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Car Accidents in Rental Cars

Even the best of drivers can experience an accident, especially when driving an unfamiliar rental car. In many cases, getting into an accident with a rental car should be treated in a similar manner to any other auto accident. You’ll need to file a police report and report the rental car accident to your auto insurer. However, you may need to deal with some complications due to the vehicle being rented rather than owned. Learn about some common legal issues that may arise after you have been in an accident with a rental car.

What to Do

After getting into an accident with a rental car, check with your insurance company about your individual policy. In some cases, your policy may offer coverage for accidents that occur while driving a rental car or vehicle owned by another person. Also check the credit card in which you paid for the rental car. Some credit cards offer insurance for rental cars and this benefit may come in handy in case of an accident. It’s important to check with the rental car company about their policies regarding damaged vehicles. Some damages may be covered by the insurance companies while others may require out of pocket expenses.

Reporting an Accident

Reporting an accident involving a rental car involves several more steps than a regular auto accident would consist of. In a typical car accident, the collision would be reported to the police and the personal insurance company of each driver. However, if you are renting a vehicle, you will also need to report the accident to the rental company. This includes providing the rental company with any documentation involving the rental car.

Even if your insurance company covers accidents that occur in rental cars, it’s important to always read your insurance policy in detail. These policies often contain a lot of fine print that may include some loopholes. Do not waste your money purchasing additional insurance from your rental company if the coverage offered by your personal insurance overlaps with the coverage offered by the rental company insurance. 

Familiarize yourself with your own auto insurance policy to determine if you are in need of additional insurance to cover your rental car in case of an accident. Some rental companies may pressure you into purchasing additional coverage when renting a vehicle, especially if the deductible on your personal insurance is high. While this isn’t necessary, it’s important to ensure that you have adequate insurance before renting.

Extra Accident Tips

In many cases, your own insurance will cover the damage done to a rental car in the case of an accident. Check to see what types of coverage your policy provides or you may end up paying a bundle. Also note that when you purchase insurance from a rental car company, the coverage typically only covers those individuals listed as drivers on the agreement. If you allow someone else to drive, they will not be covered by the insurance company. To make the situation go quicker, be sure to have all documentation, as well as your registration handy in the glove box of the rental car.