What Happens If You Crash a Rental Car?
Crashing your rental car when you’re on a road trip is something you never want to experience.
However, if you find yourself in such a situation, don’t panic! It can happen to anyone, particularly when driving on unfamiliar roads in a car that is not theirs.
Dealing with a car accident demands courage and quick thinking to deal with the situation. Keep calm and think about what to do next.
Handling this situation will be similar to what you’d do if you’re involved in a collision in your own car. The difference is that you have signed a car rental agreement, and therefore, you are abiding by some rules and regulations that you can’t escape, no matter what.
Preparing for the situation will help you stay alert and ready to deal with the extra complexities that rental car insurance brings.
This article will explain what you need to do apart from calling the emergency services if you ever get into a rental car accident.
Preparing for Accidents
No one wants to wonder about dealing with a car accident situation ever. However, doing so will help you prepare for the worst.
Before your leave for the vacation, note down the rental vehicle registration number and the company’s details on a piece of paper. Also, write down essential contact numbers, including the emergency number, and keep them handy, like in the glove box.
Don’t forget to store the passenger rental car provider’s contact and address on your phone’s address book to reach out to them quickly in case of an emergency.
While the rental company owns the vehicle, the driver is solely responsible for any incidents such as car crashes or breakdowns due to accidents.
Investing in insurance coverage will prevent you from paying any expenses that would otherwise add tension to the already intense situation.
In addition, check if your credit card insurance provides collision coverage. If yes, opt for it by providing the required documents. Before signing the agreement, carefully review the rental car company’s collision damage waiver terms and conditions.
Lastly, understand the state requirements around collisions in general as well as in a rental car. If you’re traveling to another state, such as from Arizona to California, you’ll want to know what additional steps need to be taken in the event of an accident.
Next Steps to Take After an Accident
If your car collides with another vehicle, there are many things that you need to check to ensure your, your family’s, and your vehicle's safety. Let’s take a look at these things step-by-step.
1. Check Passenger Status
After an auto accident, one of the first few things you should do is check for any personal injury and if everyone in and around your car is okay.
Check the passengers sitting inside the other car(s) involved in the collision to ensure no severe injuries.
Next, pull over your car on the side of the road, and, if there are any serious injuries, call emergency services immediately.
2. Swap Contact Information
Show empathy by asking, “Are you okay?”. Ask the third party/parties if they need help, even if they are at fault, before asking for any personal details.
Once you are satisfied that everything is normal, exchange contact details and insurance information with the person driving another car. This exchange must include the following information:
You may receive this information from the accident report, but if not, don’t leave the scene without receiving the contact information from the other party/parties involved in the accident.
Moreover, don’t tell another party that you are driving a rental car, as they may try to take advantage and hold you responsible for the situation.
3. Collect Any Relevant Evidence
Once you have collected the information from the third party involved in the accident, you should gather as much proof and evidence as possible.
Obtain a copy of the accident report, and if possible, take pictures of the damage and visible injuries so that you can file a car insurance claim later.
Also, note down the exact location of the accident, such as street name, lane details, etc. Capture images with your phone to provide as evidence.
The more evidence you provide your car rental agency and insurance provider, the better. Pass on any relevant information to the car rental company immediately to take necessary actions.
4. File a Report with the Rental Company
Now, it’s time to call the car rental company and learn more about the paperwork.
Contact the rental company to inform them about the accident. Explain how the accident occurred and find out how to file a report of the accident with them.
The car rental company will ask you to fill out the incident report. You need to provide all the information collected at the accident scene and anything mentioned in the accident report.
The police report you received from the accident scene will help you file the insurance claim and opt for a loss damage waiver quite easily. Plus, it allows for faster processing of claim filing formalities.
5. Contact Your Insurance Provider
If your car insurance policy provider is the source of primary coverage, contact them to claim for all the damages.
Check if your credit card company covers primary rental car coverage in case of an accident or theft. Contact your credit card issuing authority to check the car insurance coverage terms.
Let your own auto insurance provider know what happened and determine the next steps for filing an insurance claim. Ask them questions such as:
Keep Your Rental Vehicle Protected with AVR
Car accidents are fatal incidents where the feeling of shock, fear, and nervousness is normal. Since you are driving a rental car, it is probable that you are not well acquainted with all the controls of the vehicle; so take time to learn about them.
If you are ever in a rental car accident, take a deep breath and calm down. Contact the emergency services such as the police and the ambulance (if someone is hurt).
Airport Van Rentals provides extensive protection against car collision incidents so that you don’t suffer any financial loss from additional expenses.
Contact AVR support staff for a free consultation to learn more about the types of coverage, secondary coverage, liability coverage, and premiums.
Looking for car rental services? Contact AVR for booking a fully insured vehicle that gives you the right coverage and peace of mind while you are on a weekend vacation.