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CAR RENTAL FIRMS SETTLE SUIT OVER INSURANCE SALES

Four national car rental companies settled a lawsuit that charged them with selling insurance without a license, State Attorney General Robert Abrams said Friday.

Hertz Corp. of Park Ridge, N.J.; Budget Rent-A-Car of Chicago; National Car Rental of Minneapolis, and Avis of Garden City, L.I., each agreed to pay the state $25,000 as part of the settlement. They denied any wrongdoing.

The companies reportedly were selling baggage insurance, personal accident insurance and supplemental liability insurance to consumers for several years, claiming they were not subject to rules that govern companies licensed by the state to sell insurance.

The state disagreed, but it became a moot point last October when a new state law took effect requiring car rental firms and their franchises to obtain a license from the state Insurance Department.

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