Rental Car Accident: Will Their Insurance Really Cover It?

There are many types of insurance options available. Certain policies do offer complete coverage for a premium price. This means that if you are involved in an accident with your rental car, the cost of both your vehicle and the one you hit are covered.

There are several other sources for getting insurance in Chicago. It is always an option to reach out to third-party providers, or, if you are lucky, it might already be included in your credit card options. However, regardless of where your insurance comes from, you will be expected to pay the damages up front to the rental company. After that, you can try to get back as much as you can through your policy.

Always Have Insurance

Regardless of where in the U.S. you rent a car, you must be insured. If you drive without insurance and get into a collision, you will probably have your license suspended.

You can buy insurance directly from the rental company, but you have other options as well. You can purchase it independently from a third party if your credit card doesn’t already cover it.

Buy Insurance from the Renting Company

While getting your insurance from the same place that you rent the car can be convenient, bear in mind that these are usually overpriced. You can generally expect to pay $30 for a day, but it can go even higher than that. Do not be surprised if the agents will try to convince you to buy insurance from them. Try to run a quick research on market prices. You can compare what the insurance company offers with other available packages.

Buy Insurance from a Third-Party

You can always buy insurance from a third party. If you go through a Chicago travel agency to rent a car, they usually have some deals. These tend to have similar coverage to the credit card option that we covered below. Prices vary greatly, depending on providers and location, so it is hard to give an estimate. However, you can expect to pay up to 3 times less than if you buy insurance from the rental company.

Insurance Covered by Credit Card

A lot of credit card providers can cover collision for rental cars. There are, however, a few conditions for this. For this option to be valid, you need to use it when paying for the car. This can be a financially advantageous deal, plus it is quite convenient. If you are uncertain whether or not you have this benefit covered by your card, contact your bank. There are two main types of insurance offered by cards for car-rentals: primary and secondary coverage.

The primary coverage becomes the main insurance when you file for a claim. Complete coverage for all accidents can usually be attained for a premium price. This means that if you caused an accident, the insurance will cover damages for your car and the other vehicle too. This type of insurance typically covers your rental car, as long as it is for personal use.

Secondary coverage acts as a safety net for your primary one. Any fees that are not covered by the primary may be handled through the secondary. However, even if you are relying on the latter, the primary insurance claim still has to be submitted.

Rental Car Insurance Options

Rental car companies offer different coverage options that can complete the auto insurance that a driver already has. These can be broken down into the following categories:

Liability Coverage

This is one of the most important coverage types to consider. Liability coverage offers protection for damages caused to a person or property. Whether or not it is worth spending extra money on this option depends on the specifics of the liability coverage of your existing auto insurance.

Collision Damage Waiver

While it is not technically insurance, a collision damage waiver can come in handy for covering the car repair fees. However, this does not apply in all circumstances. Do not rely on this if you caused an accident while speeding, or if the collision happened on unpaved roads.

Personal Accident Insurance

Medical costs for treating injuries that occurred in a car accident can easily pile up. Having personal accident insurance can help with these bills for both you and any passengers in your vehicle. Before signing up for this extra option offered by the rental company, go through the personal injury protection section of your car insurance. Compare what each has to offer before making an informed decision.

Personal Effects Coverage

With this type of coverage, you can look after your personal belongings. If your laptop, phone, or other items are stolen from the car you have rented, this will help you cover them.  

You Will Pay for the Damages Upfront

Regardless of which path you choose, one thing remains the same: you will have to pay for the damages upfront. Having a comprehensive insurance policy can cover some of the damages, at best. After you pay the rental company damages owed, you can deal with the insurance companies to recover as much as you can. For this, you need to file a claim.

Furthermore, whether you are at fault for the car crash, you still have to pay your deductible. After all, the rental company needs to get the vehicle repaired as soon as possible to continue their business.

Given that proceedings can get complicated and may extend over a lengthy period, it is best to contact a lawyer. Going through an accident is traumatic enough. Give yourself the time and context to heal. A Chicago car accident lawyer has in-depth knowledge of state law and has the experience to help you get the maximum compensation.

What Can Fall Under Damages?

The car rental company can, and probably will, charge you for damages. This is an umbrella term that covers more than just the scrapes on the car. Here is a list of some other charges you might find on your bill:

  • Towing will be charged if you cannot drive the rental back to the station.
  • Administrative costs for the claims procedure.
  • Potential revenue loss caused by a damaged car being out of service. At this point, rental companies usually display too much optimism, charging for daily use at the highest retail price. Not to mention that they do usually have other vehicles to rent out for customers.

Seek Legal Cover

Basically, if you are involved in an accident with a rental car, insurance will not save you from paying. At best, you can hope to receive everything you have paid back by filing a claim. If you want to simplify the process or just not stress out about it, consider contacting a qualified lawyer. The insurance world is quite complex. However, a lawyer knows how to successfully navigate through these proceedings.

About the Author

Rental Car Accident: Will Their Insurance Really Cover It?Kyle Hambright is a passionate writer proudly representing Pintas and Mullins Law Firm. He has focused his legal career on personal injury cases, and throughout his practice, Kyle has helped people from all walks of life. This determination transpires in his writings as well. His articles translate the complex web of legal jargon into accessible text. Readers not only gain a firm grasp on theory, but they also learn how to put it into practice.

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