Can I make the party at-fault pay for a loss/damage waiver on a rental?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can I make the party at-fault pay for a loss/damage waiver on a rental?

I was not at fault during and accident and had to rent a car. The liable party’s insurer is willing to cover the cost of the rental but not the purchased of the loss-damage waiver I had to acquire because my insurance policy does not cover it. Can I have the responsible party pay for this cost? My reasoning is that I wasn’t at fault therefore shouldn’t incurred cost of insuring a vehicle that is not mine. I didn’t choose to rent the vehicle for pleasure and also should not run the risk of having to pay if any damages occur during the rental process. Are there any records of anyone having the insurance of the at fault party cover this? Can I take them to small claims for this?

Asked on April 23, 2017 under Accident Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

No, it is very unlikely that you can get the loss-damage waiver--certainly not on a cost-effective basis. First, while buying the insurance is prudent (I always buy it when I rent), it is optional: you can rent without getting it. To oversimply, as part of the legal obligation to "mitigate damages," or reduce the harm or costs you are seeking, you can't generally recover optional costs or expenditures, only the bare minimum ones. Secondly, if they won't give it to you voluntarily, you'd have to sue for the money, and it highly unlikely that the cost and time (e.g. time off from work) to sue will be worth the amount of money you'd get.

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