“I crashed a rental truck into a low bridge but the insurance I purchased didn’t cover that.”
I’m sure this is a very worrying situation for you, especially since you’ve just taken on the financial commitment of your first home.
In your longer email you provided a copy of the rental agreement signed by you. This is the contract that you and the truck rental company enter into.
It states that the “prohibited use” of a vehicle is “driving it under a barrier that is less than the vehicle’s overhead clearance.” You clearly did so and violated the “strict condition” of the rental agreement.
In addition, the rental agreement makes it clear that if there is a breach of a strict condition, the so-called “damage waiver” will be invalidated. Damage waiver is insurance that aims to protect the car renter in the event of damage or theft, and reduces his liability.
In short, it protects you financially if something goes wrong. In your case, the damage waiver was the insurance you took out to cover the rent.
But violation means invalidation of protection.
However, from this bare starting point, I think we can build some arguments that will give you room for negotiation.
Once you have your arguments made, I suggest that your first step is to convey these points directly to the truck rental company.
But if you can’t resolve the situation directly, you can refer the dispute to the British Vehicle Rental and Leasing Association (BVRLA), a government-approved alternative dispute resolution service.
However, let’s look at the arguments you should make before you get to that point.
You must first raise the issue that you were not aware of the height restrictions on the truck and that you received a “fake” photo claiming to show a notice in the truck that you said never existed.
You will need evidence to support this claim and your witnesses will help you. However, make sure they are trustworthy and credible personalities before pitching.
It is also worth noting that ADR processes place a higher value on reasonableness as an argument than a court that focuses on strict liability.
So any party who submits false evidence to the resolution forum, as the company suggests, has put itself in an awkward position when considering liability.
Next, I would suggest that you challenge the numbers cited by the company regarding the cost of truck repairs and the rental income lost while the vehicle is being repaired.
Get a second opinion on repair costs and request data on how often you rent that specific type of vehicle.
For me (and I’m sure for you too) an important issue here is that you thought you had the truck insured when you took it out.
Under rules introduced by the Competition and Markets Authority in 2016, customers of car rental companies should be provided with transparency when it comes to insurance options and given the opportunity to purchase a product regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).
If you are not presented with insurance options in a clear way, including an FCA product, the rental company may be in breach of BVRLA guidelines. This violation will be of great importance in any conflict resolution process.
Also, under a new consumer protection law launched in July this year, anyone who buys a product regulated by the FCA must receive “clear and timely information that they can understand so they can make good financial decisions, rather than basic information.” Buried in long terms and conditions. .
In layman’s terms, this means that anyone purchasing a financial product, such as insurance, should be given the opportunity to ensure they fully understand the implications of what it does and does not include before signing up.
The new fee also states that consumers should be offered “products and services that are right for them, rather than promoting products and services they do not need.”
All of this means that it’s up to the truck rental company to show you they’re treating you fairly, and explain to you the insurance options on offer, including what they can and can’t cover. More importantly, just when you thought you were getting the “highest level of insurance” it did not cover you in the situation that arose.
In short, your position is not entirely defensible, but you have good reasons to complain about what happened and, if necessary, to escalate that complaint.
If you stand firm, the truck rental company will have to decide how far it is in their best interest to push you and when they will compromise. good luck!
(Tags for translation)Ask a Lawyer