Whose Insurance Covers an Accident Involving a Rental Car?

Rental cars have grown in popularity in recent years but the roadways will be just as dangerous no matter which vehicle you are driving. You may ask yourself, whose insurance covers the damage when I am in a rental car accident? Our talented car accident attorneys could help you sort it out and make the right claim for compensation.

How is a Rental Car Defined?

A rental car is defined as one in which the driver pays money in order for the right to drive a specific vehicle through a specific time. This is differentiated from a taxi or a ridesharing service, where the customer is simply the passenger. Rental cars are governed by a rental contract and there are some general rules which govern all rental cars, but each rental agreement has their own requirements.

In recent years, there have developed new business models for renting a car. Traditionally, cars were rented by the day. Now, there are services which will rent vehicles for a specific period of time, usually several hours. They, too, are governed by rental agreements. However, the rules of liability between short-term and long-term rentals are the same.

Insurance Coverage for Rental Car Accidents

The primary difference with a rental car is which insurance coverage is responsible if there is an accident. Generally speaking, one’s own personal automobile insurance will cover them when they are in a rental car. If they do not have car insurance, the rental company will offer them supplemental insurance at the point of agreement. If a driver declines the rental insurance and do not have their own car insurance, the rental car agency is responsible for liability in the event of an accident.

In a typical accident involving a rented automobile, there are no disputes over what insurance is primary and who is responsible for damages. However, because rental cars are governed by the rental contract, there are times that the driver has violated the contract. In that situation, there is no insurance coverage for the driver. All is not lost, however, since the case then transforms into an uninsured motorist case.

Rental cars are also common targets for theft, and if a rental car is stolen, then there will be no insurance coverage on it. Once again, the claim would become an uninsured motorist claim.

Talk to a Lawyer About Rental Car Insurance After a Crash

The personal injury attorneys at McCready Law have extensive experience in various types of traffic incident lawsuits. Whether you have your own insurance or not, give us a call and we can explain what you need to do after getting into a crash with a rental vehicle.