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.”
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.
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