The last thing you expect when you rent a car is to have an accident. That is why it is so tempting to reject rental car insurance when it is offered to you. After all, you know you will never need it. Until you do. Because accidents can happen to anyone at any time. This is when the lawyers at law offices of Brown & Gessell want you to know that there may be options available to you even without the rental car policy because your own car insurance may have you covered.
What Should You Do After a Rental Car Accident?
The same steps that apply whenever a car accident occurs, apply in these cases. Follow them but also let the car rental company know about the accident.
Check for Injuries – Make sure you, your passengers, and the other driver are safe and in good health. Otherwise, call an ambulance.
Call the Police – If you already requested an ambulance, the police likely will come with it. Otherwise, call 911 and report the accident. Wait for the police to arrive and prepare a report. Request a copy.
Exchange Information – Get all relevant information from the other driver including their contact details, driver’s license and insurance policy, and the car’s make, model, and license plate number.
Document the Scene – Take pictures of your injuries, of both cars and of anything that may have contributed to the accident. Make note of anything you do not wish to forget.
Inform the Rental Car Company – Also, contact your own insurance provider or your credit card, if it offers coverage. Tell them about the accident.
Will Your Personal Insurance Cover a Rental Car Accident?
In general, you can expect most personal insurance policies to cover these accidents. Here is how that would happen:
Most states require drivers or car owners to carry liability coverage to pay for any damages caused by an accident. This extends to whenever you are driving a rental car.
Collision and Comprehensive Coverage
If you carry comprehensive and collision insurance, it is likely that your own coverage will probably cover any damage or loss to the rental car, although you may have to pay a deductible. The rental car company may also expect you to pay a “loss of use” daily fee for every day they are unable to rent the car while it is being fixed.
Your health insurance policy may cover any medical costs associated with the accident. If this is all the insurance you have, you would be better off accepting the rental car policy when offered.
Do You Need a Lawyer After a Rental Car Accident?
Because rental car accidents tend to be much more complicated than an accident in your personal vehicle, you will likely be facing a mountain of paperwork and bureaucracy. You may also need someone who can answer your doubts regarding liability and insurance coverage.