Lynda LaPlante, founder and president of PAC Inc., a supplier to the rental car industry, died on Jan. 10.
Specializing in providing optional coverage products to the rental industry, PAC Inc. offered insurance services such as personal accident coverage (PAC), personal effects coverage (PEC), collision damage waiver (CDW) and supplemental liability insurance (SLI).
“I first met Lynda LaPlante at a CATRALA trade show in N.Y. near JFK Airport in the early 1980s,” said Dana Clay, founder and former president of TSD Inc. “Lynda was one of the very few female vendors selling her products to a group of hardened ‘car guys.’ Lynda truly cared about the industry. She fought for the right to sell insurance products at the rental counter adding needed income in a growing competitive business.”
In addition to running her company, LaPlante was also involved in presenting various areas of training and development for the car rental industry. She wrote a column “Counter Encounter” for Auto Rental News magazine for two years and spoke at industry events.
"Lynda was one of a handful of prominent women involved with the car rental industry from 1980 through 2011,” said Sharon Faulkner, executive director of the American Car Rental Association (ACRA). “She worked very hard at getting her SLI product approved for sale as an insurance product in different states. She helped many small operators and their employees obtain the required training to become licensed to sell PAC, PEC and SLI.”
LaPlante also supported the car rental industry from the legislation side. She helped form the New York Vehicle Rental Association (NYVRA) and ran the association its first year from the PAC Inc. offices.
“I first met Lynda in the mid-1980s when New York passed the now infamous CDW law, which remained in effect for several years,” said Gil Cygler, owner of AllCar Rent A Car and Carpingo. “During that time, there was a core group of car rental owners who banded together to lobby for a change in the law. Lynda was there with us despite not having a car rental business. Other vendors would attend NYVRA meetings looking to sell their product or service, while Lynda was with us every step of the way.”
Lynda will be remembered not only for selling her products and being an advocate for the car rental industry, but she will also be remembered for being a friend to many in the industry.
“I was one of her loyal customers for decades, but I was also a friend who appreciated Lynda’s energy, intelligence and ability to break through gender barriers and a lot of red tape to get the job done,” said Faulkner.