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Rental Vehicles in California

by Jennifer

What is the law in California regarding rental car companies? Is the rental vehicle company coverage primary to my own insurance or in California is it based on a company by company basis?

I rented a vehicle in Nevada, my co-worker drove the vehicle (not listed on the rental agreement).

She does not have insurance. She got into an accident in California... who should be handling the claim? My insurance or the rental company?? Is there a law in California that requires the rental company to be primary?


Is there a law in California that requires the rental company to be primary?

Probably no.

When you rent a vehicle you sign a "loaner agreement." In this agreement, you are responsible for all damages to the car. All rental companies require you to have insurance on the car or they will not rent to you (at least the companies that know what they are doing).

When you rent the vehicle, you have a choice to buy something call Collision Damage Waiver.

It is extra on your agreement. This is is a waiver for your responsibility of the vehicle and the rental company would have to pay for the damages to the car (note, not the damages you cause a third party, but only damages to the rental car).

This is really not a matter of state law, but a matter of your agreement with the rental company and your auto policy

There are other issues in your claim that the insurance company is going to have to investigate. Should your policy cover this accident or should your friends auto policy cover this accident? They will have to look at all policies and see which one must pay.

Good luck,

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