Collision damage waivers unnecessary for most state residents renting cars

October 03, 1990

Marylanders who rent automobiles in the state probably do not need to pay extra for collision damage waivers as the result of recent changes in insurance laws.

Residents who have collision coverage included in their personal auto insurance policies are covered under those policies when they rent a car in the state, according to the state Attorney General's Office.

The Consumer Protection Division has issued new forms that rental car companies must give to their customers telling them they probably do not need to purchase a waiver. The rental car companies are required to disclose the specific cost, types of coverage and conditions, restrictions or exclusions to the collision damage waivers they offer.

In the past, consumers had to pay extra for the waiver, which prohibited the rental company from suing the customer if the car was damaged. Assistant Attorney General John Nethercut said the cost of such waivers varied, but averaged about $10 a day.

The law, which went into effect July 1, requires that personal automobile insurance policies of Maryland residents provide collision coverage for passenger cars rented for 30 days or less.

Nethercut said the law does not apply to out-of-state residents who rent cars in Maryland.

State residents who rent cars out of the state probably would be covered by their insurance policy or insurance provided through their credit card. However, an out-of-state rental car company may not provide the disclosure form telling them that.

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