It’s your responsibility as a renter to return a rental vehicle in the same exact state it was in when the rental company rented it out to you. So when you get into an accident while driving the rental car, you should know that you’ll be liable for any damage to the car while it was in your possession, regardless of whether or not you caused the accident that led to the damage.
Fortunately, the rental vehicle company insurance and your own insurance policies may cover any injuries or damage resulting from an accident, presuming, of course, that you have the necessary and appropriate coverages.
Insurance Coverage by the Rental Vehicle Company
Rental car companies in New York are required under law to insure all their rental vehicles, including property damage and medical costs that other parties sustained in the accident. You’ll be covered by your auto liability insurance and no-fault insurance, but only when the damages exceed the rental company’s coverage. If you bought supplemental insurance (optional) through the rental car company, you could use those for paying damages as well. These can include:
- Personal accident insurance for covering your injuries and those of your passengers
- Personal effects insurance for covering personal property damage
Collision Damage Waiver
This covers costs when the rental vehicle gets stolen, damaged, can’t be used because it’s being repaired, and other related costs. Keep in mind, however, that this is typically subject to certain exceptions. For example, if you were driving recklessly when the accident occurred, this will not cover your damages. Likewise, if your auto insurance covers losses or damages to a rental vehicle, you might not need a collision damage waiver.
Your Own Insurance Policies
If you have one, your auto liability insurance may cover pretty much the same things that the rental car company policy covers. In addition, some credit card providers may offer some rental car coverage insurance as part of your benefits if you charged the rental transaction to your card.
Seek Legal Advice From an Experienced New York Rental Car Accident Lawyer
Car accident cases typically involve complex and confusing laws, particularly when rental vehicles are involved. Figuring out which insurance coverage you can use and negotiating with insurance providers can also be very challenging. Let our experienced New York rental car accident lawyer help you out. Contact the Falkowitz Law Firm online or call 844-385-4279 to schedule your free consultation today.
Rental Car Accident FAQs
Does my auto insurance liability insurance cover rental car damages even if I do not have physical damage coverage?
Possibly. Rental vehicle coverage might be included in your auto liability insurance coverage under certain circumstances.
Does the rental reimbursement coverage in my auto liability insurance policy cover rental car damages?
No. This coverage only applies to the cost of a rental vehicle that you use as a substitute vehicle if your vehicle was damaged due to a qualified loss until it’s declared unusable or repaired.
How can a rental car accident lawyer help me?
An experienced rental car accident lawyer could help you negotiate with insurance companies and other parties involved in the accident and represent you in court if necessary.
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.