2021 Georgia Code
Title 40 - Motor Vehicles and Traffic
Chapter 9 - Reporting Accidents; Giving Proof of Financial Responsibility
Article 5 - Assigned Risk Plans, "Spot" Insurance, and Cooperation by Insured
§ 40-9-102. Insurance for Person Renting U-Drive-It Vehicle

Universal Citation: GA Code § 40-9-102 (2021)

Any person who rents motor vehicles from a U-drive-it owner is required to provide his own insurance, and insurance companies authorized to issue automobile policies in this state shall be required by the Commissioner of Insurance to provide "spot" insurance, which shall be purchased by such person before the U-drive-it owner shall be authorized to turn a motor vehicle over to such person. If a U-drive-it owner turns over any motor vehicle to any person without first ascertaining that such "spot" insurance has been obtained, the U-drive-it owner shall not, as to that particular rental transaction, be exempted from the provisions of this chapter as provided in Code Section 40-9-4.

(Ga. L. 1951, p. 565, § 23; Ga. L. 1963, p. 593, § 10; Code 1933, § 68C-604, enacted by Ga. L. 1977, p. 1014, § 1; Ga. L. 1994, p. 97, § 40.)

Law reviews.

- For annual survey article discussing developments in insurance law, see 51 Mercer L. Rev. 313 (1999).


Purpose of section.

- Car rental agency's failure to verify a renting driver was insured did not constitute negligence per se so as to make the agency liable in an action against the agency by occupants of a vehicle who were injured in a collision involving a vehicle rented from the agency. O.C.G.A. § 40-9-102 was not designed to prevent the collision which caused the plaintiffs' injuries, but, rather, the statute's purpose is to assure that such tortfeasors are not uninsured. Rabinovitz v. Accent Rent-A-Car, Inc., 213 Ga. App. 786, 446 S.E.2d 244 (1994); Alamo Rent-A-Car, Inc. v. Hamilton, 216 Ga. App. 659, 455 S.E.2d 366 (1995).

O.C.G.A. § 40-9-102 requires that a person who rents from a U-drive-it owner must provide insurance for the vehicle either through a vehicle insurance policy the renter already holds for the renter's own vehicle that covers the renter while driving another car or by purchasing at the time of rental an insurance policy that covers the specific rental vehicle. Atlanta Rent-A-Car, Inc. v. Jackson, 204 Ga. App. 448, 419 S.E.2d 489, cert. denied, 204 Ga. App. 921, 419 S.E.2d 489 (1992).

Co-operators not subject to statute.

- Clear language of O.C.G.A. § 40-9-102 addresses itself to the renter of the vehicle, not the operator, authorized or not, inasmuch as the relationship with the rental agency is a matter of contract; thus, an authorized co-operator of a vehicle, who is not deemed a co-renter by the contract, is not subject to the statute. A. Atlanta Autosave, Inc. v. Generali - U.S. Branch, 270 Ga. 757, 514 S.E.2d 651 (1999).

Liability insurance for injury to third parties.

- Language in an automobile rental agreement stating that the lessor "furnishes no insurance whatsoever to the renter" did not exempt the lessor from providing liability insurance for injury to third parties. Jones v. Wortham, 201 Ga. App. 668, 411 S.E.2d 716, cert. denied, 201 Ga. App. 904, 411 S.E.2d 716 (1991).

O.C.G.A. § 40-9-102, which provides that lessees from U-drive-it agencies furnish their own insurance, does not completely exempt the agencies from their duty to procure liability insurance as owners of vehicles pursuant to the insurance law. Jones v. Wortham, 201 Ga. App. 668, 411 S.E.2d 716, cert. denied, 201 Ga. App. 904, 411 S.E.2d 716 (1991).

Car rental company was properly granted summary judgment in a suit by the children and estate of a decedent who was injured and died as a result of a collision with a rented vehicle as the company's violation of O.C.G.A. § 40-9-102 by failing to require the lessee of the vehicle to have "spot" liability insurance was not the proximate cause of the collision which caused the decedent's injuries and death, and, therefore, the company, which had the company's own liability insurance covering the vehicle, was not personally liable for the decedent's injuries and death. Scott v. Joe Thomson Auto Rental & Leasing, Inc., 257 Ga. App. 453, 571 S.E.2d 475 (2002).

Liability when driver not party to contract.

- Driver of rented automobile, who was listed as an additional driver but not as an additional renter and who did not sign or cosign the rental agreement, was not a party to the agreement; therefore, the driver's insurance provider was not liable for costs arising out of an accident. A. Atlanta AutoSave, Inc. v. Generali - U.S. Branch, 230 Ga. App. 887, 498 S.E.2d 278 (1998).

Operator's insurance policy deemed primary.

- Operator's insurance was primary and the owner's insurance afforded excess coverage, if any, in the case of a rental car, even though the operator's policy contained an "excess insurance" clause which stated that any liability insurance provided by the company for a vehicle not owned by the insured should be excess of any other collectible insurance. Jones v. Wortham, 201 Ga. App. 668, 411 S.E.2d 716, cert. denied, 201 Ga. App. 904, 411 S.E.2d 716 (1991).

Under O.C.G.A. § 40-9-102, U-drive-it car rental companies are not exempt from the companies' duty under O.C.G.A. § 33-34-4 to insure cars the companies own, but the companies enjoy special treatment in terms of priority of coverage on cars rented to the public, and the renter's liability insurance coverage provided primary liability coverage for loss caused by a driver of a rental car. Jordan v. Spirit Rent-A-Car, 252 Ga. App. 117, 555 S.E.2d 734 (2001).

Company's employee who rented the vehicle from the vehicle owner was insured under the insurance policy that the vehicle owner had with the insurer on which the vehicle owner was listed as an additional insured, and, thus, under Georgia statutory law, the renter's insurance provided the primary insurance coverage and the vehicle owner provided the secondary coverage after the company's employee injured the victim in a collision unless it was shown that the parties contracted to reverse the order of priority; since no such contract was shown, the insurer's coverage was the primary insurance coverage. Zurich Am. Ins. Co. v. General Car & Truck Leasing Sys., 258 Ga. App. 733, 574 S.E.2d 914 (2002).

Lessee's insurance primary when lessor uninsured.

- When automobile lessee's insurance had been canceled at the time the lessee rented the automobile, the lessor's insurance became primary insurance for purposes of accident coverage, notwithstanding facts that lessor's manager thought the manager had verified that lessee did have insurance, and that lessee was not the driver of the automobile at the time of the accident. A. Atlanta AutoSave, Inc. v. Generali - U.S. Branch, 230 Ga. App. 887, 498 S.E.2d 278 (1998).

Rental agency not required to offer insurance.

- O.C.G.A. § 40-9-102 does not require the U-drive-it owner to offer insurance at the time of rental if the renter already has insurance to cover the rental vehicle. The notations on the face of the rental contract at issue demonstrate that the car rental agency ascertained that the renter had insurance coverage before renting the car to the renter, therefore, a car rental agency was not required to offer insurance to a renter or to require renter to purchase insurance to be eligible for the exemption afforded by O.C.G.A. § 40-9-102. Atlanta Rent-A-Car, Inc. v. Jackson, 204 Ga. App. 448, 419 S.E.2d 489, cert. denied, 204 Ga. App. 921, 419 S.E.2d 489 (1992).

Primary coverage provided by rental company.

- When a rental company incorporated the company's own liability coverage as part of the company's rental agreement and failed to determine whether the renter maintained the renter's own liability coverage, the company's coverage had priority over the renter's policy. Ryan v. Boyd, 911 F. Supp. 524 (M.D. Ga. 1996).

Renter's insurance not primary in all instances.

- O.C.G.A. § 40-9-102 does not mean that a renter and U-drive-it owner cannot, under any circumstances, contract between themselves for the owner's insurance to be primary. General Car & Truck Leasing Sys. v. Woodruff, 214 Ga. App. 200, 447 S.E.2d 97 (1994).

Lack of coverage by renter.

- Car rental agency looses the statutory exemption provided by the statute when it is later determined that the renter did not have insurance coverage. A. Atlanta Autosave, Inc. v. Generali - U.S. Branch, 270 Ga. 757, 514 S.E.2d 651 (1999).

Application to dealers who loan cars to customers.

- Unambiguous provisions of a used vehicle dealer's insurance policy provided that the dealer's customer, who had borrowed a car while the customer's car was repaired, was an insured under the policy but was only insured up to the compulsory legal limits of O.C.G.A. § 33-7-11. Because the car was not rented, the provisions of O.C.G.A. § 40-9-102 did not apply. Grange Mut. Cas. Co. v. Fulcher, 306 Ga. App. 109, 701 S.E.2d 547 (2010).

Cited in Wausau Ins. Cos. v. Lightnin' Truck Rental, Inc., 194 Ga. App. 819, 392 S.E.2d 32 (1990).


Am. Jur. 2d.

- 7 Am. Jur. 2d, Automobile Insurance, §§ 22, 24.


- State regulation of motor vehicle rental ("you-drive") business, 60 A.L.R.4th 784.

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