When planning a vacation, a car accident is the last thing you want to think about. You arrive at your destination. You go to pick up your rental car. Then the salesperson asks “Do you want to add insurance?” If you hesitate, they pounce. They fill your head with billions of things that could go wrong if you don’t take their insurance. It’s scary, and they know you want peace of mind on your vacation so salespeople often take advantage of your warranted desire for safety. However, do you really need their insurance? You might be expecting to pay the rental fee, but then it’s suddenly doubled because they got you to agree to the insurance policy.
While it might seem like a good idea to get this extra coverage, you might not need it at all. Here, we’re going to discuss when you should take the insurance, when you shouldn’t, and when you might want to consider it.
What They Offer
The big rental companies don’t simply offer an insurance plan that covers everything. They have different little packages to get more of your money. They might ask if you want roadside assistance, liability coverage, collision, and all the other plans you would normally see on your car insurance. The problem with this is that most of the time, you don’t need any of it. These rental “service” people are actually just salespeople. They often get a cut of whatever they manage to convince you to add on to your contract. Just like any other salesperson, they’re trying to get your bill as high as possible so they make the most money off of you.
Should I Buy It?
This depends on your situation. If you don’t normally drive, or don’t have your own insurance, you’re going to want to get their insurance. Chances are that if you don’t drive, you don’t have a car, and don’t have any auto insurance. If that’s the case, you want some coverage. However, you don’t need to get your rental company’s insurance. If you book your trip through travel sites, many of them offer insurance if you order your rental through them. The bonus is that they usually offer insurance for less than a quarter of what the rental place charges.
Do you have only minimum liability or a large deductible?
Then you might want to consider buying insurance. It’s best to be safe. No one wants to come back from vacation with a big hole in their wallet because they got into an accident that wasn’t covered. If you’re counting on your homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance to cover your personal belongings you brought with you on your trip, you might also want to look into getting that extra insurance. It’s understandable that you wouldn’t want to file your belongings under your normal insurance. You don’t want your premium to go up! If that’s the case, the personal belonging coverage is usually to lowest cost anyway. It’s always better to be safe than sorry!
When should I say no?
If you already have roadside assistance, you normally don’t have to worry about adding that coverage to your rental. Most auto clubs that provide roadside assistance also cover rentals. Just double check that you’re covered before you pick up your rental. Also, if you have your own personal auto insurance, you might be covered in rental accidents. Of course, we suggest you check with your agent. The last thing the big rental companies will offer you is personal accident insurance. If your health insurance covers any injuries who happen to get while on vacation, you can probably decline this offer.
At the end of your trip, be sure to check your car. You don’t want a surprise charge. Take pictures! you need proof that you dropped off the car in the same condition you got it in. On top of all of this, be sure to ask questions if anything seems unclear.
What if I get into an Accident?
The fact of the matter is that your rental company doesn’t care who’s at fault. They gave you the keys because you promised to turn their car back in the same condition you got it in. Even if you’re not at fault, the company will try to get paid by your insurance carrier. If you’re at fault, then whatever your insurance doesn’t cover, you’re on the hook for. Sometimes, these rental companies will even make you pay a fee for every day their car is in the shop being repaired. This is called a “loss of use fee.” Basically, it’s saying you have to pay for the potential profit they lose because they couldn’t rent out the car.
If you’re not at fault, it is important that you contact a personal injury attorney right away, especially if you have been hurt in the accident. Your attorney can help you get the fees charged by the rental company from the at-fault party. If you were not at fault, you may be entitled to compensation.
Legal Help When You Need It
Hopefully, you won’t have to worry about any of these during your rental. But if you do, you need an experienced personal injury attorney.
At Villarreal and Begum Law Firm, we know the complexities involved with rental car accidents. Our attorneys will fight to make sure you obtain a fair and just settlement. The Texas Law Guns have your best interests at heart and are ready to assist you every step of the way. Call us or contact us online today.