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Q
If injured in a rental car, can I file a claim with my insurance company?

A

If you’re in a rental car accident, you will need to review your policy to see if it offers coverage for an accident you have while driving a rental car. If not, you might consider any extra insurance you purchased at the time you rented the car. Regardless, report the accident to your insurance company as well as the rental company.                                                                                                                         

Determine Your Insurance Coverage for a Rental Car Accident

Does your insurance cover a rental car you’re driving? This is something you should figure out before renting the car. But if you’re just now addressing the issue, take this time to review your policy.

In some cases, your coverage will extend to provide you with coverage – or some coverage – when you’re driving a rental car. This will depend on the policy you purchased from the insurance company.

If you use a credit card, it may offer some coverage, too. This varies greatly from one credit card company to the next, as well as from one card to the next. Call your credit card company for this information. In fact, it’s best to do this before you rent the car.

Of course, some rental companies offer optional insurance or damage waiver coverage. This may offer coverage or waive your liability if you are in an accident. If you purchased this at the time you rented the vehicle, you may be covered.

What to Do after a Rental Car Accident

You should handle a rental car accident the same as a typical car accident, although you’ll have to take a few extra steps because the vehicle is rented.

Report the accident to the police. A report will be created that can provide information about the accident, those involved, and other key points that may prove helpful in demonstrating liability.

On that note, do not admit liability for the accident. Be truthful when talking to the police, but stick with the facts of the accident of which you’re sure. 

You should also try to take pictures of:

  • the accident;
  • any damages;
  • injuries you may have sustained; and
  • anything that may have contributed to the accident such as slick roads or a fallen tree, for example.

Once you report the accident to the police, report the accident to the rental company from which you rented the car. The phone number can usually be found on the paperwork that you completed or on a sticker located inside the vehicle. They will inform you of any procedures they require.

Sometimes, even if you purchased rental insurance, it will still become necessary to use your own insurance. An example would be the coverage limits aren’t enough to take care of the expenses. But with or without purchasing extra insurance, you will want to report an accident to your insurance company. You can even ask whether your insurance covers a rental car.

A personal injury attorney in Raleigh may also provide assistance if you’re in an accident and are struggling to make sense of all the possible insurance coverage options if you’re in a rental car accident.