Shelnutt & Varner, Attorneys at Law

Rental Car Accidents

Any time you have involved in an auto accident there are challenges regarding fault, liability and compensation. Adding the factor of driving a rental vehicle to the already complex issues can significantly impact the degree of difficulty in sorting out the details and arriving at the best outcomes.

Rental vehicle accidents can be difficult to sort out because of the additional factors of the ownership of the vehicle and the insurance coverages that may be responsible for paying for damages. At the time of renting a vehicle, the rental company endeavors to have the renter purchase their available coverages. All coverages are not created equal and it’s important that you know what you may already have in force that will protect you and what is available.

The attorneys at Shelnutt & Varner have the advanced knowledge you need to help you navigate the complexities of a rental car injury claim. Please call 256-547-4988 today to arrange a complimentary review of your case.

What Coverage Do I Have and What Do I Need?

Often, consumers renting a car rely on their own insurance or on the insurance that they have read is provided by their credit card company. These may or may not be valid and adequate coverage. It is essential that you know what your coverages are before renting a vehicle.

Personal Auto Policy – If you have a full coverage policy on your personal or business auto you will likely have liability, uninsured/underinsured motorist and medical coverage as provided in your policy while operating a rented vehicle. Not all comprehensive and collision coverages will cover damages to a rented vehicle. Basic liability policies will not normally provide any coverage while operating a rented vehicle. The most important factor is to know what your policy will cover when operating a rented vehicle. If you aren’t clear after reviewing your policy documents you should contact your insurer prior to renting a vehicle. You don’t want to pay for duplicate coverage but even more importantly, you don’t want to have a liability exposure that’s not covered.

Credit Card Protection – Many credit card companies advertise that they provide protection for consumers while they are operating a rental vehicle. These coverages typically have restrictions and limitations that fall short of normal insurance coverage. One restriction that is universally applied is that for the card’s coverage to apply that card must be used to pay for the rental of the vehicle. Many of the coverages provided by credit card companies are limited to providing for damage to the rented vehicle. Again, the most important factor is that you know what coverage you have if you are going to rely on your credit card company to protect you. This information can be difficult to find and may take some research through your card provider.

If you’ve been in an accident in a rental car, two things are certain: it’s complicated and you need help. For help sorting out the details and protecting your rights, please contact Shelnutt & Varner by calling 256-547-4988 or fill out our online form today. We serve clients in and around the southeast United States.

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