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Some motorists surprised by rental car bills

Roadside assistance and collision insurance packages may be given to those with auto insurance.

Soaring gas prices and falling demand have taken a toll on revenue for car rental agencies. Some are allegedly recovering these costs by charging customers high drop fees and refueling prices.

Others require customers to purchase roadside assistance or collision insurance packages – even if they are already covered by an auto insurance policy. A recent report by the New York Times showed consumers have limited bargaining room when renting a vehicle, forcing some to sign up for extras they do not need.

One such customer is Dean Moeller of Oakdale, Minnesota. Moeller told the newspaper that he was surprised to find a $22.95 daily charge on his rental car bill for a business trip he made in December. The fee was for a collision damage waiver.

“I said I didn’t need any because I have car insurance,” Moeller was quoted as saying. “Then, like 90 percent of people, I signed on the dotted line.”

Similarly, some customers have been charged roadside assistance fees despite having auto insurance coverage.

Almost all states require automobile operators to have automobile liability insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Those that don’t mandate that drivers have sufficient assets to cover claims from a car accident.ADNFCR-2378-ID-19672866-ADNFCR

Posted: March 15, 2010

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