Am I responsible for damages to a rental car that was stolen from me?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Dec 30, 2011

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Insurance Question from Lockport, IL

Asked on 12/30/2011

Am I responsible for damages to a rental car that was stolen from me? I rented a car from Avis and it was stolen from me. During the possession of the car by the thief it hailed very severly and damaged the car. The car was retrieved but now Avis wants for me to pay for the damages and my insurance carrier says I'm not liable.What do I do?..

Answer given on December 30, 2011

It doesn’t sound like the thief damaged the car.  Sounds like all the damage was hail or weather related.  Do you yourself have car insurance with comprehensive coverage? If so, that coverage could extend to any rental car vehicle. Call your insurance company to check. Did you rent the car on a credit card? Some credit cards provide insurance coverage for cars rented using the credit card.  Read our article Rental Car Insurance and Collision Damage Waiver.  This also may help you. More and more rental companies are making drivers responsible for weather related damage. Ask them to show this to you in the contract.  If it is not there, then you may have an out.    

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