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Caught in the Weeds: B.C. driver on the hook for $4K rental bill due to coverage mixup

Squamish, British Columbia — A chance encounter with Calgary’s early July hailstorm has left a visiting British Columbia driver on the hook for thousands as insurance fineprint snatches up another victim.

Henrietta Veenstra of Squamish was caught in Calgary in early July, around the time the city was hit with a substantial hailstorm.

The rental pickup truck that Veenstra had rented for her time in Alberta ended up taking some damage in the storm.

“I knew we were going to be hit with damages,” Veenstra said.

“I knew I would have to file a claim and go through all of that process, but I was very confident it would be covered in the end and we wouldn’t be on the hook for anything.”

So when the $4,424.50 bill showed up, Veenstra scoured her insurance plan for an answer.

She found that her credit card’s rental coverage specifically excludes pickup trucks.

“I kind of felt sick to my stomach,” she said.

Veenstra is in the process of selling her personal vehicle, so she temporarily downgraded to a basic ICBC plan, accidentally making herself ineligible for coverage on a pickup truck.

“It was an honest mistake, but a costly mistake,” she said.

“The bottom line is that if you are renting a vehicle, make a call to your insurance provider to better understand the coverage that you have and the coverage you might need to ensure you are properly protected in case something happens,” said Rob de Pruis of the Insurance Bureau of Canada.

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