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What to Do if You Have an Accident in a Rental Car While Travelling

Last updated on September 13, 2021

If you have ever been in an accident while renting a car, you may be wondering what to do next. Fortunately for you, there is plenty that can be done. This blog post will help walk you through the process of dealing with car rental insurance companies after being involved in an auto accident.

Follow these six steps if you have an accident in a rental car.

1. Examine the Circumstance

If you are driving a rental car, paying for damages will be redirected to the rental company. It is always best to try and pay out-of-pocket as much damage as possible because it can lead to a lot more headaches in trying to get reimbursed by the rental agency.

2. Gather Proof and Evidence

Suppose you are at fault in the accident. In that case, it is essential to collect this information and understand your insurance policy before speaking with an agent from either party so that you do not incriminate yourself.

After having been involved in an accident, the last thing anyone wants is for their car insurance rates to increase because they gave the wrong information to the insurance company.

3. Call Your Rental Company

If you are in a minor accident, call your rental company and report the damage. Even if there is no visible damage to the vehicle, it’s still essential to get an official police report. This way, you can show proof of what happened if any claims need to be made later on down the road.

4. Call Your Insurance Provider

If you have an accident in a rental car, the most important thing to do is call your insurance provider. This will ensure that you get covered by your insurance policy and are not charged for any damages on top of what has already been paid to rent the car.

5. Ensure Your Car’s Safety

If the vehicle is drivable, move it out of traffic to a safe location. If necessary, have someone call for help and not allow anyone except emergency personnel inside the car until they arrive.

6. Report the Incident to the Rental Company

This is especially important if you have collision insurance through your credit card or travel insurance. If not, it may be cheaper to pay out of pocket than file a claim with the rental company (especially in the US).

Who Pays After a Rental Car Accident?

What happens next if you are at fault in an accident with a rented automobile depends on your insurance coverage.

If you are not covered: If you have an accident while driving a rental car, your own vehicle’s insurance will not apply. It is essential to be aware that if you are involved in any vehicular collision with another person or property, and it was determined that you were at fault for the incident, then it doesn’t matter what type of vehicle you were driving at the time of the accident. The insurance you have with your car will not cover any damages or injuries that occurred due to your mistake.

If you bought the CDW from the rental car company: If you purchased the CDW from a rental car company, something bad happens at some point in your travels. It could be anything – even just an accident that wasn’t your fault or vandalism to the vehicle, and it can occur without warning. When this happens, don’t panic because there are steps you can take right away.

If you already have coverage: If you have rental car coverage on your policy, it will typically cover damage to the rented vehicle. Check with your insurer for more information. Generally, three types of insurance may apply during a car accident: collision insurance, comprehensive insurance, and personal injury protection (PIP) or medical payments coverage.

Additional Fees in the Event of a Rental Car Collision

You might be responsible for three sorts of penalties in addition to damage expenses if you were at fault for the accident.

  • Administrative Fees: Depending on the rental business, additional fees for processing your claim range from $50 to $150 or more.
  • Loss Of Use Fees: When a rental vehicle company’s fleet is out of service, it loses money. To make up for lost revenue, rental firms charge between $20 and $40 a day, based on the model of the vehicle.
  • Diminution Of Value: To compensate for the depreciation, rental firms impose fees. Based on the extent of the damage, the costs might vary dramatically.
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