Most people have experienced the hard sell at the rental car counter to purchase the collision waiver coverage for the vehicle being rented. Due to the public being increasingly aware that their primary auto policy that includes physical damage coverage will apply to a temporary replacment vehicle i.e. a rental, there is no need to purchase this additional coverage. This eliminated an income stream for the rental car companies. To supplement this loss of income, they are now applying a diminished value rule to vehicles that are involved in an accident while rented. For example; if a rented vehicle is damaged in an accident and is subsequently repaired,when it comes time for the company to sell that vehicle it will command a far less asking price due to the previous damage (diminished value). The difference in the what they could have received and what they did receive due to the diminished value, is then billed to the renter months and possibly years after the original accident. Some insurance companies are now addressing this issue with enhanced endorsements that can plug this gap in coverage. Now is the time to speak to your agent regarding adding this coverage (if available).
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June 11, 2010