For people who don’t own automobiles or who need a temporary transportation option they can trust, rental cars are a popular option indeed. It’s not hard to understand why either. Rentals a great way to make sure you have something reliable you can drive on road trips or while your own car is in the shop having work done. However, it’s important to be prepared for every possibility while you’re behind the wheel of a rental.
For instance, do you know what the proper procedure is for handling things if you happen to be involved in an accident while you’re in your rental car? Let’s take a closer look at how you can make sure all of your bases are covered.
What to Do Right Away
Before you start worrying about any costs you might have to cover or about your insurance agency, it’s important to make sure that no one has been hurt if you’re involved in an accident. Check yourself and any passengers over for serious injuries. Next, make sure the people in any other involved vehicles are OK. If anyone is hurt, call 911 immediately. If everyone seems to be all right, call the police to file an accident report instead.
While you’re waiting for the police to arrive on the scene, you should be documenting any damage to the vehicles involved using a cell phone camera or other digital option, preferably before any of the cars involved are moved and especially if you know you weren’t the one at fault. The more proof you can give your insurance company, the better.
Get in Touch With the Rental Agency
Once you’ve dealt with any possible injuries, as well as the police accident report, it’s time to call your rental agency and let them know what happened. They will give you further instructions on what to do next. These instructions may include procedure to follow as far as where and how to turn your rental in for a replacement, especially if you purchased insurance from the agency at the time you rented the first car.
Handling the Rental Insurance
When you show up at the rental agency to pick up your car and finalize the terms of your rental agreement, you’ll be offered the opportunity to purchase insurance. Although the insurance is optional, it’s definitely a good idea to say yes to it if your personal car insurance doesn’t cover you while driving rentals, as you never know what could happen.
Rental car insurance comes in two forms – basic and full. Basic coverage means you’re covered as far as any bodily injury or property damage in relation to the other vehicle that might occur if an accident happens (same as with standard auto insurance). If you upgrade to full coverage, then damage to the rental car itself will be covered in addition to that. Even the full coverage option may not cover additional expenses such as towing, storage, and so forth though. Make sure you understand your policy thoroughly before you drive away!