Enterprise rental - Hit and Run case.

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Dec 22, 2019
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Hi there,

I am new to this forum and apologize if I am not using the correct forum for my question.

I recently rented a car from Enterprise and turned down their collision coverage. Subsequently, I was hit from behind in an intersection waiting for the lights to turn green. The driver pulled back a few yards and drove off turning right. The incident took place between 5:30 and 6:00 pm in the evening. My wife noted down the license plate of the SUV. I called the cops and reported the incident. Gave the vehicle registration number to the cops. Also called GEICO my insurance carrier and Enterprise. The incident took place in Charlotte, NC. Following are the developments after 18 days of the incident.

1) My insurance company denied my claim as I did not have comprehensive collision coverage. I had NNO (Non Owner's Policy) Coverage that offered payments only for Personal Liability, Uninsured and Under insured.
2) My credit card company Discover do not cover collision.
3) Cops called me back after 3 days only to inform that the owner of the car moved from the address where the car is registered. He/She did not update the address with DMV and there is no way the officer can find out the whereabouts of the driver.
4) Enterprise sent me an invoice for $ 4654.97 inclusive of Repair Charges, Loss of use ($ 885.60), Diminishment of Value ($ 347.21) and Admin Fee ($ 150).

I was able to get a copy of the police report sold online and it shows the case as Hit & Run. The report has the name and address of the person on whose name the car is registered. It also has the name of the Insurance carrier and the policy number.

Will appreciate if experienced members can give me some pointers on how to move forward.

Thanks,

Sam253
 

Dwayne Coward

Administrator
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Apr 13, 2016
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Sam,

The following post in our help forum will provide you guidance on how to deal with the claim.

https://forum.elliott.org/threads/how-to-deal-with-a-car-rental-damage-claim.9703/

Unfortunately, if you didn't accept the rental agency's damage waiver, they normally will hold you responsible for any damage to the vehicle while in your possession, though you may be able to negotiate the exact amount with them. You would then need to recoup your loss from the responsible individual, either through their insurance or from them directly.
 
Dec 19, 2014
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You have a police report with the other vehicle information including insurance information correct?
The liability follows the OWNER of the car, not the driver, unless the driver was an excluded driver or there was non-permissive use.
File a claim with the insurance company listed for the vehicle.

Unfortunately, Enterprise can and will go after you for the damages. They have you on the hook for the damages, and it is doubtful they will subrogate the claim and pursue the claim with the other insurance company.
 

justlisa

Feb 12, 2019
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Were there any witnesses? If not, the details of what transpired are your word against his/hers.
With the caveat that it could vary by state, in my experience rear end accidents are rather cut and dried with the driver with the front front of their car smashed at fault. (This presumption is also why there's scams out there of people pulling in front of someone and then quickly breaking for no reason so they can put claims against your insurance.) Other collisions are more he said/she said situations, though leaving the accident does not help you. (I can't say for certain on the outcome as my hit and run accident had witnesses, but the other car was never found so I'm not sure if my insurance even called the witness.)
 
May 7, 2019
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With the caveat that it could vary by state, in my experience rear end accidents are rather cut and dried with the driver with the front front of their car smashed at fault. (This presumption is also why there's scams out there of people pulling in front of someone and then quickly breaking for no reason so they can put claims against your insurance.) Other collisions are more he said/she said situations, though leaving the accident does not help you. (I can't say for certain on the outcome as my hit and run accident had witnesses, but the other car was never found so I'm not sure if my insurance even called the witness.)
The issue here is not fault; the hit-and-run driver is unquestionably at fault. The issue here is our OP’s inability to track down the at-fault driver and the OP’s lack of insurance coverage for the damage to his rental vehicle.

Lesson: If you’re going to decline the rental-car agency’s offered coverage, you better be sure you’ve got adequate insurance coverage of your own.
 
Jun 12, 2019
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Hi there,

I am new to this forum and apologize if I am not using the correct forum for my question.

I recently rented a car from Enterprise and turned down their collision coverage. Subsequently, I was hit from behind in an intersection waiting for the lights to turn green. The driver pulled back a few yards and drove off turning right. The incident took place between 5:30 and 6:00 pm in the evening. My wife noted down the license plate of the SUV. I called the cops and reported the incident. Gave the vehicle registration number to the cops. Also called GEICO my insurance carrier and Enterprise. The incident took place in Charlotte, NC. Following are the developments after 18 days of the incident.

1) My insurance company denied my claim as I did not have comprehensive collision coverage. I had NNO (Non Owner's Policy) Coverage that offered payments only for Personal Liability, Uninsured and Under insured.
2) My credit card company Discover do not cover collision.
3) Cops called me back after 3 days only to inform that the owner of the car moved from the address where the car is registered. He/She did not update the address with DMV and there is no way the officer can find out the whereabouts of the driver.
4) Enterprise sent me an invoice for $ 4654.97 inclusive of Repair Charges, Loss of use ($ 885.60), Diminishment of Value ($ 347.21) and Admin Fee ($ 150).

I was able to get a copy of the police report sold online and it shows the case as Hit & Run. The report has the name and address of the person on whose name the car is registered. It also has the name of the Insurance carrier and the policy number.

Will appreciate if experienced members can give me some pointers on how to move forward.

Thanks,

Sam253
Since you have the insurance information for the other party, you can file a claim against the policy. Make sure you give them the information to the Enterprise recovery unit. The insurance company will then investigate coverage first, if the car was not driven with permissive use, such as being stolen or being driven by an excluded driver, they may deny coverage. If they go this route, they will let you know that there is a coverage issue. When I was a claims adjuster, to deny coverage based on no permissive use, the owner would of already reported the car stolen before the loss. If it was a family member or a friend who took the vehicle without explicit permission, it would still not let me deny coverage. I would explain to the policyholder that if I denied coverage, unless the vehicle was actually stolen, it would be hard for them to not have responsibility because there was implied permission.

Enterprise recovery unit may be able to help with collecting from the other party but they don't have to. The rental agreement probably states that you agree to pay for all the damages. The reason that they might hold off on making you pay for the 5k demand is that if the person does not have that amount to pay right away, getting a judgement or sending it to collection cost money and it would be better to get money from an insurance company. If you can't pay the whole demand, be honest with Enterprise and ask that they try to recover from the other party first. Explain that you have a Hired Non-Owned Auto policy that does not have comp/collision coverage and your credit card does not have the collision waiver benefit. Monitor your credit card as Enterprise may attempt to charge your card for the entire amount.
 
Aug 29, 2018
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Were there any witnesses? If not, the details of what transpired are your word against his/hers.
I don't think it is a matter of witnesses or identifying fault, it is a matter of finding the other party.

And even if the other party is found, I do not know if Enterprise will attempt to collect from them.
 
Dec 19, 2014
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The driver apparently drove off without leaving any insurance information.
@California , unless I'm missing something, the OP states that he has the insurance information of the other vehicle

... I was able to get a copy of the police report sold online and it shows the case as Hit & Run. The report has the name and address of the person on whose name the car is registered. It also has the name of the Insurance carrier and the policy number.
 
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Jun 12, 2019
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The driver apparently drove off without leaving any insurance information.
He had a possible plate and the police ran the plate and possibly the insurance company that they may have on file. I am not sure if the police interviewed the registered owner or if the DMV had the insurance information. I know in CA, the DMV does not have the insurance info until the SR1 is completed. The SR1 is the report of traffic accident that must be completed within 10 days of an accident. When I was an adjuster, I would run the plate to get the registered owners info. Using the VIN, I could run it through the ISO claimsearch, a database for all accidents and claims, or through carrier discovery in Lexis Nexus. If those 2 methods fail, I might be able to contact the lien holder, if any, and report a claim. Lien holders usually protects their investments and knows what company insures the comp/collision. There is a good chance that carrier insures the liability as well, unless it was forced placed by the lien holder. Force placed means that the lien holder learns that the comp/collision has lapsed and told the borrower that they will purchase insurance and tack on the payment to their monthly payments. If the vehicle is registered with the DOT, the insurance information is on file. If information is still not available, I would use the address or name to see if there was other claim information and attempt to file a claim based on old information. Sometimes I would know the agency where the person has purchased the prior insurance and would point me to the right directions. Still with all these methods, there was a lot of uninsured motorists out there where I had exhausted all efforts. So if Uninsured Motorist Property Damage is available, also called collision waiver, you should get it. It offers your deductible or $3,500.00 coverage (if you don't have collision) for a few dollars every six months.
 
Dec 22, 2019
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Since you have the insurance information for the other party, you can file a claim against the policy. Make sure you give them the information to the Enterprise recovery unit. The insurance company will then investigate coverage first, if the car was not driven with permissive use, such as being stolen or being driven by an excluded driver, they may deny coverage. If they go this route, they will let you know that there is a coverage issue. When I was a claims adjuster, to deny coverage based on no permissive use, the owner would of already reported the car stolen before the loss. If it was a family member or a friend who took the vehicle without explicit permission, it would still not let me deny coverage. I would explain to the policyholder that if I denied coverage, unless the vehicle was actually stolen, it would be hard for them to not have responsibility because there was implied permission.

Enterprise recovery unit may be able to help with collecting from the other party but they don't have to. The rental agreement probably states that you agree to pay for all the damages. The reason that they might hold off on making you pay for the 5k demand is that if the person does not have that amount to pay right away, getting a judgement or sending it to collection cost money and it would be better to get money from an insurance company. If you can't pay the whole demand, be honest with Enterprise and ask that they try to recover from the other party first. Explain that you have a Hired Non-Owned Auto policy that does not have comp/collision coverage and your credit card does not have the collision waiver benefit. Monitor your credit card as Enterprise may attempt to charge your card for the entire amount.
Thanks for the reply. I already provided a copy of the police report with all the details to Enterprise Damage Recovery Unit. Followed up today to check the status. Haven't heard from them yet.

In case Enterprise do not follow with the National General Insurance Co. (the owner's insurer), should I ask my insurer GEICO to take up the matter with NGIC? GEICO already denied the claim as Enterprise sought first party coverage. Or should I call NGIC directly? Regarding the point stolen car, shouldn't there be a registered complaint in police records filed prior to the date and time of the accident to justify the claim?

I am also worried about the situation where in the owner denies that the car was involved in any accident unless the owner claimed insurance to get the car repaired.
 
  • Like
Reactions: calihankl
Dec 22, 2019
4
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He had a possible plate and the police ran the plate and possibly the insurance company that they may have on file. I am not sure if the police interviewed the registered owner or if the DMV had the insurance information. I know in CA, the DMV does not have the insurance info until the SR1 is completed. The SR1 is the report of traffic accident that must be completed within 10 days of an accident. When I was an adjuster, I would run the plate to get the registered owners info. Using the VIN, I could run it through the ISO claimsearch, a database for all accidents and claims, or through carrier discovery in Lexis Nexus. If those 2 methods fail, I might be able to contact the lien holder, if any, and report a claim. Lien holders usually protects their investments and knows what company insures the comp/collision. There is a good chance that carrier insures the liability as well, unless it was forced placed by the lien holder. Force placed means that the lien holder learns that the comp/collision has lapsed and told the borrower that they will purchase insurance and tack on the payment to their monthly payments. If the vehicle is registered with the DOT, the insurance information is on file. If information is still not available, I would use the address or name to see if there was other claim information and attempt to file a claim based on old information. Sometimes I would know the agency where the person has purchased the prior insurance and would point me to the right directions. Still with all these methods, there was a lot of uninsured motorists out there where I had exhausted all efforts. So if Uninsured Motorist Property Damage is available, also called collision waiver, you should get it. It offers your deductible or $3,500.00 coverage (if you don't have collision) for a few dollars every six months.
Police called me 3 days after the incident to inform that the registered owner moved from the address and DMV record isn't updated. There is no way police can find the registered owner. I bought a copy of the report from Lexis Nexus that had all the details.

GEICO informed me that in the state on NC, uninsured motorist coverage can only be afforded when the uninsured party is known.
 

justlisa

Feb 12, 2019
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1,076
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Thanks for the reply. I already provided a copy of the police report with all the details to Enterprise Damage Recovery Unit. Followed up today to check the status. Haven't heard from them yet.

In case Enterprise do not follow with the National General Insurance Co. (the owner's insurer), should I ask my insurer GEICO to take up the matter with NGIC? GEICO already denied the claim as Enterprise sought first party coverage. Or should I call NGIC directly? Regarding the point stolen car, shouldn't there be a registered complaint in police records filed prior to the date and time of the accident to justify the claim?

I am also worried about the situation where in the owner denies that the car was involved in any accident unless the owner claimed insurance to get the car repaired.
If your insurance denied the claim they won't be doing anything on your behalf. I also wouldn't rely on the car rental agency contacting them. They already have someone that owes them the money - you.
 

Neil Maley

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Dec 27, 2014
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www.promalvacations.com
You need to call Enterprise and negotiate a settlement. They will not go after the driver. If you didn’t purchase their insurance and you did not have insurance for your own car with collision, or the credit card you used doesn’t offer insurance- you are personally responsible for the car.

If you read your contract, it tells you this when you refuse the insurance.

I’m sorry to say you responsible for paying Enterprise and then you would have to find the person responsible and sue them for the damage.
 
Jun 24, 2019
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In many states, such as California, the fact that you have insurance is communicated electronically by your insurance company when your policy begins. It used to be that owners had to file insurance cards with the states. Now the process is seamless.

That insurance information is available to parties to an accident.

Our OP seems to have that information. Thus, he can pursue the other owner/driver. It is unlikely that Enterprise or OP's own insurance will have anything to do with pursuing the claim; most likely their contracts do not require them to do so.

If the other owner/driver refuses to pay, the only recourse is a lawsuit against that owner/driver. (I do not believe North Carolina is a direct action state.) Such a lawsuit may not make economic sense depending on the distance our OP is from North Carolina.
 
Jun 12, 2019
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Thanks for the reply. I already provided a copy of the police report with all the details to Enterprise Damage Recovery Unit. Followed up today to check the status. Haven't heard from them yet.

In case Enterprise do not follow with the National General Insurance Co. (the owner's insurer), should I ask my insurer GEICO to take up the matter with NGIC? GEICO already denied the claim as Enterprise sought first party coverage. Or should I call NGIC directly? Regarding the point stolen car, shouldn't there be a registered complaint in police records filed prior to the date and time of the accident to justify the claim?

I am also worried about the situation where in the owner denies that the car was involved in any accident unless the owner claimed insurance to get the car repaired.
Your insurance company should assist you in the process but they don't have to. The only coverage that applies here is collision and possibly Uninsured Motorist Property Damage. At least in CA, UMPD does requires three things; proof of impact, police report and the vehicle owner is identified and uninsured. Uninsured Motorist Bodily injury only requires proof of impact and the police report. I am not familiar with the NC system but you can read it here:
https://www.ncleg.net/EnactedLegislation/Statutes/HTML/BySection/Chapter_20/GS_20-279.21.html

I think your adjuster should inform you of all of your overages that apply. If they are claiming that something does not apply, have them show it to you in the policy language. They need to first show you that you did not have the coverage. I was reading the statute and it seems like it was mandatory coverage but maybe I am reading it wrong. I know in CA, UMBI would need to be rejected in writing and if it is not rejected in writing, then UMBI coverage would apply for the same BI limit on the policy. I had to personally file a Error and Omissions claim against a broker for not producing this waiver. It only applies to UMBI and not UMPD.

Collision coverage and Liability coverage are two different parts of the insurance policy and has a premium associated with each coverage. They can pay the owner on a collision coverage on a stolen vehicle while denying the liability coverage. You both would have a claim against the party who drove the vehicle without permission. The vehicle owner has the deductible claim, the insurer would have the collision claim and you would have a liability claim.

The owner can deny the car was involved in an accident. What their insurance company will need to do is to inspect the vehicle and take measurements of where the possible impacts may be. If the impact is light enough, there may be no apparent damage to the vehicle. If the vehicle owner denies involvement and repairs the front of the vehicle, that is very suspicious. The insurance company might decide that the accident did occur due to the car being recently repaired and the police report.