Whether you hit someone in your rental car or someone hit you, you need the help of an experienced car accident lawyer to protect your legal rights and get you the compensation you deserve.
The attorneys at Langdon & Emison will help you avoid paying outlandish fees imposed by the rental company and get you the money to move forward from the crash.
Call us today at (866) 931-2115.
When You’re at Fault
So, you caused an accident in a rental car. What happens next – and what expenses you’ll have to pay – depends on your insurance coverage.
Below, we discuss potential liability based on your unique policy. Remember, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all resource. If you’re unsure about what exactly your policy covers, call us for a thorough analysis.
Collision Damage Waiver (CDW)
An alternative to personal auto insurance, a CDW is an optional contract sold by rental car companies to cover you in case of an accident. If you purchased a CDW and caused a crash, you won’t have to pay for any damage to the rental vehicle.
You won’t have to pay a deductible, and you won’t have to worry about towing and “loss of use” fees imposed by the rental company while the car is under repair and can’t be rented.
CDW coverage is usually inexpensive. For example, Hertz charges $16 daily.
However, CDWs don’t cover everything. You’ll have to pay for other people’s injuries and property damage caused by the crash. You also won’t be covered if the crash resulted from risky behavior such as speeding or drinking and driving.
Personal Auto Insurance & Credit Cards
Most personal insurance policies cover rental cars, but definitely check your coverage limit and deductible before making any assumptions. If your policy does extend to car rentals, you’re covered for both the collision itself and injury and property liability up to your policy limit.
If your policy falls short of total damages (for example, the accident caused someone else’s serious injury), you’ll have to pay the rest out of pocket.
Some premium credit cards offer rental vehicle coverage. If this applies to you, you’ll be covered as long as you use that exact card to pay for the rental.
Not at Fault? Here’s Who Pays for the Rental Car.
If someone else hits your rental car, you may be able to file a claim against their insurance policy. Their liability coverage would pay for your injuries and property damage up to a certain limit.
You may be able to have the other driver pay the rental company’s loss of use and administrative fees, but it’s more likely that you’ll have to pay.
Important note: The other driver’s insurance may cover your damages, but some rental car companies require immediate reimbursement. That means you may have to pay them even if you’re in the middle of the claims process with the other party’s insurance company. Still, you can be compensated and eventually make up for the money you lost.
If you used a credit card to pay for your rental car, it’s important to understand what is and what is not covered if someone else hits you. Most coverage provided by credit card companies is secondary, meaning the company will only pay an amount up to the insurance deductible and leave you to pay the rest.
Check what your credit card covers, and for future rentals, consider applying for a credit card that features primary rental car insurance. Primary insurance kicks in before your personal insurance and covers damage up to an amount that usually exceeds the value of the rental car.
You’ll have to waive the rental company’s CDW coverage for your premium credit card benefit to apply. Some of the credit cards that offer primary coverage include:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Capital One Venture X
- Citi Costco Anywhere Visa Business
- United MileagePlus Explorer
Rental Car Accident Attorney
Being in any car accident is scary. The prospect of having to pay for someone else’s damaged property is scary, too.
If you were in a rental car crash, let the expert car accident attorneys at Langdon & Emison help. We’ll work to get you maximum compensation from the other party’s insurance company or from the rental car company itself.
Call us today to learn more.