1. Hi Guest, welcome to the help forum. You can get fast answers to your customer service questions here. We have a dedicated team of advocates who are ready to help. Just go to the section that matches your question and ask us!
    Dismiss Notice
  2. If you've posted a question or issue for our advocates to assist with, please be sure to check back frequently for responses and requests for clarification.
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Did you know you can get email notifications when something new posts to your favorite forum? It's easy. Just click the "watch" link right next to the "post new thread" button at the top of your favorite forum. The rest is easy. Now you'll never miss another conversation.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Want to become an expert user? Drop by the How to use this forum section and all will be revealed. We'll show you how to make the most of your experience.
    Dismiss Notice

Enterprise Rent-A-Car Third Party Liability

Discussion in 'Car rentals' started by gupsol, Nov 30, 2017.

  1. gupsol

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2017
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hi all,

    I rented a car from Enterprise in summer of this year in Colorado. I do not own a car and thus did not carry liability insurance at the time, but I declined purchasing SLP, also known as "Supplemental Liability Protection" This, as I have since learned, is considered by many to be a very stupid move and I whole-heartedly agree as I later got into a minor accident and was found at fault. My belief at the time was that minimum liability is included in the rental price, a belief that I still have a bit of trouble shaking even after doing much research afterwards.

    I've read numerous threads, both on this site and on others, about whether minimum third-party liability is included in the price for rental cars in the US - but I've yet to find a conclusive answer. Some seemingly authoritative sites, such as the Insurance Institute of America, seem to say it is included: "By law, rental companies must provide the state required minimum amount of liability insurance coverage—often this does not provide enough protection." Even the following piece by Chris Elliott, in mind at least, suggests the same: "I checked with the other car rental companies, and that policy — that [liability] coverage is optional — is an industry standard in the United States." I've concluded that it is definitely included for some states (NY), and probably not for others (i.e. California), but I can't seem to find much information on CO. What can I do?

    Enterprise apparently settled the claim and has now requested payment from me. The amount is far below the state mandated minimum, but nonetheless a sizable amount. Thus, I'd like to ask: (1) how can I ascertain whether Enterprise is required to provided minimum liability protection, (2) is it appropriate to ask for a breakdown of the cost, and (3) if they have settled the claim, can there still be any outstanding liability?

    Thanks all,

    HG
     
    #1
  2. Realitoes

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2015
    Messages:
    1,043
    Likes Received:
    1,282
    Liability only covers the damage/medical cost of the other person.

    Are you sure they are not trying to collect for the damages to your rental vehicle? If you didn't have insurance (or coverage via your credit card), you would need to have purchase the rental agencies Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) for coverage
     
    #2
  3. sas80

    Staff Member Advocate

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2016
    Messages:
    2,312
    Likes Received:
    2,613
    1) Consult an attorney
    2) appropriate, yes. They will not give it to you willingly, you will have to be a splinter under their fingernail and they will try to shut you up with the threat of collections.
    3) If/When you pay them, you need to write "final payment, agreed amount in re damage incident 12345789" on the check (ask the attorney for the correct verbiage)
     
    #3
  4. gupsol

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2017
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    It is for third party damages and not the car; though a bit of work, my credit card covered the collision costs. I found Enterprise's DRU staff to be very nice throughout this process.

     
    #4
    Neil likes this.
  5. gupsol

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2017
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thanks for the advice sas80.

    Re your first point: I actually consulted an attorney - while he initially sided with me, he eventually came back and told me the law didn't require it in Colorado, but could not provide me with any specific part of the law when I pressed him. Indeed, CO law seems to not make much mention of rental cars. This is what leaves me a bit confused - I guess I may go consult a few others then.

    Re your third point: Sorry for the confusion - I mean whether the third party may file another suit down the road.
     
    #5
  6. CCGormand

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2015
    Messages:
    76
    Likes Received:
    172
    The questions you need answered by an attorney are:
    • Can Enterprise or its insurer lawfully pursue you to gain reimbursement for money they spent settling the case?(I would guess that they can and will.)
    • Can the victim pursue you in the future for any further payout beyond what Enterprise paid? (I have no idea.)
    If the attorney can't give you a clear answer, he or she should help you find someone who can. For my state(not Col.) no law says that the rental company's liability policy must cover the renter at all. Even if the rental company's insurance pays the victim, the renter or his liability insurance is ultimately held responsible for paying them back.
     
    #6
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  7. Its Not Me

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2017
    Messages:
    19
    Likes Received:
    32
    Here we have separate interests:

    a) Colorado law requires that a vehicle owner is ultimately responsible for damage caused by a vehicle. Thus - if you beg or borrow a vehicle, or rent one, the vehicle owner is ultimately responsible for damage to third parties.

    b) if you get into an accident or injure someone or damage something owned by someone else, and you are negligent [meaning its your fault] then you are liable in damages to that person.

    c) you have a contract with the car rental company. That contract probably contains an indemnity clause - which means you promise to repay them for any damage you do to their vehicle, or to repay them for any losses you cause them to incur.

    The claim against you falls into one of the three buckets above - or all of them - or any of them.

    You are confusing the 'minimum liability coverage' that ANY operator of a motor vehicle must have in order to operate a vehicle, with your personal liability for damaging someone else's property.

    The car rental company was insured for its interest. It owned the vehicle - it has insurance to cover claims against it. Then it has a clause against you which it is trying to collect for the contract and tort liability for being at fault. Unless YOU have insurance naming YOU as the insured, you are self-insured and need to pay the money. You prob also broke the law and can be cited for operating a motor vehicle without liability insurance.
     
    #7
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
    Neil likes this.
  8. Neil

    Neil Moderator
    Staff Member Advocate

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2014
    Messages:
    9,851
    Likes Received:
    10,250
    You prob also broke the law and can be cited for operating a motor vehicle without liability insurance.

    Good point- never thought about that!
     
    #8

Share This Page