This is what happens if you crash a rental car without insurance
- January 10, 2023
- By cdlaw350
Getting in a car accident in a rental car usually isn’t much different from if you were in your own car, however there might be additional coverage through the rental company’s insurance or through your credit card. Navigating the costs and claims associated with a rental car accident and who might cover what damages can be complex and difficult.
A Long Island car accident lawyer from Carner & DeVita can help you make sense of the process and support you throughout the claim. To schedule your free consultation, call (631) 543-7070 or use the online contact form.
Scenario 1: You didn’t purchase rental insurance but you have personal auto insurance
If you have collision coverage on your personal vehicle, but didn’t purchase the additional rental insurance through the rental company, then your auto insurance company will pay for the damages of the accident if you were at-fault. If you didn’t cause the accident, usually the at-fault driver’s insurance will be responsible for the costs associated with the accident.
Scenario 2: You have neither rental nor personal auto insurance
If you don’t have adequate auto insurance, either personal or through the rental car’s insurer, it’s essential that you determine the accurate cause of the accident because you could be personally financially responsible for your own injuries, damage to the rental car, and for the other driver’s damages.
Sometimes rental cars come with partial coverage that will provide basic liability coverage to ensure that you’re legally able to drive, even if the accident happens in a state you don’t reside in, but that coverage might be hidden deep within the paperwork in the fine print. An experienced attorney can prevent the insurance companies from taking advantage of you.
Knowing whom to call
Regardless of who was at fault, it’s essential to document the damage and exchange information with the other involved drivers, including their insurance information.
Identifying who’s responsible for the accident and related damages requires a careful investigation of the unique facts and circumstances of the accident and filing a claim with the appropriate insurance company, which could be any of the following.
The rental car insurance company
You should notify the rental car company then their insurance provider right away if you were involved in an accident in a rental car. The rental company will inform you of your obligations and what you need to do. If you purchased their insurance, they will tell you to call their insurance company, so make that one of your next calls and note their information at the time you purchased the policy.
Sometimes the rental car insurance company only provides coverage above what your own insurance coverage provides. If you were the at-fault party, the accident can still lead to an increase of your insurance premiums even though it wasn’t in your car. Working with a car accident attorney helps ensure that you aren’t held responsible for an accident you didn’t cause.
Your insurance company
Call your own insurance company following an accident because they might provide you with some coverage under your policy while everything else gets sorted out. Even if you were not at fault, your carrier may seek reimbursement for their payments from your final settlement or damages award. Insurance companies have been known to wrongfully deny claims and offer small settlements to reduce their costs and increase their profits.
The other driver’s auto insurance company
When another driver caused the accident, their insurance company will generally be liable for the damages. This is why exchanging insurance information is essential, because otherwise you wouldn’t know what insurance company to contact.
The party who caused the accident, the amount of insurance coverage they have, and the way in which the facts are presented to the insurance company will determine what they might offer you and what costs you’ll have to pay out of pocket. They will try to low-ball you, so you need to hire a car accident lawyer to help protect you and handle all negotiations and communications on your behalf.
Your credit card issuer
In some instances your credit card company might provide coverage or reimbursement if you used your card to book the rental car. You will need to call your credit card issuer to determine if any coverage is available through your credit card.
In a car accident in a rental? We can help.
The sooner you contact an attorney after an accident, the sooner you can get answers and gather the proper evidence you need to support your case.
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