Orlando accident attorney Tim David discusses the types of insurance offered by Rental Car agencies and how accepting or declining them may affect rental car accident claims if an accident occurs
Do You Need The Extra Car Rental Insurance?
We often find ourselves at a rental car counter wondering if we should purchase the extra insurance coverage the rental agent is offering, or are we already sufficiently covered through our own auto insurance? These questions are especially heightened when driving an unfamiliar car in unfamiliar territory; like when you are on a family vacation or even renting a car out of the country. Car accidents can happen anywhere and at any time. This is why it is important to understand insurance coverage with your rental car, because it could become an issue at the unfortunate time of a rental car accident claim.
What You Need to Know Before Renting A Car:
It is important to be familiar with your own auto insurance policy before renting a car to determine whether or not additional insurance is needed for the rental. The rental agents often push you to purchase additional insurance, and you don’t want to spend unnecessary money duplicating coverage you may already have. You also don’t want to leave any area left uninsured or be left in a rental accident claims situation with a high deductible. Once you have familiarized yourself with your own insurance policy, you will know what additional insurance you may need to purchase with your rental car, if any at all.
One thing for certain is that you don’t want to be underinsured in the case of rental car accident claims. To help avoid this from happening, it helps to understand what type of insurance the rental car companies may offer you.
Typically, rental car company agents will offer four general types of additional insurance for your consideration to purchase including:
•CDW (collision damage waiver) or LDW (loss damage waiver): This relieves you of financial responsibility for a rental vehicle damaged by an accident, vandalism or theft.
•SLI (supplemental liability insurance) or SLP (supplemental liability protection): This provides excess liability coverage.
•PAI (personal accident insurance): This covers you and all passengers in your vehicle for any medical expenses.
•PEC (personal effects coverage): This provides coverage for theft of or damage to personal items inside the rental car.
Rental companies may sometimes complicate the insurance options by combining two or more into insurance packages. The coverages listed above (or what the rental agent presents to you) should be compared to what coverage your personal auto insurance policy includes to decide if you need to purchase additional coverage for your rental.
Credit card providers often provide insurance coverage as well for rental cars. Different card providers and banks handle the coverage differently, so it is important to check your credit card agreement or call the company to see what insurance coverage is provided if the car is rented using that particular card.
What You Need to Know if You Have Been in an Accident in Your Rental Car:
If you are involved in an auto accident while driving a rental car or an injury has occurred, it shouldn’t be treated any differently as if you were driving your own vehicle. You should still receive immediate medical attention if necessary, call the local law enforcement, file police reports as needed, and to notify the appropriate auto insurance companies depending on who is at fault. Most importantly, it is critical to notify the rental car company after one of their vehicles has been involved in an accident. The company will have further instructions for you to follow.
It’s also important to keep in mind that in the majority of rental car accident claims, the rental car company will not be liable. The fault will come down to things that you and/or the other driver did (or failed to do) leading up to the accident. In other words, if a personal injury lawsuit is filed over the accident, the rental car company will usually not be a party in the suit.
If you’re involved in a rental car accident claim, an accident attorney at David & Philpot, P.L. may be able to help. We’ve been helping victims of Florida car accidents recover the money they need and deserve for over 20 years. Contact one of our accident lawyers today at 800.360.7015 for a free, no obligation consultation. You pay nothing until we win your case.