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Next time you rent a car, you might want to think about....

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Next time you rent a car, you might want to think about....

Postby SeaWolf » Fri Nov 17, 2006 11:42 am

...insurance

We have had lots of rain here lately. Had some major flooding on election day. This rental car is trapped in the Olympic National Forrest and they may not be able to bring it out until spring. The rental company may charge them a "late fee" for every day it's late.
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Claude Hite's go-for-it philosophy -- "If you're not living on the edge, you're taking up too much space" -- is emblazoned on a bumper sticker on his Volkswagen camper parked at his Tampa home on Florida's Gulf Coast.

But it's another vehicle, a rented Chrysler PT Cruiser sitting 3,000 miles away, that might make Hite long for a more sedate life.

While on a camping trip to Washington, Hite and a Tampa friend, Kenny Stadelman, became trapped Nov. 6 when last week's floods washed out part of the only road into the Hoh Rain Forest in Olympic National Park.

The park service rescued the men, along with two stranded park workers, after two days. But a 75-foot-long, 25-foot-deep section of Hoh Road is gone, and Hite's rental car, along with the workers' private vehicles, remain stuck inside the park.

Federal highway officials are surveying damage at the park, but park officials Wednesday said that no timeline has been established for road repair.

Back in Tampa, Hite's wife, Pat, worries that the couple will "have to pay rent on that car until it can be brought out, probably in the spring."

That would cost Hite an extra $20 to $27 per day for every day the car is trapped.

Hite, an epidemiologist for the state of Florida, rented the new, burgundy PT Cruiser for 17 days for $425, plus fuel, from Thrifty Car Rental at Sea-Tac Airport. The car is due back Sunday, the day Hite flies home; Stadelman already has returned.

Greg MacKenzie, risk manager at the local Thrifty business, said charges generally accrue until a rental car is returned, though he might lower the rate in Hite's case.

Hite could have bought a waiver to cover loss or damage for $28.50 per day, including taxes, which exceeded the daily rental cost. He didn't buy it.

"Sure wish we had," his wife said Wednesday. The Hites' car insurance policy in Florida through Esurance covers theft or damage "but doesn't cover 'loss of use,' " she said. "So according to our rental contract, we are responsible for paying the rent until the car is recovered."

The Hites have visited Washington annually for about 15 years and intend to have Stadelman, a contractor, help them build a retirement cabin on Lake Cushman in Mason County.

MacKenzie said he was told last week by Bill Rohde, a district ranger at Olympic, that the park service planned to punch a new road into the park in two or three weeks to gain access to the Hoh Rain Forest visitor center, where the storm knocked out power.

"(Then) we'll send in a truck, a flatbed, and get the car back," MacKenzie said.

But Rohde said Wednesday that no short-term solutions are in sight.

"It's raining like crazy. Winds are howling," he said. "If it keeps raining, the creeks will be coming up like it is again. The weather is putting the kibosh on getting cars out of the Hoh."

Park spokeswoman Barb Mayne said the park's top priority is restoring power so that park buildings and exhibits don't suffer mildew.

MacKenzie said Thrifty might charge Hite its cost-recovery rate -- what it cost the company per day to buy the vehicle from Chrysler.

That rate would be about $19.50 per day, including taxes and fees. Hite is now paying a mix of weekly and daily rates, which work out to about $24 to $27 per day.

Hite and Stadelman said they had little warning about flooding when they entered Olympic during a rainstorm the evening of Nov. 6. When the ranger told them to leave, the road had already washed out, they said.

"It was tricky not to fall into the chasm when we thought we were past the point of no return," Hite said. "And then we got to where there wasn't any road to be flooded, and we stopped in the nick of time. ... I could have died; it was that close."

Rohde said he empathizes with Hite's plight. Eleven years ago, he said, a fall storm washed out the park's roads, stranding Rohde's car for six months.
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Postby Redskins Win » Fri Nov 17, 2006 12:01 pm

stoopid rangers, just get a bull dozer and drag the thing out.
I'm sure yogi and boo boo are driving around

yogi: "hey boo boo, look at me, i'm driving with one hand"
boo boo: "cut it out yogi, the park ranger is gonna catch us"
yogi: "hey boo boo, check the trunk for a pic-a-nic basket"
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Postby Metroid » Fri Nov 17, 2006 1:13 pm

Redskins Win wrote:stoopid rangers, just get a bull dozer and drag the thing out.
I'm sure yogi and boo boo are driving around

yogi: "hey boo boo, look at me, i'm driving with one hand"
boo boo: "cut it out yogi, the park ranger is gonna catch us"
yogi: "hey boo boo, check the trunk for a pic-a-nic basket"


BAHHAHAHA!!! Nice. :-b :-b :-b ;-D
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Yeah whenever I rent I always get the insurance, the windshield has had to be replaced on three different rental cars I've used because of rocks getting kicked up into them. :-t
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Postby lmcjaho » Fri Nov 17, 2006 3:14 pm

The Hites' car insurance policy in Florida through Esurance covers theft or damage "but doesn't cover 'loss of use,' " she said. "So according to our rental contract, we are responsible for paying the rent until the car is recovered."


Simple solution no longer available - drive that sumbitch off the cliff - damage galore ensues, insurance pays...
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Postby dream_017 » Mon Nov 20, 2006 11:24 am

I thought of this :-b

Seinfeld wrote:Agent: Sir the estimate on the damage to your car is two thousand eight hundred
and sixty-six dollars.

Jerry: Hmm, well, I got the insurance and everything so...

Agent: Yes, now, uh, in your report you said that you were not the driver of
the car at the time of the accident.

Jerry: That is right, somebody else was driving.

Agent: Alright, well, sir, you're only covered for when you're driving the car.

Jerry: Uh huh, what's that?

Agent: You're not covered for other drivers.

Jerry: Other drivers?

Agent: Um hm.

Jerry: Your whole business is based on other drivers. It's a rented car.
That's who's driving it, other drivers. Doesn't my credit card cover me or
something?

Agent: Not that particular one.

Jerry: Well I got a hundred cards, here, pick a card, take a card, any card you
want, go ahead, whichever one, I don't care.

Agent: Sir, if you had read the rental agreement--

Jerry: Did you see the size of that document? It's like the Declaration of
Independence, who's gonna read that?

Agent: Mr. Seinfeld, as it stands right now, you are not covered for that
damage and there is absolutely nothing that can be done about that.

Jerry: These pretzels are making me thirsty.
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Postby SeaWolf » Fri Jan 05, 2007 11:25 pm

UPDATE: Car was retrieved and customer was billed $871.

link

Given that Claude Hite drove a rented Chrysler PT Cruiser for only four days and 431 miles, his bill of nearly $900 might seem steep.

Or fairly reasonable, considering that the car sat for 43 days in Olympic National Park, trapped when an early November flood washed out part of the only road into the Hoh Rain Forest.

Hite, a Tampa, Fla., resident who had been on a camping trip to Washington with a friend, feared that the car would be stuck until spring, with rental charges accruing daily.

But Thrifty Car Rental at Sea-Tac Airport retrieved its car Dec. 19 after the park had a temporary bridge installed over a missing 75-foot-long, 25-foot-deep section of Hoh Road above West Twin Creek.

This week, Hite is contemplating his charges: $12 a day for Thrifty's loss of use of the car, $200 for towing and $47 for a damaged side mirror. He also was charged $108 for the four days he drove the car before the flood.

The total bill is $871. Had Thrifty held Hite to his original 17-day rental agreement, then added its weekly or daily rate until it got its car back, the bill could have exceeded $1,400, including towing and damage charges.

And Hite could have faced even higher out-of-pocket expenses, since the mid-December windstorm that walloped Western Washington felled trees in the park, including one that apparently caused the mirror damage but otherwise missed the car.

"We lucked out in a lot of ways," Hite's wife, Pat, said by telephone from Florida. "I'm not going to do a lot of complaining. It could have been much worse."

Thrifty "basically billed our cost of the car" but less than what it could have charged, said Greg MacKenzie, the local franchise's risk manager. "Due to extraordinary circumstances, we're going to be fair."

The park didn't have the one-lane, temporary bridge installed just to rescue the rental car or two other stranded vehicles owned by a ranger and a volunteer.

The main purpose was to allow staff to bring fuel for generators heating park buildings and exhibits to prevent mildew, and to give repair crews access to the road and downed power lines.

Hoh Road could be open to the public by late winter, though a permanent road repair might not be completed until summer, park spokeswoman Barb Maynes said.

Once it got its PT Cruiser back, Thrifty put it back in service.
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Postby lmcjaho » Sat Jan 06, 2007 12:49 am

That's actually pretty nice of them... Thanks for the update! ;-D
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