My Point of Heu
So, I am going to start by saying... this incident occurred in January of this year (2019) and my husband and I did not sustain any injuries from this event that took place.
Ok, I am motivated to write this blog because this was a learning experience for us and it has impacted me for a few months now...
Let me paint the picture for you - every month I go to Maui for work. My amazing husband was able to come with me during a weekend getaway with a small mix of work. It was a beautiful sunny Sunday morning and we got some drinks, snacks (sandwiches, chips and treats) at the store on the block down the street from our hotel and we happily loaded up the car and proceeded to head to the beach.
Parked next to us was a man in a utility plumbing truck, the one with all the metal on the back-end... he was lackadaisically sitting in his truck bumping some tunes and chilling in the driver's side seat. We carefully buckled up, started to back out of the parking space, of which the truck was directly next to us on the driver's side. We reversed, then pulled forward and started to make our way down the aisle and out of the parking lot. At that same moment the truck started up and all of sudden started backing up. It backed right into the rear end of the car we were driving and tore off the rental car's bumper. As you can imagine there wasn't even a scratch on his truck.
The driver of the car immediately got out and said "I am so sorry this is all my fault, I didn't even see you guys. I watched as you both loaded up your car and got into your car, but I didn't even look..."
So here's why I am writing this blog... (as you can see the photos above truly tell the story). The rental car agency was great. We took the car back and got a new one. I called my insurance and we got the business card, license plate, driver's license and insurance card from the guy who hit us. BTW his name is Jason, so I am just going to call him Jason from now on.
There coincidentally was MPD at the same location we were at when the incident occurred, but the rental car agency said it wasn't necessary to file a police report since there were no injuries.
In the months following the incident, Jason did claim responsibility for the accident, but I still had to file paperwork with the rental car and my insurance. Hawaii is a no-fault state but it appeared Jason's insurance was going to cover everything. My insurance even said that his insurance should cover all the cost- repair, fees, loss of use, etc.
Fast forward to April, we are now 4 months after the incident and a collection company on the mainland is calling me because Jason's insurance did not pay for everything. They paid $7,800 (reportedly) for the damage and repairs. Now the collection agency was asking me to pay just under $400 for the loss of use. This translates into the days the car was not capable of being used or rented while it was in the shop. I texted Jason and asked him about it and he said he paid enough already. Which is untrue he only paid his deductible his insurance paid for the damage. He also felt that the additional fees were a scam and didn't think the car was even worth the amount paid to fix it. However it was a brand new Nissan. So here's what Jason says once the collection agency started asking me for the money...
So in the end... when we did nothing wrong and this fool backs-up without looking into our car... he felt he had done everything he could. I asked him if he would at least split the other cost with me and he ignored me. Ok, I get it... your insurance paid most of it so you are done.
Now here's where I learned a great deal, aside from this debacle that we were complete innocent bystanders, that were about 7 seconds in the wrong place at the wrong time...
Both insurance companies said they would not pay the loss of use fee from the car rental company. Essentially the rental is saying the car was not i use so we lost out on this daily amount of money. Both insurance companies (Jason's and mine - btw my insurance initially said it would have been covered) claim that the rental car company has to be able to show proof that all 100% of the cars on the lot were booked and they lost money from not having the car available. They suggested I call my credit card that held the deposit or take the rental company to small claims court. What a mess right?!
In the end, what it comes down to is when you book your rental car and they try to sell you on the added insurance and they tell you that the insurance you have doesn't cover the time the car is in the shop - they are telling the truth! if you opt to pay the $10-$12 a day for the additional insurance that would cover that issue, apparently. If you do your research it seems this can get pretty messy with people going back and forth with their credit card, insurance and even credit agencies and court documents getting involved. "in a 2012 Colorado case in which the state's supreme court ruled car rental companies could collect damages even if they didn't suffer any financial losses." according to USA Today.
In the end, be sure to review your rental agreement, make sure you know your insurance policy and that of your credit card, consider getting the extra insurance, and drive carefully. Even though we were completely caught off guard and didn't do anything wrong I still had to pay hundreds of dollars to resolve the matter just because a guy named Jason admittedly saw us but didn't think to look before backing out - thus we got hit by a truck and the last thing he chose to tell me was... "Once again I am very sorry.'