• How to File a Car Rental Accident Report

    If you are unfortunate enough to end up a part of a car accident while driving a rental, filing an accident report might seem to be a more daunting task than it really is. The fact of the matter is that there are only one or two steps more to follow than if you’d had the accident in your own car. Taking extra special care to note all details of the accident, including the names, contact info and testimonies of any witnesses, as well as the names and badge numbers of all emergency personnel involved, will make the whole process go that much more smoothly.

    Here Are the 5 Steps to Take If You Do End Up in This Situation:

    1. Check whether anyone has been hurt. If someone has been severely injured and is need of medical assistance, call an ambulance immediately.
    2. Call the local police and file an accident/incident report. Occasionally your insurance company will do this for you but be sure to ask your provider whether or not they do.
    3. As per general protocol with any car accident, do not admit fault, exchange insurance information and identification with the other driver, and take as many pictures, of both the scene and the vehicles, as you can. Remember not to mention that you’re car’s a rental, as some people might try to take advantage of you and your rental company in this situation.
    4. Sometimes the rental agencies place a sticker inside the glove box with an emergency number to call in case of emergency. If there isn’t one there, check the paperwork and receipts you got from your agent when you rented the car. Call the number and follow their instructions on how to best proceed.
    5. Wait to let your insurance company know about the accident until after you’ve returned the car and gotten everything taken care of with the rental agency. As it will take a bit of time to talk to your agent, fill out paperwork, etc., its best not to try to do all this immediately.

    Always be sure to check with your insurance company to insure that your policy provides adequate coverage should you get in an accident in your rental car. If purchasing insurance from the rental company, the same applies. Make absolutely certain that you are covered. Regardless of the cause or fault of the accident, the renter and additional drivers on the contract are responsible for any damage to the vehicle and loss to the company, including towing charges, storage, the business lost due to the vehicle’s condition, diminution in the vehicle’s value, etc. There’s quite a long list of things that a rental company can suggest that you are liable for and, more importantly, they have your credit card number. Know your rights and what you’re responsible for should you end up in an accident in a rental car.