A rental car accident is probably the most unexpected thing that happens on vacation. And of course, you don’t want it happens with a rental car. That’s why you should know everything about where to go and what to do in case the worst happens.
Rental car crash: things to keep in mind!
So, your day is ruined. The auto is out of order. No matter on whose account the accident is, just call 911 operators immediately! You should report about any road troubles and ask for an ambulance if it is needed. But what about the rental car crash policy of the car rental company you chose? Are you familiar with the rules?
What happens if you crash the car you rented?
It is appointed in the rental documents that you bear responsibility for what is happening with your auto. The car insurance you bought usually covers all the expenses on repairing. It must be appointed in the company’s rental car crash policy. But if you are drunk when driving, the wrecked auto is fully your responsibility. First of all, clear the situation and reply to all the necessary questions about a rental auto crash. As a rule, the incident report has to be done within 24 to 48 hours of a crash.
If there is damage to the rental auto, should you repair it before returning?
There is no need to put the vehicle into repair service! Your coverage bankrolls the repair costs. If you crash a rental auto without car insurance, you will cover all repair costs of your agency on your own as if you are still hiring a car. So, if it takes three days to renew the car, you will be charged for three days of rental additionally.
How much do you pay if you are in car crash troubles?
If you crash your rental car with your personal coverage, all expenses can be paid. But still, you are obliged to pay the deductible. This is a sum that you pay additionally. Most rental agencies have $400-500 deductible. That means if the agency pays for reparation about $5 000, you pay $500 and your coverage will pay the rest.
Attention! Rental agencies offer supplemental car insurance. It is about $20 per day. Why? It saves you from paying the deductible!
Who covers expenses for the breakage?
The rental auto comes with basic insurance represented by Collision Damage Waiver and Theft Protection if it is in American or Canadian territory.
If you are at fault for the breakages, who pays depends on the insurance. Did you buy any?
Let’s go through the rental car politics concerning crashing!
You purchased CDW at the rental counter
If you bought Collision Waiver in the office, you feel protected. This kind of protection covers most of the spending to replace or repair the auto, except for reckless or drunken driving. But this insurance doesn’t pay for the medical help if you need any. These costs are usually under the liability of your personal coverage.
You wreck a rental auto with your personal coverage
As a rule, personal insurance policies cover rentals. But it is better to check this information before you take a car. Credit card coverage usually pays for damage and doesn’t pay for liability. But if you are the owner of a premium card, more options are available.
You crash your rental auto with no coverage
What happens when you crash a rental automobile without any rental auto insurance?
If you were the reason for the road car accident, you will be fully responsible for damages. Otherwise, you cooperate with a rental car company directly. They may charge one of your credit cards or bill you for the wrecked car anyway.
What extra charges to expect if you break your auto?
As a rule, it is illegal to rent an auto without any auto insurance coverage. Sometimes, it is enough to purchase at least a minimum coverage from the rental car company. Be careful when you travel to California. If you are not protected financially, wait for big penalties.
If you are the fault-driver in a rental car crash incident, you may be additionally charged.
Loss Of Use Fees: When a crashed car is being repaired and out of circulation, you are obliged to pay for the company’s money lost. It’s about $15-40 daily, depending on how much time it takes to reactivate an auto. Check the rental policy before signing the rental agreement.
Diminution Of Value: Of course, the wrecked auto loses value even after it had been repaired and renewed. So, you are charged to compensate for this devaluation. At what price? The fee depends on the crash policy of car rental company and the extent of the breakage.
Administrative Fees can be about $50-$150. This fee associated with the processing of your claim.
If the accident was not your fault, however, you are recommended to contact the at-fault driver to pay these fees. If they refuse, it’s time to sue them in a small claims court.
Follow these tips if a rental car is crashed!
Sum up the situation
After the rental auto crash, check if you and your passengers are out of harm! Call for the police and emergency service 911.
If you are not at fault, take contacts from the at-fault driver. Be ready to answer all the necessary questions to fill out the accident report. Don’t miss any small detail, including the officer’s name, and photos of the damaged car and place.
Document the following:
- Vehicle brand, size, and color;
- Date and exact time;
- Road condition;
- Description of any damages on your vehicle or property;
- Name all drivers, passengers, any victims of the car crash rental incident.
Report to the car owner
You can see you rent a car company’s contacts at the end of the agreement. Contact them and inform about the car problems. Whatever condition the car has, follow the manager’s recommendations, take the representative’s name, and fix the time of your call. The rental manager will clarify the situation about the type of car rental crash insurance you have at the moment.
Give a call to your insurance company and inform them about the road troubles you are in. If the rental vehicle crash damage should be paid for with your personal coverage, it is time to contact a credit card company!
Watch your auto
According to the rental policy, the rented auto is under your protection. Is your car still drivable? Take it back to the rental office or any other pre-agreed location. If the vehicle cannot be driven back to the company-owner, claim for the roadside assistance. Also, you can ask for a car replacement.
Send the report to the rent a car agency
Don’t forget to keep your finger on the pulse and monitor the situation!