I just read an article insinuating that car rental companies might actually be forging your signature to add car insurance to your rental that you didn’t even want. Most car insurance companies cover a rental car if you need one while yours is getting fixed. But car rental companies make money off of the additional things they charge you for, so there have been recent allegations that some rental companies are charging you for car insurance you don’t need or want. Recently, Dollar Rent A Car at the Denver airport was accused of charging a Florida man for car rental insurance without his permission. This information comes from The Seattle Times article “Is rental-car insurance a scam?,” by Christopher Elliott.
Dollar insisted that the Florida driver had signed his consent for $215 in car rental insurance and $53 in roadside assistance for the rental car he drove for a few days. When the charges were disputed, Dollar sent a form letter to the driver. But he also disputed the charges with his credit card company and they believed him and refunded his credit card. Dollar sent a copy of the supposed signature adding the extra coverage and this particular driver says that it was forged. Not only did he not sign opting for the extra charges, he didn’t even need that coverage because he had personal auto insurance to cover rental cars as well.
A lawyer and consumer advocate told The Seattle Times that there have been hundreds of other consumers saying that this same thing has happened to them. Unfortunately many consumers give up after their initial dispute and pay the bill because they don’t think they have a chance to fight any further or don’t want to spend the time fighting in court. Since there is no type of legislation or regulation on this matter by the federal government, car rental companies don’t have much concern over lawsuits here and there. Employees working for minimum wage are often pressured to up-sell extra coverage and receive large commissions. With e-signatures becoming the norm, car rental insurance fraud and other car rental extras might be easier for these employees to pull off. Read everything you sign and keep copies, especially when it comes to dealing with companies that have a history of fraudulent complaints.