When you rent a vehicle, the rental car company will ask you if you would like to purchase insurance. Opting not to get the company’s offer of insurance will not exactly come back to haunt you should you get into a car accident. Some variables that will impact your rental car accident case:
Car rental contracts can be tedious to understand because they are often filled with verbiage that states you are responsible for any damage to your car rental, no matter who is at fault for a car accident.
When you rent a car, you need to make sure that you inspect it for any damage and notate it on the paperwork the company gives you. Make sure you ask for a copy of the rental statement, as the company can charge you for even a minor scratch, whether it is your fault or not.
Often, your car insurance policy will cover you when you get into a car accident involving a rental car. It is best to read the fine print on your policy to make sure that it covers rental cars, however, speaking with your car insurance agent can help you make sense of your policy.
Ask whether your coverage can be applied to a rental car if you are going to use it for personal use. Liability coverage will help pay any damage you cause using your rental vehicle, and comprehensive coverage will help repair your rental car if it is stolen or damaged in a natural disaster. Collision coverage helps pay or repair your rental car if it has been damaged in a car accident. Depending on what your policy insures, you can then also decide whether to take the rental car company’s offer to cover the car.
It is also worth noting that many credit cards cover rental car insurance as long as you utilize the card to rent the vehicle. In these cases, credit card rental car insurers typically cover you no matter who is at fault. However, some credit cards only cover secondary coverage which would only take care of damages that go beyond your primary insurance carrier. The details are in the fine print, and you may want to discuss this option with a representative from your credit card issuer to see how it works for cardholders. If they do offer secondary coverage, you will need to report any damage that was sustained when you rented the vehicle, and remember that credit card car insurance only works if you used it during the rental car transaction.
It is important to remember that there are credit card providers who will not extend coverage for certain vehicles, including luxury vehicles and motorhomes. If you are interested in renting any of the aforementioned vehicles, it is wise to check with your credit card and see if they are excluded.
If you do not own a vehicle or do not have car insurance, it is a wise investment to take the rental car insurance company’s offer. Delaware, along with most states, requires at least liability insurance to operate a motor vehicle.
Also, it is a good idea to take the rental car’s offer for extra protection if your car insurance policy does not include comprehensive and collision coverage. You are only insured under a commercial car insurance policy.
If your policy with your insurance company does not cover you in a rental car accident and neither does your credit card, then the car rental company will seek reimbursement for damage that the car sustained. As with any car accident, there can be other variables involved, such as injuries, that can make paying a car rental company seem trivial.
However, if the other driver caused your car rental accident, then their insurance will be liable for any property damage that occurred. You will still need to notify the car rental company that you were involved in an accident using one of their vehicles. The car rental company will hopefully work with the at-fault driver’s insurance company to recoup compensation, however, the possibility exists that the car rental company will choose to charge your credit card for the damages. Then, you will have to seek reimbursement from the at-fault driver’s insurance company.
Often, someone will rent a car while on vacation. Unfortunately, even when you are out of state, you can still get into a car accident. If you have been involved in a car rental accident, then speak with one of our Delaware car accident lawyers at Jacobs & Crumplar, P.A. today. Call us today at 302-656-5445 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Wilmington and Millsboro, Delaware, we proudly serve clients throughout Dover, New Castle County, and Sussex County.