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What If There’s a Rental Car Accident?

car accident checklist

While it’s unlikely anything will go wrong during your trip, accidents do happen. So, it’s good to be savvy and prepared for any eventuality when behind the wheel of your vehicle. In the unfortunate event of a rental car accident, follow these steps:

Step 1: Make Sure Everyone is Okay

You may be startled in the wake of an accident, but it’s important to stay as calm and collected as possible. The top priority after a collision is to first get yourself out of harm’s way, and then check nobody has been hurt. First, see that your passengers are OK, then step out to check on anyone else involved in the accident. Remember to watch for traffic and be vigilant about your own safety at all times – in the heat of the moment, it can be all too easy to risk your own well-being.

Step 2: Contact the Relevant Emergency Services

If anybody has been hurt or injured, call 911 for an ambulance. Otherwise, if there’s no need for medical attention, you can contact the police in order to file an accident report.

cars in traffic

Step 3: Document the Accident

Once you’re sure the scene is safe, you can get on with the process of documenting exactly what happened. You’ll need to exchange all relevant contact information with anyone else involved in the accident – note down their name, address, phone number, and license plate number, along with their insurance details. You’ll also want to record the exact time of the crash and any damage done. Choose your words carefully when speaking to witnesses – regardless of the circumstances, you don’t want to say anything that may be regarded as an admission of responsibility. That’s an issue the authorities and insurance companies will assess.

Step 4: Contact Your Car Rental Company

The next step after a rental car accident is to contact the company you hired the vehicle from. Give them any details they need and ask what the next step is. They should be able to handle things from this point on. Depending on the type of insurance policy you’ve taken for the rental car, you may also have to contact the insurance company yourself. Bear in mind that you may have to pay the deductible, which is the portion of money paid by the customer before the insurance company can cover the rest. The deductible amount will depend on the kind of coverage you have and how much your regular insurance payments have been. The deductible may be reimbursed, depending on the situation, but this will be clarified later on.

The information provided in this guide was accurate at the time of publication but is subject to change at any time. Please check your car rental company’s terms for the latest information.


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