Rental Car Accident – What to Do After a Rental Car Wreck



How Does Insurance Work When Getting in an Accident With a Rental Car

Whether a driver has been in an accident with their own automobile or a rental, the procedure of making a claim is almost identical. In fact, the biggest difference comes from what they must do after the accident. This depends on whether they are covered by their own car insurance, the rental company, or their credit card company.


What to do if you have Crashed a Rental Car

The first thing any driver should do after an accident is to check themselves and their passengers for injuries. Once everyone’s safety has been ensured, drivers should gather the following information to make a claim:

  1. Exchange personal information with the other drivers
  2. Document the accidents with notes and pictures
  3. Contact the rental company
  4. Notify their insurance company about the accident
  5. Make an insurance claim with your insurance company


Who Will Cover the Damage to the Rental Car?

Depending on the circumstances of the crash and the coverage they have, drivers may have to file a claim with one of the following company types:

  1. Personal insurance company
  2. The car rental insurance company
  3. Their credit card issuer via credit card rental insurance
  4. The other driver’s insurance company
  5. Personal Insurance Company-If the driver is responsible for the accident, they can use their liability coverage to cover the costs of the crash they have caused. Some policies also allow drivers to pay for repairing or replacing damaged rentals.


The Car Rental Insurance Company-

When people buy rental car insurance, they purchase add-ons that are added to the minimum amount of liability coverage offered by the car rental company. There are four main types of add-ons that drivers can choose from:

  • Supplemental liability protection (SLP)
  • Loss damage waiver (LDW)
  • Personal accident insurance
  • Personal effects coverage
  • Depending on the type of purchased add-ons, rental car insurance can cover the damage to the other vehicle and the rental.


Credit Card Rental Insurance-

Credit card issuers are known to offer cardholders rental car coverage at no additional cost. When a rental is paid with a certain type of credit card, they automatically get insured for different types of collisions. Some cards also include a loss damage waiver.


The Other Driver’s Insurance Company-

If the other driver is responsible for the crash, their insurance provider needs to be contacted so that a claim can be made for reimbursement for the damaged rental car.


Do Premiums Go Up Because of Rental Car Accidents?

Insurance premiums do go up when drivers are involved in any type of accident, including crashes involving rentals and regardless of whether they have extra coverage from their credit card or the rental agency.


What happens if you damage a rental car

If you damage a rental car, the consequences can vary depending on several factors, including the terms of the rental agreement and whether you have purchased additional insurance coverage. Here are some general guidelines:


Insurance Coverage:

If you have purchased rental car insurance (such as Collision Damage Waiver or Loss Damage Waiver), it may cover the cost of repairs or replacement of the damaged vehicle, often with a deductible.

If you have personal auto insurance, it might extend coverage to rental cars. Check with your insurance provider to understand the extent of coverage.


Credit Card Coverage:

Some credit cards offer rental car insurance as a benefit. However, the coverage can vary between cards, so it’s essential to understand the terms and conditions.


No Insurance:

If you decline all insurance options and don’t have coverage through your personal auto insurance or credit card, you may be personally responsible for the cost of repairs or replacement of the rental car.


Additional Charges:

In addition to repair costs, rental companies may charge administrative fees, loss of use fees (for the time the car is out of service), and depreciation costs.


What happens if you crash a rental car without insurance

All rental cars come with enough liability coverage to ensure that they are legally allowed to drive. This means that drivers will always have some form of partial insurance when driving rentals. But once the limit of the coverage is reached, all subsequential expenses will be paid by the driver out of pocket.

If you crash a rental car without insurance, you could be liable for all the expenses associated with the damage. This may include the full cost of repairs or the replacement value of the vehicle. Rental companies may pursue legal action to recover their losses.

It’s crucial to thoroughly review the terms and conditions of your rental agreement, understand your insurance coverage, and consider purchasing additional coverage if needed. Always contact the rental company as soon as possible to report any damage and discuss the next steps.

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