NAII Opposes N.Y. Auto Rental Liability Bill

September 19, 2002

The National Association of Independent Insurers (NAII) has denounced a bill recently approved by the New York Assembly that would shift liability for rental car damage from auto rental agencies to consumers.

“Current law places the responsibility for rental car damage repairs where it belongs-with the rental companies,” Gerald Zimmerman, senior counsel for the National Association of Independent Insuers (NAII), said. “If AB 7422-A becomes law, consumers will bear the additional cost in a market where fraud and rising auto insurance costs are already a major problem.”

If the bill becomes law, auto renters who have their vehicles stolen will bear full responsibility for the loss, which is an unprecedented increase from the current $100 liability. Additionally, consumers would be unable to accurately compare the pricing structure of rental car companies because the cost of collision would be excluded from the advertised base rental rate of the vehicle. The bill also transfers the responsibility of damage repair costs from the rental company to the consumer.

“This bill is a no-win proposition for New York consumers, and the legislators who care about their votes,” Zimmerman added. “We respectfully request Gov. Pataki to consider this and veto A.B. 7422-A.”

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