You’re on vacation. You’ve got your rental car, snacks, and GPS all ready to go. But unfortunately, accidents can happen. No one plans to get into a car accident, especially in a rental car, but it does happen from time to time.
So the big question is when it does happen what do you do?
In this post, we want to share with you some tips and advice on how to deal with a car accident with a rental car.
Understand Your Insurance
Before you rent a car, have a good understanding of insurance and what you’ll need to protect yourself. If you already own a car and have car insurance on it, this is likely going to cover any accidents you get into in a rental car.
If you don’t have a car, which is common for people who live in cities with good public transport, then consider other options. Double check with your credit card company to see what they cover. Some will cover everything, others only a portion.
You can also decide to get the insurance the car rental company offers for extra protection as well. Whichever option you choose, just make sure you are aware of what is going to be covered and what isn’t.
Read the Contract
When you are at the rental car office, be sure to fully read the contract. Yes, it might take a few minutes longer, but you want to know exactly what you are singing before you go. If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to ask the clerk at the desk.
Also, before you get in the car and drive away, take a good look at your rental before you get in. If you see any bumps or scratches take a picture and document them. This can save you from any issues down the road.
After the Accident
First things first, be sure that you and any passengers are not injured. Once you’re sure you, passengers, and anyone else involved is ok, check the car. If it is dangerous to be near it, clear the area. If it’s ok, then stay by the car and start making some calls.
First, call 911 (or the local non-emergency police number). The police will be able to provide assistance, especially if they need to block off an area of the road.
Next, proceed as you would with any other accident. Exchange information with the other party and take plenty of photos of the scene and the rental car. Call your own insurance company or the credit card company that you purchased the car rental with they are going to be able to walk you through the next steps and let you know your options.
Obviously, you will also need to call the rental car company. On the paperwork, and inside the car (usually in the glove box or on a windshield sticker) you’ll find contact information for them. They typically will have specific instructions and ways to retrieve the car.
Although getting into a car accident is never fun, if one happens in your rental car you don’t need to panic. The fact of the matter is, these accidents happen far more often than you’d think and your insurance, credit card, and rental company are all very familiar with what to do to help.