Enterprise Unfair Collision Damage Claim

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Nov 14, 2016
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Hello,

I had rented Enterprise hourly rental car (from their CarShare program) from Arizona State University Campus in August 2016. I rented the car in the morning. I got into an accident with another car. This is what happened:
There were 3 lanes and I was driving in the middle lane at 25 - 35 mph. A car in the left lane (which was behind me) suddenly turned right and bumped in the rear left of my car. It was a mild bump. My Enterprise car only got slight discolouration and a bent on the right rear and rim. I stopped, got in touch with the other driver and called the police since thats what Enterprise wants us to do in case of an accident. The police officer made the report and it was easily concluded that the other driver was at fault. The other driver got issued a ticket. I informed all this to Enterprise after the police report.

As you can see, I had no fault whatsoever and its just unfortunate that this happened. Now after 2 months, Enterprise emails me and says that I've to pay $500 charges for the damage. The insurance company of the other driver denied coverage in the incident. When I called Enterprise Damage Recovery Unit, they said since there is no one else to pay, you as the renter, will be liable to pay the damage charges.

I think this is unfair, since none of it was my fault. I followed everything Enterprise had outlined in case of an accident. I called them up even for such a minor damage (even the police officer said that a 911 call wasn't necessary for this). I just feel that if the consumer is not at fault, the company should not impose charges on him/her.

How should I dispute this claim? Do I've any grounds for a dispute?

Thank you!
 
Feb 9, 2016
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Hi Jason!

We have a contributor to this site named @Joe Farrell , he is an Attorney.

Long story short, call up your insurance company and ask them to send you a copy of the damage release they obtained from Enterprise when they paid out the claim. Then send a copy of that damage release to Enterprise and let Enterprise know that they accepted payment from your insurance company and signed a release of damage, case closed, stop bothering you. If your insurance company cannot provide you with a release of liability then your insurance company has some more work to do, see below.

Good luck and keep us posted!

Joe says....

This is Joe's advice on when a car rental company tries to come back and get you to pay any fees that your insurance company didn't. He's basically saying it's your insurance companies job to protect you with a damage release form when they pay



Comment on Insurance:

Just because carriers do not cover loss of future value does not mean that at the time they pay damages on your behalf they should not protect your legal rights. A carrier that does NOT obtain a full and complete property damage release [at a minimum] at the time they pay a third party claim is opening the door to later claims from others or different claims just like this one someone makes later.

If the carrier did not obtain a release, then they are on the hook to defend you from this claim even though it may not be covered. You will likely get refusal to defend from the carrier on the grounds the the loss claimed is not a covered losss. The response to that is:

"I received your refusal to defend this claim. I filed claim # in good faith, relying on my insurance carrier to protect my interests.

Inexplicably, knowing about this claim, you paid money on this claim yet did not insist nor obtain a complete release of property damage claims at a minimum, at the time you paid the claim. This leaves me exposed to additional damages and having to fund this defense.

Obtaining a release prior to paying a claim is Insurance Adjusting 101. Your failure to do so violates our insurance contract, the covenant of good faith and fair dealing and is an astonishing bad faith claims settlement practice. I insist that my carrier protect my rights. The original claim was covered. The extra damages being sought here are part of the original claim which you failed to obtain a release for. A defense is demanded. Reserve whatever rights to payment you may need but I am entitled to a defense given your failure to obtain a release."
 
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Nov 14, 2016
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Hi sls,

Thank you for the prompt reply! Unfortunately, I do not posses a valid personal car insurance at the time of the accident. My argument is that the charges should not be levied on me. Rather to the other driver's insurance company (I provided that information to them after the police report). Now the other insurance company does not cover that kind of accident (I don't know what policy the other driver had). In such a case, I think its still unfair to demand the damage charges from me as the police report proves that I wasn't at fault.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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Here's joes take on additional charges like he ones you are talking about

Joes advice on NOT paying any additional claims above and beyond what your insurance will pay:

if the insurer will not pay, then you should not pay either.

Trust me - if your insurance company refuses to pay damages then that is a pretty good indicator that the claimant is unable to prove damages. Loss of use is a legit fee if they are able to establish it. Its not that hard - and it often negotiated - the problem is that true loss of use means the company needs to establish the use of that class of vehicle by reservation history - obviously if they give the car out because someone reserved a compact and thats all they had - then that is not a loss of use rental.

Moreover - your insurer should have obtained a full release of claims in your favor to protect your interest when they paid the claim. Ask them for a copy. If they did not obtain a release - and Budget is coming after you . . . . then you need to resubmit the claim to your insurer for a defense and proper payment.

Remember, if someone hit you - and damaged your vehicle - and you were driving an SUV you would not be satisfied being given a subcompact to drive for a month while your car was repaired. You are entitled to a similar class of vehicle no matter what the other persons insurer may say if they were at fault.
 
Nov 14, 2016
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sls, I didn't have insurance at the time of accident. I don't have any insurer. I'm talking about the insurer of the other driver who caused the accident.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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Let's start here - call up the other drivers insurance company and ask them for the damage release waiver/release of claims for the accident.

If they resist, let them know that Enterprise is asking you to pay some junk fee's and you need the release so that Enterprise will go away. Hopefully they will understand and forward it on to you.

At the very least these junk fees that Enterprise is trying to get you to pay belong to the OTHER driver, not you. You didn't cause this accident - you were driving the vehicle responsibly when the situation occurred.

Let us know how that phone call goes. If the other insurance company is not going to play ball with the request, there are a few ways we can go from here.

Be sure to only deal with enterprise by email from here on out so you have a paper trail. If Enterprise does call you, ask for their email and email them that they need to pursue any charges related to this accident with the other drivers insurance company.

from what you have said, it doesn't appear that these charges are your responsibility, so all should work out in the end, it might take a few weeks to get to the end.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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sls, I didn't have insurance at the time of accident. I don't have any insurer. I'm talking about the insurer of the other driver who caused the accident.
I get that. I was sending the additional info to 'educate' (if you will)

It works the same way in this situation tho. The other drivers insurance should have obtained the release when they paid out the claim. If they didn't obtain that release, THEIR driver is on the hook for these junk fees, not you. I would venture a guess that Enterprise might even have got some junk fees from the other insurance company and is trying to double dip. These rental car companies not only prey on renters, they bank on the renter not knowing their rights and/or how insurance works. They try to scare you into paying threatening collections. They assume you don't know your rights.

These charges are NOT your responsibility. They are the at fault drivers responsibility.
Try getting that release. If you can get it and Enterprise still threatens you, you can start a letter writing campaign and work a solution by writing the executives.
 
Feb 9, 2016
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Sorry, it was my fault for not reading well enough.

I'm confused, The other drivers insurance doesn't cover collision? so this claim didn't get paid at all? Is that what you are trying to say? What type of accident was this 'deemed' that an insured party wouldn't have coverage? Did you ask the insurance company why they denied the claim?

You could pay the $500 and then go after the other driver. Have you read your rental contract in order to ascertain what it says about situations like these?

@Joe Farrell thoughts?
 
Aug 31, 2015
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Don't turn around . . . .
A. Someone ELSE is responsible - why not take the driver who hit you to small claims court?

B. You may have to pay in order to do A.

C. Follow the rest of the requests: you are telling me that a rim from a rental car is $500 - is that what they have told you? Then its prove it.

D. The other driver having or not having collision is irrelevant to your damage - they are required to have property damage insurance - I hate insurance companies who play this game -

Perhaps you should go spend $150 with a local attorney - get their advice and counsel - and then follow it - and add it to your damage claim.

You had Enterprise's car. you admit it got damaged on your watch. Enterprise doesn't really care that someone else hit them - you sue them for 100% of what enterprise is claiming - force them to pay. The cost of defense of a $500 claim is more than $500 - their insurer will write you a check once you sue. So just do it.
 
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Michelle Couch-Friedman

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Sep 19, 2015
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@Jason Roberts My first thought is that the other driver did not have any valid insurance. Right or wrong, if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, your insurance will pay for your damages. Unfortunately you don't have any insurance. BUT, the credit card that you paid with might cover you. Many credit cards offer complimentary insurance for car rentals. Please check if your credit card provided you with this type of protection. If so, you need to process the claim with them ASAP !
 
Aug 31, 2015
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Don't turn around . . . .
@Jason Roberts My first thought is that the other driver did not have any valid insurance. Right or wrong, if you are involved in an accident with an uninsured driver, your insurance will pay for your damages. Unfortunately you don't have any insurance. BUT, the credit card that you paid with might cover you. Many credit cards offer complimentary insurance for car rentals. Please check if your credit card provided you with this type of protection. If so, you need to process the claim with them ASAP !
thats the other point here - which is why we should not be dealing with car rental claims -

DEAR LW: follow the procedure outlined in the sticky - end of story. We can't practice law here - which is what the LW wants at the end of the day: "Who is responsible."
 
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JVillegirl541

Verified Member
Nov 21, 2014
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I was also going to suggest small claims court to go after other driver if needed. But if the other driver had the legally required insurance (i.e. Not an Uninsured motorist) then your rental damage would be covered, his damage to his car is what his insurance does not cover.
 

mmb

Verified Member
Jan 20, 2015
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NAPLES FL or Denver CO
I think the bottom line here is that IF you don't own a car and thus have insurance and IF you rent a car and don't BUY insurance then you are in a tough spot.
The only saving grace here may be that if this car rental service is of the type that people who don't own cars rent them then there should be some sort of insurance included in the rental.
There is a company in downtown Denver that rents cars by the hour and the majority of the users don't own a car and so there must be some insurance included in that hourly rental.
Did the company renting you the car mention insurance to you? Did you decline to pay for the insurance?
 
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Carrie Livingston

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Advocate
Jan 6, 2015
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@Jason Roberts , here's why they're charging you $500. You might need to take a look at the terms and conditions of the contract you signed when renting the car. I'm not saying it's right but this may be what's happening.

https://www.enterprisecarshare.com/us/en/programs/university/asu.html

Physical Damage and Liability Protection
Ages 18-20
Physical Damage Waiver: Member is responsible for the first $500 of any damage to the vehicle.
Liability: For members 18-20 who do not have their own insurance, Enterprise CarShare will extend liability protection up to the state minimum required amount.

Ages 21 & Older
Physical Damage Waiver: Member is responsible for the first $500 of any damage to the vehicle.
Liability: Enterprise CarShare will extend liability protection up to the state minimum required amount.


 
R

Realitoes

Guest
The sad truth is that you are responsible for any and all damage to a rental vehicle while it is in your care. It is interesting how so many people don't realize that.

This is why having insurance is important. Even if you are not at fault, it will cover your responsibility, and go after the other driver for reimbursement.
 
Aug 29, 2015
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I would also check and see if the credit card you use has any coverage for the $500 deductible.

Then, I would get a copy of the police report and file a case in small claims court for the amount that Enterprise Car Share is charging you.

Simply, Enterprise is going to charge you this one because you agreed to it under the terms and conditions.

Since the other driver got a ticket, and you still got a bill, I'd take them to court.
if they don't have the resources to pay, which they may not, try one of the TV court shows. Make sure you have all your documents, including the police report and the bill from Enterprise. Explain to Judge Judy or whoever that you were rear-ended and the driver refuses to take responsibility, and if true, even canceled their insurance, and you want to be reimbursed the amount you had to pay Enterprise Car Share. At least you might be made whole.
 

jsn55

Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
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San Francisco
Hi Jason!

We have a contributor to this site named @Joe Farrell , he is an Attorney.

Long story short, call up your insurance company and ask them to send you a copy of the damage release they obtained from Enterprise when they paid out the claim. Then send a copy of that damage release to Enterprise and let Enterprise know that they accepted payment from your insurance company and signed a release of damage, case closed, stop bothering you. If your insurance company cannot provide you with a release of liability then your insurance company has some more work to do, see below.

Good luck and keep us posted!

Joe says....

This is Joe's advice on when a car rental company tries to come back and get you to pay any fees that your insurance company didn't. He's basically saying it's your insurance companies job to protect you with a damage release form when they pay



Comment on Insurance:

Just because carriers do not cover loss of future value does not mean that at the time they pay damages on your behalf they should not protect your legal rights. A carrier that does NOT obtain a full and complete property damage release [at a minimum] at the time they pay a third party claim is opening the door to later claims from others or different claims just like this one someone makes later.

If the carrier did not obtain a release, then they are on the hook to defend you from this claim even though it may not be covered. You will likely get refusal to defend from the carrier on the grounds the the loss claimed is not a covered losss. The response to that is:

"I received your refusal to defend this claim. I filed claim # in good faith, relying on my insurance carrier to protect my interests.

Inexplicably, knowing about this claim, you paid money on this claim yet did not insist nor obtain a complete release of property damage claims at a minimum, at the time you paid the claim. This leaves me exposed to additional damages and having to fund this defense.

Obtaining a release prior to paying a claim is Insurance Adjusting 101. Your failure to do so violates our insurance contract, the covenant of good faith and fair dealing and is an astonishing bad faith claims settlement practice. I insist that my carrier protect my rights. The original claim was covered. The extra damages being sought here are part of the original claim which you failed to obtain a release for. A defense is demanded. Reserve whatever rights to payment you may need but I am entitled to a defense given your failure to obtain a release."
I don't think Jason has any automobile insurance. Jason, surely you didn't decline the rental car company's insurance when you picked up the car, did you?

If the following scenario hadn't happened to me, I don't think I'd believe it: Someone in a small rental car side-swiped me as I was making a left turn in my truck. The entire rear of the rental car ripped off. I had a dent in my quarter panel. It was out in the boonies on a Sunday afternoon, and a highway patrolman showed up in due course. He wrote a report, stating that the other driver was at fault. I am insured with AAA, the other guy with Allstate. I reported the accident, subsequently received a notice that Allstate didn't think their driver was at fault. This confused me, so I called the Allstate adjuster to remind her that there was a police report. She told me that "it didn't matter, because the officer wasn't there when the accident happened". Then she tried to convince me that I should leave AAA and buy insurance from Allstate. I've never quite recovered from that conversation!
 
Last edited:

kenish

Sep 1, 2015
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KSNA
@Jason Roberts - sorry to add another complication. All states including AZ require *all* operators of motor vehicles to carry minimum insurance. (Collision isn't required, but liability cover for other persons and property is). Hence you were violating state law, and all rental car agreements/contracts state you cannot operate the car in violation of any law. Enterprise or the other driver's insurance company could play this card. If you press this too hard and the other insurance discovers you were an uninsured motorist, they could pursue you personally for their costs. Don't lose sleep over this, but be aware. You don't want to provide facts that will undermine your case and make things worse.