Chicago, IL asked in Car Accidents and Insurance Bad Faith for Illinois

Q: A few months back I was driving a rental car and hit a deer. I now am going to court for driving without insurance?

I sold my car years ago and use rental cars for work so I don’t have my own personal insurance besides on my credit card. I had always thought that rental car companies legally had to have state minimum coverage on their vehicles. How do I fight this?

(Update #2): Providing a second update for anyone who may have the same problem and come across bozos like the guy who replied below… all I had to end up doing was go to my rental agency (National/Enterprise in this case) and ask for proof that the vehicle was self-insured by them. My case has been dropped with not fees or additional costs.

And, after a little research that Charles below couldn’t do, I found this in the Illinois state vehicle code. (625 ILCS 5/9-101) states that rental car companies must show financial responsibility in order to operate. Proving my point that rental cars must first have their own insurance. This won’t cover costs incurred from accidents or other things (deer), however you won’t be “uninsured.”

1 Lawyer Answer
Charles Candiano
Charles Candiano
  • Personal Injury Lawyer
  • Chicago, IL
  • Licensed in Illinois

A: Please don't say that you thought car rental companies were obligated to provide insurance. They all DO provide insurance as a DEFAULT.

The application requires you to SPECIFICALLY DECLINE insurance coverage and additionally makes you sign or initial that choice. Additionally, rental agents always try to "sell" the insurance coverage reminding you that no matter how good your insurance may be, you have a deductible. With the insurance provided by most car rentals, there is no deductible. Additionally, most car rental agencies will not allow you to decline their insurance unless you provide proof of your own insurance coverage. If you showed them an insurance card from "years ago," you could be looking at fraud.

You have no legal argument to assert in your defense. Unfortunately, you are responsible for all damage to the rental vehicle and your driving privileges will be suspended until you enter into a repayment agreement with the car rental company. Moreover, your license will not be reissued unless you provide proof of financial responsibility.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.