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Six Super Smart Strategies for Handling False Rental Vehicle Damage Claims!

Here are six super smart strategies for properly handling and responding to false rental vehicle damage claims:

1.  Understand your agreement.  When you rent a vehicle of any kind, and you provide your own personal or organizational insurance, the rental agreement states that you are responsible for all damages to the vehicle regardless of fault.  In addition, all rental agreements will be subject to audit after the vehicle has been turned in.  This gives the rental firm the right and the power to contact you regarding any damages that may be found after the vehicle has been returned.

2.  Never get angry when you get the call.  If you dropped off your rental vehicle after hours, or if you failed to thoroughly inspect the vehicle when you picked it up, you gave the rental company the power to charge you for any and all damages they may find until the next business day.  Stay calm when you get the call and realize that you may have contributed to it.

3. Ask for the highest level manager on duty. You must speak with someone who can make a decision without having to go through severals levels of bureaucracy just to ask their Daddy how this can be resolved. Typically, this will be the branch rental manager or equivalent. Anyone who has less authority in the chain of command can make excuses or stall you.

4. Insist on complete disclosure from the rental company. Demand respectfully that they go back and pull paperwork from the last 3-5 rentals to make sure that the damages in question were not created by a previous customer. If the damage turns out to belong to a renter before you, you could be completely absolved of damages that you never caused! Get the facts!

5. Take initiative if fault has been found with you. Ask the rental company if you can get three estimates or see the three that they have received. Offer to pay cash for a discount on the damage repairs. If the deductible on your personal insurance is very high, place the damage fees on a low interest, emergency-only credit card. Keep your insurance agent involved in the decision making process as you are investing big bucks to be advised by that expert. Ask the rental firm to waive all admin fees as well.

6. Cooperate with the entire process. Complete all requested accident reports and paperwork in a timely manner. Make sure that you have paid the fees for renting the vehicle in full prior to negotiating anything regarding damages or repairs. You must complete the contractual obligations of the rental agreement before any compromise can be made on anything else.

Bonus Tip: Do not allow the situation to go unresolved. If you fail to work something out, or leave the damages to the rental vehicle unpaid, you will have to deal with ruthless collection agencies and, you will be blacklisted from renting vehicles from that company ever again until you have settled to their satisfaction. Avoid interest, admin, service, and all other fees they can dream up by negotiating proactively rather than just reacting to the situation. These fees can double the charges quickly and cause your good credit to be absolutely tarnished.

This article was written by Craig Speck, three time published author and WWCEO of Speck Ground Transportation. He can be reached at 817–477-3003 or 817-437-8702. Ask for free copies of his three e-books when you call his office. His books teach traveling group decision makers how to travel safer exponentially, how to avoid scams, crashes, and lawsuits, and how to gain absolute confidence in the most dangerous activity they will ever engage in! That would be defined as arranging, negotiating, and hiring ground transportation for their traveling groups as well as driving down the road!

“5.5. Failure to return the vans during office hours. This gives the rental company the power and a license to charge you for all damages that they find until they open the next business day. Invest in an extra day on both legs of the trip to allow yourself sufficient time for pickup and return. Get the office hours in advance and work within the time frames given. Never drop off after hours!” from “The Ultimate Common Sense Group Transportation Guide For Churches and Schools!: How To Learn Not To Crash and Burn” by Craig Speck, Mike Crow

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