Accidents involving rental cars

PMR Law

What you should know about insurance for rental cars in case of a traffic accident.

Although we all try to avoid traffic accidents, sometimes they are unavoidable, whether an accident occurs while driving a rental car or not, car accidents are extremely dangerous and occur very frequently. It is estimated that there is a car accident every 15 seconds in the United States.

One should never get behind the wheel of a car without liability protection.   Before you rent, find out what your credit card and personal auto insurance offer, and then supplement what they don’t through the rental agency.

What type of insurance coverage do you need?

The insurance that covers your personal vehicle is the first line of protection that is available to cover a rental vehicle. Never drive without insurance in Texas.

Your personal vehicle’s insurance allows you to have basic liability coverage to remedy the damages that were caused by the rented car to other people, other vehicles and properties.

If you need to rent a car and do not have vehicle insurance, you are required to purchase a temporary or an annual insurance policy.

This policy should be reasonably priced in order to protect the rental vehicle.  The policy must also have collision coverage or full coverage (covering all types of damage caused to your vehicle for various reasons, such as fire, theft, vandalism, floods, damage caused by objects on the road such as branches of fallen trees, etc.).

If you have any of these types of coverage, check the small print on the contract, to know exactly what your coverage really covers.  Or, better yet, call one of the customer service representatives from your insurance company and ask about your insurance policy’s  specific coverage.

Should you buy additional coverage at the rental agency?

Car rental companies offer a wide variety of alternatives to insure a rental vehicle.

There is insurance coverage that is widely recommended, and other types that are good to have, depending on you use for the vehicle, your budget, and the peace of mind you need when driving a rental car.

CDW and LDW

These abbreviations mean Collision Damage Waiver and Loss Damage Waiver. These insurance types cover damages for thefts or accidents that you may have during the time you rent the vehicle.

What you should do when you have an accident while driving a rental vehicle

It is important to keep in mind that CDW and LDW insurance do not cover damages caused to third parties.

It is also necessary to know that the coverage offered by the insurers is completely voided in cases in which it is demonstrated that the person who rented the vehicle committed an act of negligence while driving the vehicle (for example, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, using the wrong type of fuel, speeding, etc.)

This insurance costs an average of $ 20- $ 55 per day when purchased directly at the rental company’s counter.

If you have an accident while driving a rented vehicle, it is essential that you contact the rental company immediately.   The rental company staff will indicate the steps to follow to deal with the accident.  Also, file a report with the police, depending on the severity of the incident.

To be able to obtain insurance coverage in a complete and effective way, keep in mind that you will need to provide the car rental company with a copy of the police accident report.

Finally, it is good to know that roadside assistance is always included in the rental price unless the conditions of rental explicitly indicate otherwise.

There are many rental companies and not all have the same rental insurance policies. It is important to know what kind of coverage types your insurance has, there are five basic ones:

-Liability Insurance

-Collision Coverage

-Comprehensive Coverage

-Personal Injury Protection

-Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Protection

What type of insurance does your credit card cover?

Only the first three, so you will have to pay for any damage caused to third parties.

The last two  are the most important of all because the value of coverage of a traffic accident can exceed in large numbers the value of the car in case of theft or total loss.

The insurance of third-party damages covers the possible damages caused to other people, whether they are drivers or pedestrians. That’s why it’s important to look at the policy details.

If renting a defective vehicle caused the traffic accident, you have the right to file a claim against the rental company and get compensation.

Do you need to get a report from the police after the accident?

Yes, in fact, it is one of the most important requirements in a rental car accident. Since it can be a powerful asset in any case of a claim. Be sure to ask for a copy after it is completed by the police officer that supervised your accident.

Main causes of accidents with a rented vehicle

The increase in the number of car rentals in Houston, Texas has grown tremendously during the last decade. This inevitably leads to an increase in traffic accidents related to rented vehicles.

Here are some of the causes of these accidents:

-The mechanical condition of the rental vehicle.

-Driving under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol.

-Speeding.

-Not yielding  to pedestrians.

-Not enough sleep before driving.

-Not keeping a safe distance from the vehicle in front.

-Using your cell phone or anything that may distract you while driving.

-Ignoring traffic laws.

If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident with a rental car you need to find out your rights. Please contact our vehicle accident attorneys at PMR Law where our team of experienced attorneys will fight to get you the compensation you deserve. Please fill out a form or contact us at 832-639-0717.

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