While everyone does their best to avoid an accident in a rental car, things happen. Generally, your personal car insurance covers rental cars. So, in most cases, your insurance company will cover damages from an accident in a rental car.
When Does My Insurance Cover Rental Car Accidents?
Your car insurance is likely the “primary” policy (i.e., the first one you turn to after an accident) if you have the following coverages:
- Collision coverage
- Comprehensive coverage
- Liability coverage
Just as it would with your own vehicle, collision coverage pays for damage to the vehicle after an accident in a rental car. Comprehensive coverage takes care of the vehicle in the event of theft and vandalism. And your liability insurance pays up to your policy limits for injuries to other drivers in an accident you cause.
Will My Credit Card Cover Any Accident Costs?
Most credit cards in the United States offer collision damages waivers (CDW). CDWs are secondary auto rental insurance. This means that it will likely not go into effect until after your primary coverage has been exhausted.
What Does Secondary Car Rental Insurance Cover?
As its name suggests, secondary coverage is a supplemental coverage. So, it does not cover damages your primary insurance does such as personal injury and bodily injury liability coverages.
That said, CDW does fill in some of the gaps your primary car insurance does not cover. For example, it might cover your deductible and any towing fees incurred following an accident.
But despite accepting the waiver, your car rental company does not consider CDW to be insurance. Rather, the company has simply waived its right to charge you for damage any damage you cause to your rented vehicle.
What Does the Car Rental Company’s Insurance Cover?
Like personal car insurance, car rental insurance provides as much coverage as you want and are willing to pay for. Rental car companies typically offer varying tiers of coverage depending on what coverages may roll over from your personal insurer, or what you want.
Common coverages provided by car rental companies include:
- CDW: As we mentioned earlier, this is a waiver which gets you off the hook for any damage to the vehicle.
- Supplemental liability protection: This covers any injury you cause another driver involved in your car accident.
- Personal accident coverage: This covers medical costs for yourself and any passengers in the car at the time of the accident.
- Personal effects coverage: This level of coverage compensates you for any personal items stolen while driving a rental car.
What if the Other Driver is at Fault?
If the other driver is at-fault, you and the car rental company will file claims with that driver’s insurer. The car rental company will claim the property damages while you can claim any injuries you sustained.
If you are partially at-fault, the car rental company might require you pay for a portion of the damages.
Get Help from S. Burke Law Today
Car accidents are always complicated, stressful incidents. Driving a rental car adds another layer of complication and complexity because you often deal with multiple insurers to resolve the issue. And in many cases, you might not have a clue who is supposed to cover what. But you do not need to handle this alone.
Reach out to a Georgia car accident lawyer if you have been involved in a rental car accident. The S. Burke Law team can help you determine who pays for what and get you the compensation you deserve.
Call us today: 404-842-7838.