out to the person- at least they were nice enough to leave you a note. Also, make a copy of the note and keep it somewhere safe. There's no reason to try to hide this from Hertz, you're not at fault and everything should be paid for by the other person's insurance
I'd say they were good to leave a note - in my situation above, I didn't get anything from anyone, leaving me wondering where and how this could have happened.
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Old Aug 21, 19, 2:59 pm
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Twice lax agents claimed we caused damage - once windshield chip another some scrape and one other time they charged us for quarter tank of gas. We routinely rent to/from lax as this is covered by corporate rate for a rather short 30 mi ride and the likelihood of us causing damage is low (let alone using quarter tank of gas. They were hostile and dismissive. Of course it is imposdible to take pics or check thoroughly if it is dark outside.

Smth changed in lax management and customer service recently so i would be very cautious with rentals there.
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Old Aug 21, 19, 4:32 pm
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Originally Posted by emcampbe View Post
Posting in this thread since its probably relevant.

...
Somebody probably dinged it while you were parked and didn't leave a note. Unfortunately without someone to blame, the cost is on you, same as it would be if someone did that to your personal car.

Read the terms and conditions for your specific credit card. Some cards will cover flight-related costs if you only charge a portion but rental car coverage is stricter because tens of thousands of dollars are at stake (versus a few hundred for a typical flight).
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Old Aug 21, 19, 6:23 pm
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To be clear, the issue has nothing to do with who caused the damage, it has to do with who is responsible for the damage. That is the renter and it is for the renter to recover from whatever insurance he chooses to purchase in this case.

Not worth getting bothered about whether you or your wife knew of the damage as you are equally responsible if you did know of it, if you caused it or somebody damaged the car when you were not in it.
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Old Aug 21, 19, 7:58 pm
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There seems to be no dispute that the damage was there when the car was returned
As mentioned, it doesn't matter how the damage was caused, you are accountable for any damage found on return that wasn't noted when taking the car 00

At the moment, I would wait and see how much Hertz bills for the damage and itemise what it relates to

If there is a small scratch and it claims several days loss of use cost, that can be challenged

If you have coverage that will help you ( e.g. insurance or a rental car cover ) I would contact it in regards to making a claim

You may well not be responsible, but you are accountable for the damage
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Old Aug 22, 19, 3:18 pm
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The comments above are missing the point - OP didnít notice it to be large enough to be considered damage but rather just wear and tear whereas the Hertz agent believes it to be significant enough to be damage. Thatís the bottom line - not whether heís liable or not.
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Old Aug 22, 19, 3:52 pm
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Originally Posted by jim32190 View Post
The comments above are missing the point - OP didn’t notice it to be large enough to be considered damage but rather just wear and tear whereas the Hertz agent believes it to be significant enough to be damage. That’s the bottom line - not whether he’s liable or not.
scaratches are not wear and tear, but damage


The OP stated " I probably would have noticed the damage when I picked up the car, but to be honest, I wasn't checking that closely " - that also suggests that the damage wasn't there at time of pickup and was noticeable damage
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Last edited by Dave Noble; Aug 22, 19 at 3:58 pm
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