IF YOU’RE INVOLVED IN AN ACCIDENT INVOLVING A RENTAL CAR, WHO PAYS FOR THE DAMAGE?
Both Insider and Everquote have listed Florida roads as among the top 10 most dangerous roads in America. The combination of millions of tourists – both international and domestic – who are unfamiliar with Florida roads, along with the ever-increasing frequency of distracted driving, means accidents involving rental cars are quite common.
So, what happens when such a situation occurs?…
If you’ve sustained any personal injuries or damage to your vehicle, you may need to hire a personal injury attorney. If you are experiencing any difficulties with getting answers from the insurance companies, you may need a personal injury lawyer. There is no need to fret either way, case evaluations are free. With the help of a trusted attorney you may be able to recover damages. This includes the costs of your medical care. But what about the damages to the rental car? Who pays for that?
Are You Responsible for Paying for the Damage to Your Rental Car?
No matter which rental car company you use, you’re obligated to your signed agreement. You must return the car in the condition in which you received it.
You will receive a bill for any and all damages. If you’ve ever forgotten to return a rental car without a full tank of gas, you can only imagine how expensive a damaged vehicle can be. Even a minor scratch or dent can leave you with a not-so-minor bill.
Therefore, it’s important to give your rental vehicle a thorough examination before you leave the rental lot. Look over the entire car and write down any damages you see, no matter how small. Thanks to technology, you can even take pictures with your phone for evidence!
What about rental insurance? Do you need it?
Undoubtedly, you were asked if you wanted to pay for insurance provided by the rental car company while at the checkout counter. The cost is $10-$30 per day and usually called something like: loss/collision damage waiver, liability/supplemental liability insurance, personal accident insurance, and personal effects coverage. Often, this is the first time you’ve even thought about it and you’re not sure if you really need it. There is good news if you have your own car insurance. If your insurance includes comprehensive and collision coverage with adequate limits to cover damage, more than likely, you don’t need any supplemental insurance.
Keep in mind, however, your personal auto insurance may not apply to a rental car accident if you’re using it for business purposes. When in doubt, check with your insurance company before you get to the rental car counter to make sure you’re covered. Be certain you have adequate limits for any potential damage.
For extra measure, paying for the rental using your credit card may provide additional coverage and peace of mind when the car is rented in the name of the cardholder. American Express, for example, will reimburse for losses or expenses that are not covered by other insurance plans if you used your credit card to pay for the rental. Credit cards may serve as a secondary coverage, meaning they will pay after your auto insurance pays. To find out if your credit card offers rental protection, simply call the 1-800 number on the back of your card.
When might you consider adding rental insurance from the rental car company?
This is necessary if you don’t have any auto insurance, or if you have insurance with low limits. You may just want a little more peace of mind if you can spare the money. Make sure you disclose any additional drivers who will drive the vehicle should you select additional rental car insurance coverage. If you don’t, that could void the coverage if an accident occurs while someone else is driving.