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Rear-Ended in a Rental Car? Who is Responsible for Damages?

Aug 30, 2008
Rental cars are very convenient to have access to because they keep you from putting the wear and tear of traveling on your own car. They are also great for those who do not have a car that will survive lengthy trips. But there is one thing that has to be considered and that is the fact that accidents do happen. What happens if you are rear-ended in a rental car and you're not at fault? Are you responsible for the damages or is the person who was at fault? Does the car rental company take care of it? What happens? These are all excellent questions because it can be quite confusing when an accident occurs.

It is also a good idea to get answers to any questions you have when you rent the car. It is not enough to hope that you do not get into an accident. When it is not your fault, that means you had no control over what happened. You could not have prevented it in any way. The only actions that you can prevent are your own, so make sure you receive the necessary information from the car rental company regarding what to do in case of a crash.

Insurance

Your individual insurance should cover you while in a rental car. That is why the rental car company requests that you prove your insurance. They like to have copies of your insurance card in case there is an accident. However, it is fair to assume that they do this in case the accident is your fault and they need to make a claim on your insurance to cover the damages.

When asking the car rental company about how it would work if you're in a wreck that isn't your fault, they may tell you to consult with your insurance company. Being that you're covered by your individual insurance, you are subject to their particular rules and regulations.

What to do in an accident

So what are you to do in the case that you are rear-ended in a rental car? Be sure you call your insurance company before you do a single thing. If the rental car company says that you owe them money, don't just pay up. Make sure you talk to your insurance company first. They will tell you what to do. They will most likely take the claim and then submit it to the insurance company of the individual who caused the crash. That way the damages are paid to the rental car company. If any deductibles need to be paid, then you'll pay that deductible to your insurance company and not the car rental company. There shouldn't be any reason why you would have to pay them any money for a crash that wasn't your fault. It also depends on what your insurance policy says about wrecks when you're in a rental car.

So make sure you know these things before renting a car. That way you'll know exactly what to do if you are rear-ended on the interstate. When being rear-ended it is obvious that it isn't your fault. Most rear-end accidents are considered the fault of the driver who hit you. So proving that the crash wasn't your fault is not a hard task at all. Just know your rights and have all of the information ready so that you don't panic if you're in a wreck. Don't start running crazy scenarios through your head such as having to pay the entire cost of the rental car. That is something very unlikely. Just be sure to call the police and take insurance information from the driver at fault just like you would if it were your own car.
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