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Hail damage to rental car

Wichita, Kansas
1 post
1 review
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Hail damage to rental car

I turned in a rental car on June 7 2012 in Wichita KS that I used for 3 weeks due to a car accident on my car. The day after I turned it it they called and said there was hail damage and I would be responsible for it. I went over to look at it because I did not notice any damage when I turned it in. All I could see was three small dents on the roof. The agent said there were a lot on the hood and trunk. I couldn't tell by looking. He said they use a special light to examine the car. This light was not made available to me when I rented the car!!! I filled out paperwork to sent into my insurance company. I later received a bill for $1500! which includes an "admin" fee of $100!! My insurance will cover the damage after my deductable of $1000. What are my options? I already checked with my credit card and since it was not used to pay for the rental..no luck.

Saint Paul...
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574 posts
4 reviews
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1. Re: Hail damage to rental car

I would suggest asking on the web site linked below Its primary focus is on frequent flyer programs but there are also robust discussions regarding car rental programs, hotels, etc. Someone there will surely have sage advise.

http://www.flyertalk.com/forum/index.php

Minneapolis
Destination Expert
for Minneapolis
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3,831 posts
21 reviews
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2. Re: Hail damage to rental car

At what point did you drive from Witchata Kansas to Minneapolis, Minnesota ?

I'm confused.

Fish Creek...
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998 posts
67 reviews
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3. Re: Hail damage to rental car

Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your situation is the result of a series of decisions made by you.

1) You did not note any pre-existing damage prior to taking possession of the vehicle

2) You did not buy full rental coverage at the time of the rental

3) You did not use a charge card that would have offered rental car coverage

4) You have chosen a personal auto policy with a $1000 deductible

Since the car was damaged while in your possession you are responsible for any losses exceeding your chosen insurance limits, in this case, $1000.

To eliminate this problem in the future reduce your risk prior to rental.

Always inspect the car

Always use a charge card with rental coverage or buy the insurance.

Everett, Washington
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2,399 posts
53 reviews
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4. Re: Hail damage to rental car

Minneapolis, Kansas - North of Salina (which is north of Wichata) perhaps?

Minneapolis...
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217 posts
11 reviews
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5. Re: Hail damage to rental car

Were you in a hail storm with the car? If not, I'd try to prove it. if you were, than pay the money.

Dallas, Texas
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882 posts
91 reviews
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6. Re: Hail damage to rental car

The first question is - was the car in hail while you had it? If yes, then I might have to agree with sailingfan, damage was caused in your care and likely the rental agreement spells out your responsibilities for the vehicle (which you'll have to grab a cup of coffee to take time and read in all its boring detail).

If no, then in spite of points 2, 3, & 4 by sailingfan the reality is you likely noted only damage you could reasonably see at the time of rental with the training and equipment available to you as a consumer. I'm not a lawyer but my first guess is you are held responsible to damages you can reasonably see as a consumer, not damages that require special training or equipment to detect (if it exists).

I think your strongest points would be:

1) Can you offer reasonable proof of where the car was during the three weeks you rented it? If you stayed local and can show it (i.e. show paystubs showing you went to work for the three weeks), you can match that to weather reports that would be easily obtainable online. You could further show the mileage used on the vehicle to demonstrate, with paystubs and such, that it is unlikely you drove the car any long distances off worktime to a "hail area". If you can reasonably show the car was never in a hail area (and they are claiming it's hail damage) it would seem more difficult to continue their claim

2) This "special light" supposed being used. I won't say it doesn't exist, but I've never heard of such a thing. If the asserted damage can only be detected with a "special light" does it really exist? Did they offer to pull out the light and show you the damage? You mention they also didn't offer to use the light prior to renting...do they have written records of using the light on the vehicle PRIOR to your renting it to demonstrate the damage wasn't there before you rented the vehicle? If not, it seems they will have a hard time proving the damage was caused by you. I would also talk with your insurance agent about these questions - I can't imagine your insurance wants to pay out, especially if the claim is dubious or cannot be conclusively demonstrated to be caused by you.

Edited: 28 July 2012, 19:42
7. Re: Hail damage to rental car

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Removed on: 12 August 2013, 10:16