Drive Away From The Storm

USA TODAY: Car-rental giant Hertz has changed its contracts to make customers responsible for damage from acts of nature.
It told its best customers last month that they’ll be responsible for auto damage from natural causes such as windstorms, hurricanes and tornadoes. In the past, it was the rental firm’s responsibility. Avis and Budget are moving in the same direction.
The general principle has always been that the renter is responsible for vehicle damage, Hertz spokeman, Richard Broome says. Since renters are already liable for unavoidable road accidents, it follows that they also should be liable for acts of nature, which often are foreseeable, he says.
“It’s outrageous,” says consumer advocate Clarence Ditlow of the Center for Auto Safety, a group founded by Ralph Nader. “Just because it’s an industrywide practice, it doesn’t make it fair.”
California and Wisconsin have laws prohibiting rental companies from placing liability on consumers for acts of nature, Broome says. New York and Indiana have laws prohibiting the placing of liability on consumers for flood damage.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.