Imagine taking the road trip of your dreams and cruising down the highway with the wind in your hair. Then, a car comes out of nowhere and the two cars collide.
As if your vacation being ruined by an accident wasn’t bad enough, you’re also driving a rental car.
The good news is, getting in a rental car accident isn’t all that different from an accident in your own car. But, there are a few things you should know about insurance.
Read on to find out what you need to do if you’ve been in a crash with a rental.
What to Do After a Rental Car Accident
If you crash a rental, your first steps will be the same as if you got in an accident with your own car. Remember that your safety and the safety of other people in the crash is the most important thing. Cars can always be fixed.
- Make sure everyone is safe. Call 911 right away if anyone is hurt. If the crash happened on a busy road and the cars are still drivable, try to pull off the road or into a parking lot. You should also call the police to file a report.
- Take photos and get information. Be sure to take pictures from several angles of the crash scene and any car damage. When you’re talking to the police officer, don’t take responsibility for the crash and get a copy of the report. Get the name and insurance information from other people in the crash.
- Call the rental company. Tell the agent that you’ve been in an accident and ask what to do next. They will give you instructions about where to drive the car or how to get it towed. You may also need to file a report with the rental company.
- Call your own insurance company. Contact your agent or insurance provider to file your claim. If you’re not sure what your plan covers, ask about your deductible and if you have collision and comprehensive coverage.
- Be careful with social media. If you continue with your vacation after the accident, think before you post on social media. If you claim an injury but keep posting vacation pictures, an insurance company could use that against you to deny your claim.
Consider Hiring a Lawyer
If you need help dealing with insurance companies, don’t forget you can always hire a lawyer. Insurance policies are complex legal documents so it is helpful to have an expert on your side.
The laws are not always the same across states in the U.S., so you might want to hire a lawyer in the state where you had the accident.
If you were injured in the accident, that’s another good reason to contact a lawyer. The best auto accident attorney will look out for you and can end up saving you a lot of money.
Preventing Insurance Problems Next Time
In the U.S. and Canada, you will be able to use your own car insurance policy. Before going on vacation, make sure you have collision and comprehensive coverage because that is what will pay for any damages to the rental car.
The best way to protect yourself financially is to buy the collision damage waiver from the rental company even though it’s an added fee. It will release you from having to pay to fix all damages to the rental.
If you’re renting a car in Europe, you have three options. You can buy a collision damage waiver (CDW) from the renter, use your credit card’s insurance coverage, or add car insurance to your travel insurance package.
Getting in an accident is always frustrating and scary, but when it’s a rental car accident, there’s even more paperwork and insurance to deal with.
The best way to have a stress-free vacation in the U.S. is to know what your own insurance policy covers. If you’re going abroad, research the insurance options to make sure you’re protected.
To learn more about cars and how to stay safe on the road, check out our automobile articles.