Your Guide to Rental Car Accidents and Insurance
If you get into a car accident while renting a car you’ll have to sort out what the rental company, you, and the other driver is liable for, all while handling the other challenges of an auto accident case. Whether you’re considering renting or already got into a rental car accident, understanding more about rental cars and insurance is vital.
Personal Auto Insurance vs Collision Damage Waivers
Depending on the nature of your insurance, you might not need extra coverage from the rental car company. If you have a comprehensive auto insurance plan, it likely offers full coverage for rentals; however, even without a comprehensive policy, your liability insurance for property damage might still cover part or all of the bill. In Arizona, you’ll need to have at least $10,000 of property damage liability insurance, but that might not be sufficient if your accident wasn’t low-impact. Always ask your insurance company what the extent of your coverage is before renting.
Note that personal auto insurance plans generally won’t cover you if you’re renting internationally. If you’re uncovered for one reason or another, or simply aren’t sure that your coverage is sufficient, you should purchase a Collision Damage Waiver or Loss Damage Waiver from the rental company. These don’t constitute insurance coverage, yet they do provide a suitable alternative; all these mean is that the insurance company will be responsible for the car’s repair costs in the event of an accident.
Collision Damage Waivers won’t cover damages to other vehicles beyond the rental, so if you’re asked to compensate someone else for an accident you had a hand in, you’re on your own once more. When a third party gets involved, you can file claims through their insurance company, as with other accidents, regardless of the fact that you were in a rental at the time.
Handling Arizona Auto Accidents in Rental Cars
If you’ve just been in a rental car accident, things can seem overwhelming. It’s important to stay calm and take things step by step, so we’ll walk you through the process:
- Administer medical care. As with any accident, your priority should be the health and safety of everyone involved. Administer first aid, call 911, and make sure everyone will be ok.
- Contact the police. You might do this during first aid, but this should be done even if nobody is severely hurt. The police can verify the accident and generate a comprehensive incident police report, which you should request a copy of.
- Tell the rental company what happened. You need to inform the rental company that their car was damaged and you got into an accident. They’ll give you instructions on what to do next, and also talk about your coverage in more detail.
- Open an insurance claim. Contact the other driver’s insurance company and open a claim; however, be careful to not incriminate yourself or provide any more information than is absolutely necessary to open the claim.
- Talk to an attorney. Rental car accidents are fundamentally complex; talking to an experienced attorney will give you valuable insight into your unique case and safeguard your compensation.
If you’ve been in an Arizona rental car accident, ELG can help. Our compassionate attorneys have the resources and know-how to get you the compensation you deserve for your rental car crash, so contact us today at (623) 877-3600 to schedule a free consultation.