Rental Car Accident Claims & Insurance Tips
Being in a car accident — or having a family member injured or even killed in a wreck — is devastating. Between recovery, repairs, lost time at work, and other financial burdens, it’s important for victims to know what to do after a car accident. But what about rental cars?
What do I do if I wreck a rental car? What if the accident wasn’t your fault? What if the vehicle was malfunctioning, and it’s the rental agency that’s at fault?
Below, we’ll go over some rental insurance basics and give you an action plan for settling a rental car insurance dispute.
Rental Car Insurance
There are three types of insurance that you may be able to use to help reimburse a rental car agency after an accident. Remember: Even if another driver was negligent, rental companies expect (legally) to get their vehicles back in the condition they rented them to you. Fortunately, with some forethought, you can cover a number of different kinds of rental car accidents with these types of insurance:
- Credit Card Rental Insurance: Most major credit card companies include some form of rental insurance. Read your credit card agreement and be sure to reach out to the credit card company you used to rent the car. Note that credit cards rarely offer liability coverage (bodily or property damage).
- Personal Car Insurance: Most likely, you have personal car insurance if you regularly drive. Personal car insurance providers usually match what a rental company covers regarding liability, and perhaps even collision and comprehensive coverage. (If you opt out on liability coverage, rental companies may require proof of personal insurance coverage.)
- Rental Car Company Insurance: Worried about getting into a rental car accident or financial repercussions? Get the extra insurance. Most rental agencies offer collision damage (theft or other repairs you weren’t responsible for), liability coverage (medical and property damage), personal accident insurance (medical cost, ambulance fees, etc.), and personal effects coverage (lost items or damaged property).
What Do I Do If I’m in a Rental Car Accident?
Now for the big question: What should you do if you are involved in a rental car collision? Like other Car Accidents, the most important step is to get safe, call the police, and get medical attention if required.
Another major step is to exchange information with the other involved parties, take pictures, and document everything. Collecting “evidence” can be a major factor in determining fault and later insurance reimbursement with the aforementioned three insurance providers.
You’ll need to contact your rental company even before your own insurers. They’ll be able to give you additional information and walk you through other steps.
Finally, you may want to Call a Car Accident Lawyer. While most people can handle minor insurance issues on their own, a car accident attorney can help you ensure the best possible outcome. Reach out to Chris Dixon and the Dixon Injury Firm today for more information about rental car accidents, a case review, and a free consultation.