The last things anyone wants to have to deal with is being in a car accident. However, this already horrible situation gets even worse if you’re not driving your own car, like when you’re traveling with a rental car. Not only do you then have to deal with the immediate aftermath of being in a car accident, but you also have the additional administrative tasks that come along with it all happening in a borrowed car. So to help you navigate these sometimes treacherous waters, here are three tips for handling a car accident in a rental car.
Take The Basic Immediate Steps
Immediately after the accident occurs, you’re going to want to do the same things that you would do if you were driving your own personal car. Rebecca Lake, a contributor to SmartAsset.com, writes that some of these things should include making sure everyone in your car is safe, calling the police to conduct a report or help get emergency medical help if necessary, get pictures and other documentation of what damage occurred as a result of the accident, and exchange information with the other driver if there was one. Although you may be worried about what could happen because the accident took place in a rented car, you should do your best to first ensure that everyone is physically okay and that these basic steps are taken care of.
Call The Rental Company
Once you’re sure that everyone is safe and the initial shock has worn off a little bit from the accident, you should then call the rental company to let them know what happened. According to Lyz Pfister, a contributor to NerdWallet, most rental cars have an emergency number that you can call. Oftentimes, this number is located inside the glove box. Upon calling the rental company, they’ll inform you what steps you should take next with regards to where to bring the car and what your options are for car replacement. While this may make you experience a hiccup in your travel plans, if you’re healthy enough to continue on your trip, you can often make that happen.
Know What Your Insurance Policies Will Cover
After the logistics are taken care of, it’s time to think about your insurance coverage and how this accident might affect you financially. If you have immediate concerns, you can always call an auto accident attorney for guidance. However, simply knowing what your insurance policies say about this situation can help put your mind at ease. According to Terry Ward, a contributor to AutoBlog.com, many people have their own personal auto insurance, insurance through their credit cards, and insurance through the rental agency. While insurance through your credit card may cover the rental car, if there’s another car involved, you may have to turn to your personal auto insurance to cover those costs. And depending on whether you bought insurance through the rental company for your rental car, that coverage will vary as well.
If you get in a car accident while traveling in a rental car, use the tips mentioned above to help you make the best of a bad situation.