Legal Facts About Car Rentals
Laws may differ from state to state, if you have been in an accident while driving a rental vehicle then contact your insurance company to report the claim. If you feel the accident may warrant legal advice then contact legal council immediately. Off road rental companies may require additional coverage, you should speak to your insurance agent prior to renting an off road vehicle to confirm coverage.
Legally, rental companies must insure the cars they own and operate as part of their rental fleet. The common question asked when renting a vehicle is “who will be driving the vehicle?” At this time there is an opportunity for you to list multiple operators of the vehicle if you foresee that being necessary. Otherwise, you can simply list your self as the primary driver of the vehicle. If you decide to let someone else drive, or if the vehicle is taken without your consent and there is an accident, both you and the car rental agency are responsible. If there are injuries or damage to either vehicles then an insurance claim will be made that both will be responsible for.
During the process, it is likely that the rental company will argue that the responsibility is that of the individual that rented the vehicle. Because that individual let an unauthorized driver take the vehicle and it resulted in wreckage, the rental company will position themselves as not responsible. As legitimate as this may seem, under law this isn’t actually the case. State law states that the company renting the vehicles out must have insurance that will cover the injured party in the event that an accident occurs with an uninsured driver. The rental agency will not be responsible for paying for the injured party unless there are no other insurance options available either from the injured or the from the person who rented it. You can read about the state motor vehicle laws here.
This is an issue that arises on occasion when an individual renting the vehicle makes an attempt to evade the responsibility by suggesting that the driver at fault was behind the wheel of the car without permission. When a claim like this is made, the renters insurance company will do everything they can legally to deny the coverage by stating that the incident happened “without permissive use.” If this is the case, the rental company will legally be made liable and will have to cover the cost of the claim even if the renter did not purchase coverage from them. More about Arizona state laws can be found here https://getawaytips.azcentral.com/arizona-car-rental-laws-12206484.html.