Being involved in a car accident is always a stressful experience. But getting into a car accident while driving a rented vehicle can add even more stress to an already difficult situation. That is why it is good to be prepared before renting a vehicle, so that you know what your options are if you happen to get into an accident.
What should I do after I am in an accident in a rental car?
For the most part, the steps after being in an accident in a rental car, will be the same as they would have been if you were in your own vehicle. You can read this blog post to learn about your legal duties following a collision, and this blog post to learn about 10 key steps to take after a car accident.
However, when in an accident in a rental car, you are also going to need to report the accident to the rental company right away and file an incident report as soon as possible.
Where does insurance coverage come from for a rental car after an accident?
There are three sources that you can explore for insurance coverage after you are involved in an accident in a rental car:
- Your own personal auto insurance
- Insurance coverage available through the credit card used to pay for your rental car
- Insurance coverage offered by the rental car company
Your personal auto insurance
If you own your own vehicle with its own insurance policy, the coverage from the policy will more than likely extend to your rental car, to cover any injury or damage caused to another driver or their vehicle.
However, it is important to know that your personal car insurance does not automatically cover the damages caused to the rental car. To make sure that damages to the rental car are covered by your personal auto insurance policy, you will need to make sure that you have an SEF 27 attached to your policy. This endorsement will cover damage caused to a non-owned vehicle, including a rental car.
Coverage through your credit card
If you do not have a personal auto insurance policy, you may still be able to access coverage through the credit card used to pay for your rental car. However, this coverage may not be as comprehensive as some of the other options listed here. It is always best to contact your credit card company and ask about the coverage. Some coverage excludes some vehicles and highly depends on price of vehicle or whether it is a sedan, full size, luxury or SUV.
Coverage offered by the rental car company
Rental car companies also often offer their own optional insurance coverage, which you can purchase at the time that you rent your vehicle. You can discuss what options are available to you with your chosen rental car company.
Overall, it is important to know what your options are after being involved in a car accident in a rental car, and to be prepared with the appropriate insurance coverage so that you don’t end up on the hook for any unexpected expenses during an already stressful