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Accidents in a Rental Car

You’re on vacation in your rental car and get in an accident. What happens next? Who is liable? Will my insurance policy cover me? These are just a few of the questions you may ask yourself. The answers will vary depending on what rental car company you rent from and what insurance policy you have.

Female Driver Making Phone Call After Traffic Accident With Head In Hands.

Your Auto Insurance Policy

Most auto insurance policies will travel with you when you’re on the road within the United States. Just in case you should contact your insurance company before driving a rental car to make sure your particular policy will provide the coverage you need. In almost all cases, your insurance policy’s comprehensive and collision coverage will extend to a rental car. If you purchase the rental car company’s insurance, it will be treated as supplemental above your personal insurance policy.

When you get into an accident in a rental car, notify the rental car company and fill out an accident report form. The rental car companies will most likely charge your personal auto insurance before the rental insurance kicks in. If you have sufficient personal liability insurance, the rental car insurance will most likely not be necessary.

The Credit Card You Paid With

Some credit cards offer services for their customers such as offering insurance on rental cars paid for with the credit card. Check with your credit card company to see if this service is offered. Also, check with them before you rent to see what their limitations are on renting a vehicle. Some limitations can be time limits, for example: you have a rental car for 30 days and your credit card will only cover your rental for 2 weeks. If you do go this route, make sure you contact the credit card company immediately after the accident to get your information in their system as they will have a time limitation on claims after the accident.

The Rental Car Company

If you have full coverage for rental cars on your personal insurance and rental insurance on your credit card, you probably will not need the rental car company’s extra insurance coverage. So when is purchasing the rental car company insurance a good idea? There are a few situations where this would be a good idea. If you live in a city and do not have a car or auto insurance, the rental car company insurance is necessary. Before purchasing the rental car company’s extra insurance, make sure you read the contract very carefully and clarify with the rental agent exactly what is covered and what is not.

If you were injured in an accident involving a rental car, contact a personal injury lawyer to discuss your case. Attorney Charles V. Contrada will explain your legal options, guide you through the process.

To speak to attorney Charles V. Contrada about a car accident in Ohio or Michigan, call 419.841.4400. Charles has helped thousands of individuals with car accident claims and will explain the legal options that are available to you. Call Contrada & Associates for comprehensive legal guidance that will help you to receive the most favorable outcome.


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Attorney Charlie Contrada has been practicing law since 1979, focusing his career on personal injury, car accident, and mesothelioma cases. Over the years, Charlie has helped thousands of clients throughout Northwest Ohio and Southeast Michigan to receive the settlements that they deserve.