We have many visitors to New Orleans, and many of them rent vehicles while they are visiting our city. Think about when you travel for personal or business purposes — do you rent a car? Does the rental car agency offer you rental car insurance? Do you really know what the insurance covers and what you are responsible for in the event of an accident? Below is information that you may find helpful before renting a car.

Does Your Personal Insurance Cover You in A Rental Car?

You are required to have car insurance in every state in this country. Therefore, the first thing you should do before renting a vehicle is to contact your auto insurance provider to review your coverage. Most automobile insurance policies cover rental cars; however, you should always check with your insurance agent.

While liability insurance may cover the damages to others if you cause a rental car accident, you may not be covered if you wreck the rental car or if the rental car is damaged, especially if you don’t have collision insurance coverage on your personal vehicle. Likewise, if you don’t have underinsured or uninsured coverage, you may be left with an expensive bill if another driver who does not have sufficient insurance causes a rental car accident.

Buying Rental Car Insurance

If you have full coverage and your insurance policy covers the rental car, you may not need to purchase rental car insurance. Your insurance agent can help you determine if you need additional insurance coverage. Your insurance agent may be the best person to talk to about rental car insurance because the employees of the rental car agency are pushed to sell insurance so they may not be the best source of information. However, if you do not have sufficient insurance coverage, purchasing rental car insurance may be a good option.

Because rental car insurance coverage varies and can be expensive, make sure you understand the terms of coverage and read all fine print before purchasing. In many cases, car rental insurance does not cover drivers who are negligent in causing damage (i.e. drugged or drunk driving, reckless driving, etc.). Know what circumstances void the policy before you leave the lot.

Steps to Take After a Rental Car Accident

Call the rental car agency to report the accident as soon as possible. Your contract may contain a clause that requires you to report the accident within a certain time frame. Most agencies provide an emergency number for this purpose. If the rental car accident was not your fault, the agency might provide a replacement vehicle. However, if the accident is your fault, your actions could void the contract depending on the cause of the accident.

Otherwise, take the same steps you would take after any other car accident. Call 911 for police and emergency personnel, take pictures, write down witness information, and never admit fault.  Contact our NoLA car accident attorney as soon as possible to discuss your legal rights regarding a rental car accident.

Call a NoLA Car Accident Attorney for Help

If you are involved in a rental car accident, you may find it difficult to deal with the rental car agency and the insurance company. Instead of fighting with aggressive adjusters and difficult companies, call our NoLA car accident attorney for help.

You can reach Attorney Fred Olinde of The Olinde Firm by calling (504) 587-1440 or 1-800-587-1889 to request a free consultation with an experienced NoLA car accident lawyer.