What to Do if You Have an Accident with Your Rental Car

shutterstock_1724019463-300x155Even with Labor Day in the rear view mirror and children returning back to school, it doesn’t mean that everyone is content to remain at home. Since the pandemic kept much of our wanderlust at bay, there’s still an urge amongst many to hit the road even past the summer months. Combined with more business re-openings, more people will also take to the skies for business travel, which often means renting a car. Although using a rental car is convenient, it does come with its fair share of risks. Read on to learn about tips for protecting yourself if you rent a car and what to do if you are in a rental car accident.

Personal Insurance Policies and Rental Cars

If you’re worried about your rental, look to your personal insurance coverage; make sure that it covers rental car accidents. Many insurance policies often cover the driver and not just the vehicle, so, your personal insurance may protect you in the event of a collision. It is best to verify this prior to your trip.

Business Travel

Traveling for business could make a difference for your personal insurance policy. While the policy typically covers rentals, it might not offer coverage for company time. Be sure to check this out before you rely on this coverage.

Additionally, if you don’t own a car, it doesn’t matter about the distinction between personal or professional travel. But even then, it’s possible that you could have coverage for a rental car accident if you used a credit card to reserve your vehicle. Again, you should check this out before relying on the coverage.

Rental Car Insurance

There are a few different types of coverages that may protect you:

  • Liability Coverage: covers uninsured motorists along with up to $1 million in other liability protection depending on your coverages.
  • Personal Accident Insurance: covers your medical costs after an accident; in some cases, it also covers passengers’ medical costs.
  • Loss Damage Waiver: waives your responsibility for any damage to the rental if there’s an accident.
  • Personal Effects Coverage: protects any of your personal belongings in your rental car.

 Steps to Take if You’re in an Accident with a Rental Car

If you’re in an accident, there are things you should do afterwards. These steps can help you prove fault and get insurance coverages to enact.

  • Contact the local law enforcement agency: Before you leave the scene, the police should make a report about the accident.
  • Obtain information at the scene: Exchange contact and/or insurance information from the driver and witnesses.
  • Document the accident: Take pictures at the scene.
  • Get medical attention: If you’re injured, seek medical attention immediately. If not, you should still schedule an appointment because many injuries take time and may appear later.
  • Contact the rental company: Whether or not you purchased a policy through the agency, they will still probably have you make an incident report.
  • Inform your insurance provider: Whether you have personal insurance or rental insurance, you should tell them about the accident and find out what to do next as soon as possible.

Contact an Experienced Attorney about your Rental Car Accident

While there are a lot of similarities between being in an accident with your own vehicle and a rental car, there are other factors that add complexity to the issue. Our experienced Walton Law attorneys are ready to discuss your case. Contact us right away to go over all the possibilities.

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