OT - When does a rental car become a stolen vehicle?

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DerbyDad03 wrote:

It's entirely possible I mis-read it. I got the feeling you were possibly not going to list them to save a few hundred bucks, and was feeling the group out for what might happen.
Peace, ~G
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I would not buy into what either of the experts you have spoken to about this issue, there are too many variables which change when you cross state lines...
Your rental agent is correct in that the PRIMARY policy holder is covered when operating a rental vehicle, that coverage does not always extend to additional insureds designated for specific vehicles under a policy... This is where you need to cover yourself and figure out how that works in the states you are going to travel through...
Your insurance agent is correct on the contract law issue, without disclosing who is going to be operating a rental vehicle on the contract, which becomes the vehicle registration document during your authorized use of the rental, if you were in an accident and the operator was not listed on that contract as an authorized operator by the rental agency (the owner of the vehicle) then you may have an operator who is in trouble for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle...
The rental company has lots of insurance on its fleet of vehicles so it is covered, however if you breach the terms of the rental agreement you would not be covered nor would your auto insurer pay out any claims for your violation of the terms of the rental contract... Expect a lawsuit for any damages caused by your allowing an operator not listed on the rental contract driving the rental vehicle and getting into an accident while behind the wheel plus any allowable damages for the breach of the contract under the state law where the rental took place, or in the state where the rental company is headquartered (there will be fine print somewhere on the contract which specifies the jurisdiction of the court which will settle all disputes which you agree to by entering into and signing the contract)...
Insurance policies which cover any operator for any vehicle are quite expensive and you would know it for sure if you had one of those in effect...
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FWIW - a number of years ago before there was the embedded GPS tracking, my daughter rented a car for a week and wrote that she was driving to the beach. We live in Central Connecticut so the beach is an hours drive away. However, she drove to Myrtle Beach, SC and when she returned the car with a couple of thousand miles on it they asked her that she wrote she was going to the beach. She replied "I did go to the beach. But you didn't ask me which one."
So there you have it - drat those gps trackers...
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That's a good point and an important one. Derby should make sure his policy actually covers the other drivers in his family. I know for example that a son in my household would be covered while driving MY insured car. But I have no idea if they would be covered if they were driving a car I rented.
This is

That would seem to depend only on the policy Derby has and what it covers. If it covers his son while driving a car Derby rents in NJ, I don't see it changing if Derby rents a car in MD.

In doubt the laws for unauthorized use would apply and I've never heard of any such crazy case being brought.

Not covered by what? His own insurance company? His own insurance company gave him an answer that was not a clear "no coverage", so how could you know what they will or will not cover? Suppose I breech the terms of the rental agreement by smoking in the car. Does that give my insurance company the right to deny a claim?

What would such a claim for violation even be?
>Expect

There isn't a schedule of allowable damages by state. In a contracts case it's up to the plaintiff to PROVE their damages from the breech. And I don't see the rental company having any damages period. Derby MIGHT be responsible himself for the damages his son causes to someone he hits if his insurance company denies the claim. But what loss exactly does the rental company have?

Derby apparently believes he does. Perhaps he can tell us more.
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On i, July 20, 2012 10:32:49 PM UTC-4, snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

Keep in mind who you are responding to. That's Evan that posted that.
My policy, which is nothing special and certainly not expensive, covers exactly what I said it covers in my OP.
It covers the 2 vehicles listed on the policy. It covers any driver that I authorize to drive either of those vehicles. It extends to coverage of rental vehicles. Since it extends to rental vehicles, it automatically extends to any driver that I authorize to drive the rental.
I called my Ins Co and verified that.
At issue is the status of operators that are not authorized to drive the vehicle per the rental contract.
I have no problem believing both the Ins Co and the rental agency when they tell me that there may be legal problems with the coverage should an unauthorized driver get in an accident.
I can certainly see a "loophole", or whatever you want to call it, where even though any driver that I authorize to drive any covered vehicle would be covered, I may not have the right to authorize drivers to drive the rental. If only the rental company can authorize additional operators, then the Ins Co could refuse to cover a driver that is not listed on the contract.
Maybe the car wouldn't be considered stolen, but there is obviously a reason why the Ins Co says to make sure that all drivers are listed on the contract. It can't be monetary because not only don't they make any money when the drivers are listed, they are actually putting themselves "at risk" since they are telling me to do something that could end up costing them money.
My only assumption is that they really want to protect me, their customer, by making sure that I don't get myself in trouble from a legal non-coverage perspective.
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Good enough for me.

And we had one example so far of what potentially could happen. That being an unauthorized driver could be stopped by the cops during a traffic stop or accident and unable to show a rental agreement with their name on it, they might wind up having the car impounded, detained, etc.
Other than that, as I can't see any other material legal risk that you would be at. Also, consider that the contract the rental company uses is the same whether you take out optional insurance with them or not. Now,if you did take out THEIR insurance and then allowed an unauthorized person to drive the car, then I think we can all see the clear legal risk, in that the rental company then would have a good and valid reason to say the insurance did not cover them.
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On Fri, 20 Jul 2012 20:25:20 -0700 (PDT), DerbyDad03

authorize to drive either of those vehicles. It extends to coverage of rental vehicles. Since it extends to rental vehicles, it automatically extends to any driver that I authorize to drive the rental.

tell me that there may be legal problems with the coverage should an unauthorized driver get in an accident.

though any driver that I authorize to drive any covered vehicle would be covered, I may not have the right to authorize drivers to drive the rental. If only the rental company can authorize additional operators, then the Ins Co could refuse to cover a driver that is not listed on the contract.

why the Ins Co says to make sure that all drivers are listed on the contract. It can't be monetary because not only don't they make any money when the drivers are listed, they are actually putting themselves "at risk" since they are telling me to do something that could end up costing them money.

making sure that I don't get myself in trouble from a legal non-coverage perspective. You need to LIST the drivers. You do not need to insure them. You do NOT want ANY of their insurance, or your "non-ownwd vehicle" insurance does NOT cover you. You need to REFUSE their extended coverage.
In most cases, at least "up here" there is no extra charge for an additional listed driver over 25 if you are not buying insurance. Not sure about under 25, as I have not been in tha position for quite a few years - kids both grown up.
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You need to stop telling things that I already know.
No where in this thread is there any indication that I am buying the insurance from the rental agency. This whole thread has only been about the question of whether or not *my* insurance company will cover an operator that is not listed on the rental contract.
I'll repeat what I said in my OP: *My* insurance company has told me that from a policy perspective, all operators would be covered but that there might be *legal* ramifications related to that coverage if the drivers are not listed on the rental contract. Those (unspecified) legal ramifications may render the coverage from *my* insurance company void.
That's why I say that my insurance company is protecting me by telling me to:
1 - Refuse the rental agency insurance coverage since I'm covered through them. 2 - Make sure all drivers are listed so that there will be no "legal" problems with my insurance company covering an incident.

As noted earlier in this thread, there is a charge from the rental agency ($3) for each additional operator, regardless of age. There is an additional charge of $15 for operators between 20 and 24, $41 for operators under 20.
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On Sat, 21 Jul 2012 15:55:02 +0000 (UTC), DerbyDad03

OK. Not to be ignorant or anything, but what's your question? Register all drivers 25 or older with the rental company, and no drivers under 25 get the keys. Simple.
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There never really was a question. I was simply pointing out what I was told by my Ins Co and the rental agency regarding coverage for authorized vs. non-authorized drivers as a means to start what I knew would be a lively discussion.
Who I choose to list and pay for is totally up to me and not really related to this discussion.
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OK OK OK
Here is another thing to watch out for...
As you said, your personal car insurance will cover the rental car...but beware, most of us have a pretty high deducible on our personal auto insurance policies and if we get a scratch on our personal car, we don't file a claim and we don't care.
But... if you get a SCRATCH on the rental car, they DO CARE and the cost to repair can be $300 and fall under the deductible, so YOU are on the hook for it.
However, many credit cards, such as Visa, will pick up the tab for this. Check your credit card rules, otherwise get the CDW.
and the way they make bumpers these days, all you have to do is tap the bumper and it will have a $300 scratch.
I just went through this..
Mark
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So say you have a $500 deductible. Let's say your credit card doesn't offer protection. You think it's a good idea to pay the outrageous CDW every time you rent a car, just on the chance that one day you MIGHT be out $500?
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Bullshit... Period...
Since you are not the legal owner of any rental vehicle you lack legal authority to choose who can and can not use it... Period...
Contract law governs the rest, IF you breach the terms of the rental agreement by allowing anyone other than the users listed on the contract by the rental company THEN your insurer is not legally required to pay for your fraudulent and unauthorized use of the vehicle... It is NOT yours, you do not own it like you do your specifically identified and covered vehicles listed on your auto policy...
That seems to be where your disconnect is...
Your car = you can decide who can drive it under the terms and limitations of your insurance policy...
Rental car = you have no legal authority beyond the use of the car within the terms of the contract, your insurance will not magically pay out on a claim for a driver who is not listed on the rental contract even if that person is covered to operate vehicles which you own because their operation of the rental was in breach of the terms of the rental contract...
The rental contract has to list the authorized operators as well as the insurance information so that you have that contract as a "registration document" and "proof of insurance" for those allowed to use the vehicle on your possession and in the vehicle at all times during your use...
Lose that contract and in addition to "unauthorized use of a motor vehicle" you would also be operating a vehicle "unregistered/uninsured" as you have nothing in your possession or in the car which states that you have authority to operate the vehicle in your possession nor that you have any documents indicating proper insurance coverage...
As far as your insurance policy coverage extending to anyone and everyone you desire, no way, a casual user who drives your car once or twice in a year is one thing, but you can not allow someone regular use of your vehicle without providing their information to your insurance provider and that can effect the price of your policy...
Again, you would know it if you had a fleet vehicle policy where the listing of specifically approved users for each covered vehicle would be impractical as the patterns of use change daily and authority is granted by one's status as an employee with a valid driver's license and clean driver's history... Those cost a lot of money, you would know it for sure if you had such a policy...
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On Sat, 21 Jul 2012 18:02:02 -0700 (PDT), Evan

authorize to drive either of those vehicles. It extends to coverage of rental vehicles. Since it extends to rental vehicles, it automatically extends to any driver that I authorize to drive the rental.

tell me that there may be legal problems with the coverage should an unauthorized driver get in an accident.

though any driver that I authorize to drive any covered vehicle would be covered, I may not have the right to authorize drivers to drive the rental. If only the rental company can authorize additional operators, then the Ins Co could refuse to cover a driver that is not listed on the contract.

why the Ins Co says to make sure that all drivers are listed on the contract. It can't be monetary because not only don't they make any money when the drivers are listed, they are actually putting themselves "at risk" since they are telling me to do something that could end up costing them money.

making sure that I don't get myself in trouble from a legal non-coverage perspective.

We lent my daughter's boyfriend our "extra" vehicle for a couple of weeks after his car was stolen, and his rental coverage was used up waiting for setlement. When it stretched out to a month we added him as primary driver on that vehicle - for $189 per year. (it's coming up 4 months now - still no settlement)
Fleet policy is not required for 3 vehicles and 4 or 5 drivers if they are part of a single household or family - and "fleet" doesn't necessarily cover a rental or "unowned vehicle". And a "casual" driver does not need to be listed on the policy - you CAN lend your car to your neighbour or friend for a day without having them added to your policy.
At least in Ontario - I cannot speak for USA or elsewhere.

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Oh, really? Where is that written in the law? Answer, it's not. It might be written in an insurance policy, but since you don't have Derby's policy, how the hell would you know? Oh, I know, as usual, you know everything. And that which you're not sure of, well you just make up.

I'd say you're the one disconnected here.

You know this for a fact right? You don't even know who the insurance company Derby has is. How could you know what the policy does or does not say?

BS. I've rented cars for decades. And not one of them asked me for proof of insurance or even who my insurance company is. They only ask if you want THEIR additional insurance. They even rent cars to folks who don't own a car themselves, so of course they don't have car insurance. Think people living in NYC who rent cars for a weekend trip.

That's pure BS. I can throw the rental agreement out the window and it doesn't make the use "unauthorized". Why do you make this stuff up?

Again, not having the document doesn't make the car unregistered or uninsured. It is registered with the DMV in the state that issued the plates. It is insured, by your own personal auto policy and by insurance from the rental company. The MOST they might have here is some minor ticket for not having proper documents.

And as usual, now we're off into space, talking about fleet policies. Does Derby have a fleet?
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wrote:

Once you violate the terms of the contract (by allowing an non-listed driver to operate it) the vehicle is not covered by any of your own supplemental insurance from your own policy because you allowed it to be used in an improper way in breach of the covenant of agreement for its use known as the rental contract... Your insurer can drop your coverage for issues like that because your choice to breach a contract or law was willful and not considered "normally acceptable use"... Just the same way your insurer can cancel your policy or refuse to pay out on claims if you operate your own vehicles with expired registration tags or an invalid inspection sticker because both of those conditions are not legal uses of the vehicle under just about every motor vehicle law in every state on public roadways...
It is not a "claim for violation of the contract" it is ANY claim made, as the instant you breach the contract you VOID your supposed insurance coverages...
What losses does the rental company have if a non-listed non-authorized driver gets into an accident with one of their vehicles ? Umm... The rental income which that vehicle would bring in from other renters using it during the duration of the repairs and any impoundment by authorities during an investigation... That has a value to it that the unauthorized use and subsequent damage has deprived the rental company of and due to your willful breach of contract that is but one of the "losses" you have caused the rental company...
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DerbyDad03 wrote:

I call BS on the "stolen car" silliness.
Your lawyer: "Did my client give you money?" Car rental company: "Yes" Your lawyer: "And did you give him the keys to the car?" Car guy: "Yes" Your lawyer: "Did you wave goodbye as he drove from your lot?" Car guy: "Yes" Your lawyer: "Did you immediately or any time thereafter report a stolen car?" Car guy: "No" Your lawyer: "Isn't it the case that you're raising this business about the car now being stolen in a futile attempt to weasel out of a monetary loss?" Car guy: "Well... I wouldn't put it exactly that way..."
If the original written contract is deemed void, we then have a verbal contract in which nothing is said about insurance or the price of rice in China.
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What monetary loss? The $25 extra for the additional driver? I agree with what you're saying though. I don't see the whole stolen car nonsense going anywhere.


I don't even see the whole contract being voided. That wouldn't make sense for either party. Certain parts of it might be void.
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snipped-for-privacy@optonline.net wrote:

The suit filed against the car company by the relatives of the 13 illegal Mexicans who died when the station wagon they were in exploded after being tapped by the rental car driver. Then there is the mental anguish suffered by five people who witnessed the accident as they were standing on the curb waiting for the light to change. They saw legs and entrails and bones and hair and livers and sinews and other stuff flying through the air. They have not yet brought suit, or even contacted a lawyer, inasmuch as they have been under heavy sedation for the last four months.
Plus repairing the scratch on the left rear fender of the station wagon. That particular part of the car was found about thirty feet from the explosion, on the window ledge of a second floor apartment. Fortunately, the apartment owner's cat, who was sunning himself at the time just inside the window, suffered no physical injury, but has severe psychological problems from the event. The cat, regrettably, and unlike the five bystanders, can probably not expect any monetary relief no matter whom is eventually found culpable.

You're right. Contracts such as this almost always contain a severability clause.
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Everything you listed can happen with or without the extra driver being listed on the rental contract. And whether the driver was listed or not, unless the renter took out insurance with the rental car company their position is going to be the same. You or someone you let drive the car wrecked it and killed the other people. You, the renter are responsible to us for the cost of the car and we the rental company are not responsible for the damages to the other parties. So, again, I don't see any monetary loss to the rental company that is different because the renter did not add the additional driver.
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