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Tips to Handle a Rental Car Accident

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Despite being a safe driver, accidents do happen, especially when you are driving an unfamiliar car in an unfamiliar place. If you have a traffic accident or hit or scratch your rental car, here are some steps you can take.

1. Call the Police

If the rental car accident involves another car and driver, you need to call and report the incident. An officer will come to the scene if necessary, or you will file a police report over the phone. Even if another driver is not involved, it’s a good idea to call the police because many insurance companies will want to know that a report was filed.

2. Check your Rental Agreement and Contact the Rental Car Company

Check your rental car agreement to confirm whether or not you purchased insurance coverage for the rental car. It is not always necessary or beneficial to purchase this insurance, but make sure you know what coverage you have before taking any further steps. Whether or not you purchased the insurance, the next step is to call the car rental company and inform them of the rental car accident.

3. Call Your Credit Card Company

Some credit cards offer insurance coverage that covers you while you are driving a rental car, and if you have a credit card with these benefits, hopefully you used it to rent the vehicle. If so, call the credit card company directly. Some credit card companies will cover the entire amount including any deductible, and this is helpful to know before you contact your personal insurance provider.

4. Call Your Personal Auto Insurance Company

Now that you know what is covered by your credit card company, it’s time to call your personal auto insurance representative. If you do not have coverage through a credit card, your personal insurance will provide the primary insurance coverage for a rental car accident. The rental car company will usually submit expenses directly to the insurance company so hopefully you won’t need to worry about this.

Overall Tips on Rental Car Insurance & Accidents

1. Before traveling and renting a car, check to see what auto insurance coverage you have from your credit card and insurance companies to determine if you need to buy any supplemental insurance from the rental car company.

2. If you have a credit card that offers rental car insurance, always use this card when renting a vehicle.

3. If you have an rental car accident, report it to your credit card company and insurance company as soon as you can because there are time limits for reporting incidents.

4. Check your credit card statement after a rental car accident to make sure the rental car agency did not charge you directly for any repairs.

Accidents happen, even on vacation, and hopefully these tips will help you resolve your incident and get back to enjoying your family travels.

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Susan is an enthusiastic traveler and mom to a 11 year-old boy and eight year-old girl. Originally from North Carolina, Susan is a Southerner at heart, although…

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