Car Rental Accident: What Do I do?!

You’re peacefully driving around town in a rental car when a bad song comes on to the radio. You go to switch the station and BOOM! A few seconds of shock occur and then reality hits: I just crashed a car that isn’t mine.

Now what?!

First, make sure everyone is okay.  Regardless of whose car you were driving, the first step should always be to make sure everyone is okay and 9-1-1 does not need to be dialed. Make sure the vehicle is out of the way of traffic so that you’re not putting yourself or others in more danger.

Second, call the police so that an accident report is officially on file.  While you’re waiting for the police to arrive, review your insurance. You may not have purchased the “much needed” vehicle insurance at the counter, but your own auto insurance policy at home likely covers rentals. (Insurance coverage should always be confirmed BEFORE renting a vehicle – hopefully you did this!)

Make two calls: one to your insurance company and one to the car rental company. Let them know what happened. You may be dreading the call to the car rental company, but don’t be afraid; they understand that accidents happen!
If the car needs to be towed, your rental car company will let you know where to send it – they may even send the tow truck and handle on your behalf. Last but not least, remember to be calm. It’s not the end of the world and if you’re not hurt, everything is going to be okay! Remember that the most important thing you can do before renting a vehicle is confirm your insurance coverage to ensure you’re covered in the event of an accident.

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