PIANY Opposes Reinstatement of Collision Damage Waivers

March 12, 2002

The Professional Insurance Agents of New York State has gone on record as opposing proposed legislation to reinstate collision damage waivers on private passenger vehicle rentals.

Collision Damage Waivers (CDWs) – agreements where rental car companies charge a daily fee in return for an agreement not to hold the renter liable for accidental damage or loss – were banned in New York under in 1988. The law currently prohibits rental car companies from holding renters responsible for damage unless they clearly acted recklessly. It also provided for automatic rental car coverage in New York state personal auto policies.

The PIANY voiced its opposition to state lawmakers last week, as new measures currently moving through the Assembly and Senate would amend 1988’s general business law, once more allowing companies to hold renters responsible unless they pay a fee.

“The proposed legislation is extremely anti-consumer,” stated PIANY President John Bailey, CIC. “Our association has continually touted how overpriced CDWs are. They line the pockets of rental car companies, and in many cases duplicate coverage people already have. Why pass a bill that passes rental car repair costs back onto the state’s auto policyholders?”

The measure will negatively impact how personal auto insurance is delivered, leading to higher premiums for all New York drivers, including those who’ve never rented a vehicle, the PIANY bulletin indicated.

“Rental car companies should absorb the cost of damage to their vehicles as part of the cost of doing business, and build it into the basic rental car charges so that it is paid for by those who rent the vehicles,” Bailey continued. “PIANY will make every effort to prevent for-profit companies transferring responsibility and cost to the entire insurance-buying public.”|”piany, opposes, reinstatement, of, collision, damage, waivers

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