(a) As used in this section, the following terms shall have the following meanings:
(1) RENTAL AGREEMENT. Any written agreement setting forth the terms and conditions governing the use of a vehicle provided by the rental company for rental or lease.
(2) RENTAL COMPANY. Any person or entity in the business of providing rental vehicles to the public under a rental agreement for a period not to exceed 90 days.
(3) RENTAL PERIOD. The term of the rental agreement.
(4) RENTER. Any person obtaining the use of a vehicle from a rental company under the terms of a rental agreement for a period not to exceed 90 days.
(5) VEHICLE OR RENTAL VEHICLE. A motor vehicle of the private passenger type (including passenger vans, minivans, and sport utility vehicles) and of the cargo type (including cargo vans, pickup trucks, and trucks with gross vehicle weight of less than 26,000 pounds, which do not require the operator to possess a commercial driver's license).
(b) Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the commissioner may issue to a rental company that has complied with the requirements of this section a limited license authorizing the rental company to offer or sell insurance in connection with the rental of vehicles.
(c) All rental companies licensed pursuant to this section shall be exempt from the 40-hour prelicensing course and written examination requirements of Section 27-7-5, and the continuing education requirements of Chapter 8A of this title.
(d) A rental company licensed pursuant to this section may offer or sell insurance only in connection with and incidental to the rental of vehicles, whether at the rental office or by preselection of coverage in a master, corporate, individual, or group rental agreement, in any of the following general categories:
(1) Personal accident insurance covering the risks of travel, including, but not limited to, accident and health insurance that provides coverage, as applicable, to renters and other rental vehicle occupants for accidental death or dismemberment and reimbursement for medical expenses resulting from an accident that occurs during the rental period.
(2) Liability insurance, including uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage whether offered separately or in combination with other liability insurance, that provides coverage, as applicable, to renters and other authorized drivers of rental vehicles for liability arising from the operation of the rental vehicle.
(3) Personal effects insurance that provides coverage, as applicable, to renters and other vehicle occupants for the loss of, or damage to, personal effects that occurs during the rental period.
(4) Roadside assistance and emergency sickness protection programs.
(5) Any other travel or auto-related coverage that a rental company offers in connection with and incidental to the rental of vehicles.
(e) No insurance may be issued by a rental company licensed pursuant to this section except subject to all of the following conditions:
(1) The rental period of the rental agreement does not exceed 90 consecutive days.
(2) At every rental location where rental agreements are executed, brochures or other written materials are readily available to the prospective renter that meet all of the following criteria:
a. Summarize clearly and correctly the material terms of coverage offered to renters, including the identity of the insurer.
b. Disclose that the coverage offered by the rental company may provide a duplication of coverage provided by a renter's personal automobile insurance policy, homeowner's insurance policy, personal liability insurance policy, or other source of coverage.
c. State that the purchase by the renter of the kinds of coverage specified in this section is not required in order to rent a vehicle.
d. Describe the process for filing a claim in the event the renter elects to purchase coverage and in the event of a claim.
(3) Evidence of coverage in the rental agreement is disclosed to every renter who elects to purchase the coverage.
(f) Notwithstanding any other law, a rental company licensed pursuant to this section may authorize and pay compensation to any employee or authorized representative of the rental company to act individually on behalf of and under the supervision of the rental company to offer or sell insurance coverage permitted under this section, and the employee or authorized representative is not required to be licensed with respect to the kinds of coverage specified in this section. An employee or authorized representative may not be compensated based primarily on the number of customers who elect to purchase insurance coverage, but may receive compensation incidental to his or her overall compensation.
(g) Each rental company licensed pursuant to this section shall conduct a training program in which employees being trained shall receive basic instruction about the kinds of coverage specified in this section and offered for purchase by prospective renters of rental vehicles.
(h) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, or any rule adopted by the commissioner, a rental company licensed pursuant to this section shall not be required to treat monies collected from renters purchasing insurance when renting vehicles as funds received in a fiduciary capacity, provided that the charges for coverage shall be itemized and be ancillary to a rental transaction. The sale of insurance not in conjunction with a rental transaction is prohibited.
(i) This section shall be construed prospectively from August 1, 2000.