Can a car rental agency demand to use it's choice of body shop after ccrash?

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Sep 22, 2015
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#1
does anyone know this: If a rental car is damaged in a crash, can the renter demend to have their choice of body shop and pay it out of pocket if they so choose (rather than their insurance)?
 
Jun 24, 2019
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#2
See my answer elsewhere. Your question assumes that this is not covered by the rental agreement. In any event, I would guess that if it is not covered by the rental agreement, the owner (i.e., the rental agency) gets to choose.
 
Jun 24, 2019
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#4
Likes: calihankl
Jun 12, 2019
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#5
Dand hit it on the head regarding anti-steering laws. I will add that large rental company are self insured and will not go through an insurance company. They will have a shop that they always use and send a bill to your insurance company/credit card company or you. The insurance company may decide if the repair hours, replacement decision or labor hours are out of line and attempt to negotiate with the rental company but usually the estimate is in line with industry norms. They would pad the bill with loss of use, administrative fees and possibly diminished value that may or not get paid. Trying to deal with this outside of insurance would be difficult and the rental company is under no obligation to do so. How bad is the damages by the way and is it your fault? You may want to check your credit card to see if they offer excess collision coverage to lessen the burden.
 
Likes: VoR61

weihlac

Verified Member
Jun 30, 2017
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#6
does anyone know this: If a rental car is damaged in a crash, can the renter demand to have their choice of the body shop and pay it out of pocket if they so choose (rather than their insurance)?
You can try to negotiate to pay out of pocket but the rental agency owns the car, not you, and they decide where it is repaired. You do not have to make a claim on your insurance if you pay out of pocket, however.
 
Sep 22, 2015
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#7
Dand hit it on the head regarding anti-steering laws. I will add that large rental company are self insured and will not go through an insurance company. They will have a shop that they always use and send a bill to your insurance company/credit card company or you. The insurance company may decide if the repair hours, replacement decision or labor hours are out of line and attempt to negotiate with the rental company but usually the estimate is in line with industry norms. They would pad the bill with loss of use, administrative fees and possibly diminished value that may or not get paid. Trying to deal with this outside of insurance would be difficult and the rental company is under no obligation to do so. How bad is the damages by the way and is it your fault? You may want to check your credit card to see if they offer excess collision coverage to lessen the burden.
I guess I should have said that this is a hypothetical question.
In Minnesota the insured has their choice of repair shop. So, if I were to want to use my insurance for repairs, that would seem to indicate that it it would be my choice of repair shop, not the vehicle's owner (the rental co,) Mae any sense?
 
Mar 14, 2018
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#8
I guess I should have said that this is a hypothetical question.
In Minnesota the insured has their choice of repair shop. So, if I were to want to use my insurance for repairs, that would seem to indicate that it it would be my choice of repair shop, not the vehicle's owner (the rental co,) Mae any sense?
That's not quite what the law says. Minnesota doesn't allow insurance companies to restrict where a car is repaired. It doesn't prevent the car's owner from choosing where the car will be serviced.

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/72A.201
 
Likes: VoR61
Sep 22, 2015
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#9
That's not quite what the law says. Minnesota doesn't allow insurance companies to restrict where a car is repaired. It doesn't prevent the car's owner from choosing where the car will be serviced.

https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/cite/72A.201
Good point, however, the language in the statute consistently refers to the "the insured", not "the owner". So, if it is the renter's insurance that is being used that would seem to give the renter (the insured) the choice.
 
Jun 24, 2019
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#10
Good point, however, the language in the statute consistently refers to the "the insured", not "the owner". So, if it is the renter's insurance that is being used that would seem to give the renter (the insured) the choice.
First, you are apparently asking for legal advice, which this forum does not provide.

Second, the statute requires a specific disclosure which illuminates the issue: "You have the legal right to choose a repair shop to fix your vehicle. Your policy will cover the reasonable costs of repairing your vehicle to its pre-accident condition no matter where you have repairs made. Have you selected a repair shop or would you like a referral?"

As a renter of a car from a rental agency, we are not dealing with "your vehicle." The vehicle is owned by the rental agency.
 
Sep 22, 2015
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#11
First, you are apparently asking for legal advice, which this forum does not provide.

Second, the statute requires a specific disclosure which illuminates the issue: "You have the legal right to choose a repair shop to fix your vehicle. Your policy will cover the reasonable costs of repairing your vehicle to its pre-accident condition no matter where you have repairs made. Have you selected a repair shop or would you like a referral?"

As a renter of a car from a rental agency, we are not dealing with "your vehicle." The vehicle is owned by the rental agency.
I stated in my second post that this was a hypothetical question. I am NOT seeking legal advice Your point, however, about the phrase "your vehicle" is well taken
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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#12
I stated in my second post that this was a hypothetical question. I am NOT seeking legal advice Your point, however, about the phrase "your vehicle" is well taken
The details you want are just not something we can answer, whether it is a hypothetical question or an actual question. Our advice would be to contact a lawyer.
 

Dwayne Coward

Administrator
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Director
Apr 13, 2016
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#13
We have actually had a case or two where the rental agency didn't repair the vehicle, but sold it and required the renter to pay the difference between what it sold for and the fair market value before it was damaged. One was concerning Avis which at the time included the following within their terms:

13. Damage to/Loss of the Car. If you do not accept LDW, or if the car is lost or damaged as a direct or indirect result of a violation of paragraph 14, or damaged as a result of an act of nature, you are responsible and you will pay us for all loss of or damage to the car regardless of cause, or who, or what caused it. If the car is damaged, you will pay our estimated repair cost, or if, in our sole discretion, we determine to sell the car in its damaged condition, you will pay the difference between the car’s retail fair market value before it was damaged and the sale proceeds except in, Illinois and Canada.​
 
Sep 22, 2015
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#14
We have actually had a case or two where the rental agency didn't repair the vehicle, but sold it and required the renter to pay the difference between what it sold for and the fair market value before it was damaged. One was concerning Avis which at the time included the following within their terms:

13. Damage to/Loss of the Car. If you do not accept LDW, or if the car is lost or damaged as a direct or indirect result of a violation of paragraph 14, or damaged as a result of an act of nature, you are responsible and you will pay us for all loss of or damage to the car regardless of cause, or who, or what caused it. If the car is damaged, you will pay our estimated repair cost, or if, in our sole discretion, we determine to sell the car in its damaged condition, you will pay the difference between the car’s retail fair market value before it was damaged and the sale proceeds except in, Illinois and Canada.​
Interesting. Thanks
 
Jun 12, 2019
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#15
Good point, however, the language in the statute consistently refers to the "the insured", not "the owner". So, if it is the renter's insurance that is being used that would seem to give the renter (the insured) the choice.
Anti-Steering laws are written so that an Insurance company cannot dictate where you can take your vehicle for repairs. They are written to preserve consumer choice. The statute is written as:
72B.092 MOTOR VEHICLE INSURANCE ADJUSTMENTS; PROHIBITIONS.
Subdivision 1.Prohibitions on insurer.
No adjuster or insurer, director, officer, broker, agent, attorney-in-fact, employee, or other representative of an insurer shall in collision cases:
(https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/2017/cite/72B.092 )
So the prohibition is insurance company and not to anyone else. I could not find how they define an insured. An "individual" and "policyholder" is defined (https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/2017/cite/72A.491 )

Lets just flip this around and you let your friend drive your car and they get into an accident. You don't have collision but your friend does. Your friend's insurance company has accepted coverage and agree to pay for the damages to your vehicle minus the deductible. Your friend want to use X shop but you don't like that shop. In fact, you really hate that shop but your friend has a buddy at X shop and insist that you take your vehicle there. Would it be fair that your friend gets to decide what to do with your vehicle? It would also be unfair if his insurance company told you that that shop is the only shop they work with. That is totally against the anti-steering laws. I hope this helps.
 
Sep 22, 2015
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#16
Anti-Steering laws are written so that an Insurance company cannot dictate where you can take your vehicle for repairs. They are written to preserve consumer choice. The statute is written as:
72B.092 MOTOR VEHICLE INSURANCE ADJUSTMENTS; PROHIBITIONS.
Subdivision 1.Prohibitions on insurer.
No adjuster or insurer, director, officer, broker, agent, attorney-in-fact, employee, or other representative of an insurer shall in collision cases:
(https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/2017/cite/72B.092 )
So the prohibition is insurance company and not to anyone else. I could not find how they define an insured. An "individual" and "policyholder" is defined (https://www.revisor.mn.gov/statutes/2017/cite/72A.491 )

Lets just flip this around and you let your friend drive your car and they get into an accident. You don't have collision but your friend does. Your friend's insurance company has accepted coverage and agree to pay for the damages to your vehicle minus the deductible. Your friend want to use X shop but you don't like that shop. In fact, you really hate that shop but your friend has a buddy at X shop and insist that you take your vehicle there. Would it be fair that your friend gets to decide what to do with your vehicle? It would also be unfair if his insurance company told you that that shop is the only shop they work with. That is totally against the anti-steering laws. I hope this helps.
Good point.