Rental Car Accidents and Insurance Information

If you are traveling to a place too far away to drive your own vehicle, then renting a car may be inevitable. While rental cars are convenient for business travelers, relatives, and tourists, they could mean serious legal consequences if involved in an accident.

Looking for help with a car accident? Call the injury lawyers at the Coye Law Firm today. We want to help you understand and obtain the benefits available to you. Don't let a car accident in a rental car ruin your vacation. Call an accident lawyer for help.
 

How to Rent a Car

There are many ways to rent a car now that most companies have websites and physical locations. If you are flying to a certain destination, the airline you choose may have special offers for car rentals. Travelers can often rent a car directly at the airport when they land. Many companies also have reservation systems online so renting a car is easy and quick.

Before you rent a car, shop around for the best price. Also, be sure to read the terms of any rental contract that you are asked to sign. This is especially important for people who are driving in a state in which they do not have a car insurance policy. Some states require a driver's insurance company to pay for damage they cause in an accident, while other states require drivers to carry insurance coverage that pays for their own injuries and damages regardless of who hit who in a car accident.
 

Rental Car Insurance Coverage

It is important to read and understand your own car insurance policy before your rent a car. Your own policy may protect you in the event of an accident. However, if your policy is limited and you would like to protect yourself from liability in a car accident, you can elect to purchase coverage from the rental car agency at the time you pick up your vehicle.

Rental car coverages include:
  • Loss Damage Waiver (also known as Collision Damage Waiver) pays for the cost of damage if the rental car was involved in an accident. The driver may be required to pay a deductible.
  • Personal Accident Insurance pays benefits in case of injury or death if caused by an accident in the rental car.
  • Supplemental Liability Insurance provides benefits in case the accident causes property damage or injury to people besides the renter and their passengers.
  • Personal Effects Coverage pays for the driver's belongings if they are damaged in an accident in a rental car.
Some of these areas of protection may already be covered by your personal car insurance policy. To make sure that you are covered while you rent a vehicle, check with your car insurance company to see if that coverage extends to the rental car.
 

Collisions with Foreign Drivers

Car insurance policies vary greatly within the United States, so it is expected that they are also very different in other countries. Many countries require vehicle-owning citizens to carry third-party liability coverage, which means they pay for the damage they cause in an accident. However, many rental car companies do not require proof of insurance to rent one of their vehicles. An individual may be able to rent a car with only a credit card and a valid driver's license.

Some rental car accidents can result in serious injuries, sometimes even death. A driver from another country could be at fault and, facing a lawsuit and serious financial penalties, flee back to their home never to be heard from again. Foreign defendants can be difficult or impossible to track down and serve with a lawsuit. Even if they are found, there is no guarantee that they have the money or assets to pay for the damage they have caused.

Protect yourself from this devastating situation by understanding your coverages and buying additional ones if they would help you maintain a complete insurance policy while on vacation.
 

Rental Car Accident Attorneys

The last thing anyone wants to have to deal with while on vacation is a car accident. On top of that, it can be confusing and overwhelming to deal with car insurance companies that provide different coverage for drivers out of state. If you've done your best to prevent a rental car insurance dispute, contact an accident attorney at the Coye Law Firm for help today. Our attorneys want to ensure that you remember memories of sandy beaches and amusement parks instead of a battle with the insurance company. Call us today at 800-648-4941.