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Ontario woman shocked when U.S. car rental company forces her to buy its car insurance

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An Ontario woman is out more than $900 after a U.S. car rental company said it no longer accepts Canadian car insurance.

"I had my back up against the wall, so I didn't have a choice. I had to pay it," said Cynthia Pullano, of Woodbridge.

Pullano said she was in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., with her sister in January and had rented a car in advance through travel website Expedia.

The cost to rent the car for one week was $372, but when Pullano arrived to pick it up, the rental company, Priceless Car Rental, said she must also pay for car rental insurance, even though she has rental coverage through her own policy.

"He claimed they were no longer accepting Canadian car insurance, and for that reason, I had to pay," said Pullano.

Pullano says the insurance coverage plus a fee to cover highway tolls cost her an additional $562, boosting the total cost of the rental car to $934.

The rental company would not let her rent the car unless she obtained rental coverage, even though Pullano insisted she didn't need it.

"I had no choice but to pay it, or I wouldn't get my vehicle, and then where was I supposed to go at that point in time?" said Pullano.

A spokesperson for Priceless Car Rental told CTV News Toronto it no longer accepts Canadian insurance due to previous claims being denied.

"This particular location, Priceless of Fort Lauderdale, does make it a point to disclose Expedia and our own website that they do not accept Canadian insurance," the statement reads.

The Insurance Bureau of Canada (IBC) said that if your policy includes car rental coverage, it should be accepted by a car rental company in the U.S.

"From a Canadian perspective the policy does cover you in the United States," said Anne Marie Thomas with IBC. "I guess a business has the option not to choose to accept your coverage, but then my advice would be to try another car rental company."

Pullano feels she deserves a refund and has been trying to get one since her trip but without any success.

However, the website for Priceless' Fort Lauderdale branch states in fine print that it does not accept Canadian insurance.

When renting a car outside of Canada, you might want to see if your car rental insurance has any limitations. It's best to have a copy so you know what you're covered for. 

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