Thursday, November 19, 2015

Rental Car Disclosures and Coverage

This Thanksgiving, many will rent cars to travel to their destinations. Seasoned car renters know and understand the coverage options and their limits. For those who rarely rent, call your insurance company first to see the type of coverage you may have under your policy. Also check to see what drivers are covered under that policy. If you decide to use the rental company's insurance, don't put that coverage at risk by failing to make key disclosures.

1. If asked, disclose what states you intend to travel. This is especially true if you intend to drive the car to or through New York. Some rental locations specifically prohibit renters from driving in New York.
2. On the rental form, disclose the identity of all drivers you intend to grant permission to operate the vehicle. More importantly, don't deviate from that list throughout your visit. If an unauthorized driver is involved in an accident, you and the driver may be left with no coverage and be held liable for the car and any injuries that resulted from the accident.

So, throwing the car keys at your nephew to go shopping on Thanksgiving or Black Friday is nice when you have your own car, but it's a liability risk when you have a rental. Just explain this to those who want to use the car and move on to something else like how horrible the Cowboys are this season or what you intend to buy on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.