Turning down an offer of insurance coverage on a rental car probably feels like the best thing to do when you’re met with a pushy salesperson. After all, why would you want to pay more than you need to for your rental car? And, you probably won’t have an accident anyway.
But accidents do happen, and when the worst does happen, you’ll probably wish you’d have taken out that policy when you had the chance.
Let’s take a look at who is responsible for a rental car in an accident.
Understanding Your Own Car Insurance
Understanding what your own car insurance covers and doesn’t cover will help you make the right decision on the spot.
Generally speaking, if your own policy has collision and comprehensive coverage, liability coverage, medical coverage, and coverage for personal effects, most coverages that a rental car company will offer you will be unnecessary.
There are, however, certain circumstances where additional insurance is the best idea. Let’s take a look at some of these in more depth.
When You Have Minimum Liability Coverage
Throughout much of the United States, drivers need to only carry liability insurance. If you have this type of policy, you’re only covered for vehicle damage and injuries sustained by other people.
If you have this type of coverage, your car insurance policy does not cover you for damage to a rental car.
Coverage Limits and Deductibles
Even if your own insurance policy covers you for rental car accidents, your policy might have deductibles and limits of liability that could still spell out-of-pocket costs if you have an accident.
For example, if you have a collision deductible of $900, you’d be responsible for the first $900 spent on repairs. If you had taken out collision coverage offered to you by the rental company, you wouldn’t have to pay a single dime on the repairs.
For the sake of paying a few extra dollars on your rental car coverage, it’s worth it for the peace of mind you’ll gain knowing you don’t need to worry about paying out deductibles.
If an accident that you’re in causes you to exceed your policy limits, you may need to pay the difference.
Who Is Responsible For a Rental Car in an Accident?
If you have a rental car accident, you’ll need to have the right level of coverage to prevent you from needing to pay the deductibles or the excess above the coverage limits.
So, who is responsible for a rental car in an accident? The answer is you are unless you have adequate levels of coverage to protect you.
If you’ve been in a car accident with a rental car and you’re not sure where to turn, get in touch with experienced New York City car accident lawyers at Falkowitz Law Firm. We can help you navigate your current situation.
Contact us at (844)-385-4279 to arrange a free consultation.
Gary P. Falkowitz is the Managing Partner and Founding Attorney of the Falkowitz Law Firm PLLC‚ one of the premiere personal injury law firms in New York. Gary received his J.D., in 2005 from St. John’s University School of Law and served as an Assistant District Attorney with the Kings County District Attorney’s Office.