As far as a rental company is concerned, if you got into a car accident in a rental car, you are ultimately responsible for the cost of repairing the car — even if the accident was not your fault.
This does not mean you have to fund these repairs out of your own pocket. If you have the appropriate insurance coverage, the damages — or at least some of them — should be covered.
Consider three insurance options — credit card company rental car insurance, personal car insurance (either yours or the other driver’s), and rental car company insurance — to see which, if any apply to you.
Some major credit card companies include car rental insurance when you use their credit cards to rent your vehicle. If this is the case with the credit card you used to rent the vehicle, you need not to worry about paying for damage to the rental car.
On the other hand, your credit card probably does not include liability coverage. This means, if your negligence caused the accident, you will have to take care of paying for damages to the other vehicle in the accident, as well as injuries sustained by the other driver and passengers.
Arizona law requires that before you can register your motor vehicle in the state, you must show proof of insurance (or financial responsibility). You must have the following two types of coverage:
If you own a motor vehicle and have comprehensive and collision coverage, your personal insurance should cover damages from your rental car accident, including damage to the rental car, as well as liability damages incurred by the other car driver involved in the accident. You should confirm this coverage with your insurance provider.
Keep in mind that by using your personal insurance, you will have to pay a deductible, and your insurance premiums are likely to increase.
This coverage pays for injuries to you and your passengers in the event of an accident.
Personal effects coverage takes care of the property you had in the rental car that was damaged.
If the other driver involved in the accident caused the accident through their negligence, then they are liable for damages to their car, the rental car, and you. In this case, you would file a claim against the other driver’s personal insurance policy.
To recover the property damage compensation it needs, the rental car company might handle this matter alone through subrogation. Other times the company will demand payment from you, and you will need to resolve the matter with the other driver.
For example, if you file a claim with the other driver and recover a settlement, the rental car company may take a portion of your settlement to cover the property damage costs. If the insurer does not cooperate in this situation, you might need to file a personal injury lawsuit against the other driver in civil court.
Our team will help you go after the negligent driver and recover the compensation you need to cover your injuries, lost wages, and damage to the rental car.
It is generally the policy for the rental car company’s rental desk agent to offer you additional insurance coverage. Common supplemental coverage options are as follows:
Provided you were not driving recklessly, or an unauthorized driver was not behind the wheel of the rental car, this waiver takes you off the hook for damages to or theft of the rental car while it is in your possession.
If you are at fault for the car accident in the rental car, liability coverage pays for the damages incurred by the people in the other car that was involved in the accident. The coverage supplements your personal car insurance, which probably would not be enough, on its own, to protect you if you have only the minimum coverage required by the state.
The car accident lawyers at Zanes Law will do everything from A to Z to see you through your rental car accident. We will work with insurance companies, credit card companies, and the car rental company to ensure that you are protected and/or compensated for damages you incurred in your accident. Call us today at 866-499-8989 for a free consultation.