As the holidays quickly approach, holiday travels will intensify. Roads will get busier. And those roads will be populated by plenty of drivers who are operating rental cars and who, in many cases, are not familiar with the territory in which they’re traveling. Unfamiliarity with a highway or area can lead to a greater chance of auto accidents. And when a rental car is involved in a collision, the situation becomes even more complicated.
Do You Need Rental Car Insurance?
The first question you have to tackle when renting a car is whether or not you should get renter’s insurance. You may be inclined to say no to renter’s insurance simply to avoid a higher cost. And you may so no because you think you have coverage through your personal auto insurance. The smartest thing you can do is confirm with the rental company what kind of coverage you have with them under your rental contract – if any – if you don’t opt for the additional collision damage waiver they’re offering.
It is also essential for you to contact your own car insurance company to find out whether or not you have any rental car insurance benefits through your no-fault Michigan car insurance policy. Does it apply to a car accident out of state? Does it cover car rentals? Covering your tracks is the first step to ensuring your safety in case of a rental car crash. Ideally, you won’t need to call on any insurance providers at all, but it is better to know where you stand rather than be stuck in a difficult situation with no idea what your benefits or financial responsibilities are or will be.
Causes of Rental Car Crashes
If you need to use your GPS to get around an area that you are unaccustomed to, you are automatically in the distracted driver category. Whether the GPS is built into your car, broadcast via your Bluetooth, or operated through your phone, looking away from the road even momentarily to check your direction is a distraction.
General smartphone use is also a major problem for drivers. Even though you may be traveling in an area you know well, the rental vehicle you’re operating is foreign to you, and that always comes with an adjustment period. If you spend that time being distracted by texts, phone calls, and emails, your chances of being involved in a rental car crash increase.
Naturally, at holiday time, there is plenty of revelry. Parties, celebrations, and gatherings often include plenty of alcohol, and far too much drinking and driving afterward. While you should never drink and drive no matter what vehicle you have in your possession, getting into a car crash with a rental car while under the influence will create a very complicated situation for you.
Types of Rental Car Insurance
Of course, your rental car is covered by insurance – the rental car company is legally obligated to have liability insurance on all of their vehicles. Depending on the rental car enterprise that you use, however, the benefits they offer to you as a renter can vary. It’s up to you to determine if you need additional protection beyond liability insurance. The options for insurance coverage through the rental agency may include a loss damage waiver or a collision damage waiver, both of which cover against a lost, damaged, or stolen car. Any injuries suffered in a car crash should be covered by personal accident insurance, and if you have valuable items traveling with you that you want to protect, personal effects coverage should be considered.
Rental car accidents are handled like any other car crash, but in these circumstances a third party – the rental car company – is added to the mix. If you are involved in a car crash in Michigan while operating or riding in a rental car, contact your Michigan personal injury attorney as soon as possible, even before you contact your auto insurance company. If you are hit by someone operating a rental car while you are driving your personal vehicle, it is also essential to contact your attorney so that you can get clear up front about who you will recover benefits from. Contact David Femminineo today to discuss your case.