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My wife was an unauthorized driver of a rental car and was involved in an accident. What is the rental car policy in Texas?

Irving, TX |

I rented a car and with my permission she drove the car and did an accident. She has a collision with the opposite car while taking the left turn. She is not listed as an authorized user and my insurance is GEICO. Hertz company says GEICO rejects the claim due to my wife driving the car and she was unauthorized driver. Could you please tell us is there a law that spouse is covered under this circumstance so we can avoid paying the money. Thanks in advance!

Attorney Answers 6


  1. The outcome of this case will be determined by the language of the rental contract with Hertz, and your policy provisions with GEICO. Often private insurance does not cover rental cars, and unless you are an authorized driver with the rental agency, you do not qualify to receive benefits from their insurance. I would obtain a copy of both the rental agreement, and your full auto policy (or other applicable policies) and have them reviewed by an attorney to advise you if the contract language supports Hertz's position. Without this information, it is impossible to determine whether you are covered or not. Best of luck.

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  2. You need to make two calls. First, call GEICO to ask what type of coverage for rental cars you have included in your regular auto insurance. Second, call the credit card company you will be using to pay for the car rental. Some credit cards provide additional coverage, but make sure you understand the limits involved. Many credit cards provide additional coverage but limit the type and amount of coverage. Most automobile insurance policy cover temporary replacement vehicles. Read your policy and don't take Hertz's word for it. Everyone has insurance in a rental car because rental car companies are required to provide the minimum coverage on all of their vehicles or be self-insured.


  3. Mr. Patrick is correct - more information is needed, although allowing an unauthorized driver to operate the car is a major problem.


  4. I'm very sorry to hear about this, and I'm sure that trying to deal with this without a lawyer is frustrating. Without reading the docs, it would be impossible to make a guess. Have a local lawyer review these docs, so you know where you stand. Good luck to you.

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  5. My colleagues are correct. Allowing an unauthorized driver to drive the rental vehicle is going to be a major issue for you. Consult your policy with both your carrier and hertz and go from there. Best of luck.

    http://www.avvo.com/legal-answers/no-insurance--car-parked-while-other-driver-hit-my-1073612.html?answered=true

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  6. I would recommend that you consult with a local attorney to review all pertinent documents.