In many ways, a rental car accident is no different than any other type of car accident. If the driver of the rental car is at fault, the driver’s own car insurance or the coverage purchased from the rental car company will pay for damage and injuries. If another driver is at fault, that driver’s insurance will be responsible for paying.
How does insurance for rental cars work?
Most car insurance policies cover you whether you’re driving your own car or another car that you might drive occasionally, such as a rental car. Before you decide to rely on your own insurance, check with your insurance company to make sure your policy doesn’t exclude rental cars from coverage.
Georgia requires rental cars to be insured with at least the same amount of insurance required for all other cars:
- At least $25,000 of bodily injury coverage per person, and $50,000 per accident
- At least $25,000 of property damage coverage
Your own car insurance policy may also include collision coverage for damage you cause to your own car, and comprehensive coverage for things like theft and hailstorm damage. As long as you have at least the minimum coverage and rental cars are not excluded, your personal car insurance will typically carry over to any cars you rent.
Credit cards also sometimes include rental car insurance, but this is typically collision and theft coverage, not bodily injury coverage. Before relying on credit card coverage, check your credit card agreement to see what is covered and whether there are any types of cars excluded.
You can also buy bodily injury and property damage coverage at a daily rate from the car rental company. This coverage may offer higher limits than your personal car insurance policy, and it will pay out on a claim before your own car insurance if you are at fault in an accident. You may also have a chance to purchase a “collision damage waiver.” If the rental car is damaged or stolen, the collision damage waiver makes the rental car company responsible, instead of you.
What should I do if I am in an accident with a rental car?
Do the same things you would do after any accident: call the police and summon medical help if anyone needs it. If you can still move your car, get it to a safe place while you wait for help to arrive. Other steps to take after a rental car accident include:
- Talking to witnesses. If anyone saw the accident, get their names and numbers.
- Taking pictures. Photos of the accident scene and the damage to the cars can help establish how the accident happened and who was at fault.
- Calling the rental car company, if you were driving the rental car. Your car rental agreement should have instructions for what to do if you are in an accident. Be sure to follow these instructions exactly, along with any additional instructions you receive from the rental car company. You could potentially be held liable if you do not comply with the company’s policies.
- Go to an emergency room or urgent care as soon as possible. If you are visiting Georgia, don’t wait until you get home to have a doctor check you over. A doctor can diagnose any injuries, start you on treatment, and confirm that it is safe for you to travel.
Your next stop after the doctor’s office should be an appointment with a lawyer who handles rental car accidents. When an accident involves a rental car, it’s common for the insurance companies to look for ways to avoid paying out money. A lawyer can put an end to these insurance company games by proving who was at fault and which insurance company is responsible for paying. Using medical records and expert reports, a lawyer can show the insurance company just what your injuries will cost, helping you get the money you need to get better.
Talk to an Atlanta Car Accident Lawyer for Free
Our car accident lawyers know the ins and outs of rental car accidents, and we’ve got one of the best reputations in the state. We don’t charge a fee unless win money for you. Let us give you a FREE consultation to talk about your accident and help you decide what you should do next. Call us at (404) 341-6555 or fill out the form to the right to get your free consultation today.