Car rental accident
August 14, 2018 6:42 PM   Subscribe

So I got into a small fender bender with my rental car. I'm scheduled to return it tomorrow. What do I need to know?

Prima facia, I believe I am not at fault. I had just parked the car (in a lot). I opened my door and the other car pulling in the spot next to me hit my car door with his side mirror.

We talked briefly and took photos of each other's driver license and I took a photo of his license plate.

I did not get extra insurance for the rental
I do have insurance for my own cars. The accident took place in a state that is not my state of residence.
posted by falsedmitri to Law & Government (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Call your insurance agent immediately. Like right now.
posted by kerf at 6:44 PM on August 14, 2018 [3 favorites]

Check whether you have insurance through the card you rented the car on. I had an inexplicable dent on a rentacar a couple of years back, and found out I had coverage from my credit card that I had no idea about.
posted by LizardBreath at 6:46 PM on August 14, 2018 [4 favorites]

@kerf: Thanks I've filed a claim with my insurance company (rhymes with Regressive)

@LizardBreath: Thanks for the suggestion. I called the card people (rhymes with Miscover). No insurance.
posted by falsedmitri at 7:59 PM on August 14, 2018

the rental people will make you fill out a form when you return the car.
posted by brujita at 9:24 PM on August 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

Maybe I'm paranoid, but before returning it, I'd see if i could do two things: take a lot of pictures, and get estimates for the repair from a body shop (or a couple even) in case they try to charge you $1000 for something that costs $100 to fix.
posted by slidell at 10:01 PM on August 14, 2018

I am reasonably confident it will depend entirely on your insurance company, you deductible and the specific cedit card you used--My guess is that you may need to pony up the money for the cost of this repair (I rent cars 6 months a year) and assume the responsibility to collect any coverage that might be applicable. Taking pictures and getting an estimate is a prudent idea. In the cases of minor repairs(less than your deductible) I usually get them repaired myself which tends to be less expensive--it sounds as if you do not have time to do this.
posted by rmhsinc at 11:16 PM on August 14, 2018

How bad is the damage to your rental car? Honestly they don’t always notice. I have friends whose rental car was mauled by a bear (only a black bear) on a camping trip, and they just returned it and crossed their fingers and nothing ever came of it.
posted by mskyle at 4:18 AM on August 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

Oh man, this just happened to me in July (someone hit my Enterprise rental car, I'm not at-fault). Here's what I did, FWIW.

Step 1: organize the information you have on hand and file an accident report with the state/city/town in question. This is helpful to get your story on paper, especially if you were not moving at the time and are likely not at-fault. Also, some states (Massachusetts) require you to do this within 5 days for (estimated) damage over $1,000.

Step 2: bring the car to the rental location and tell them that someone hit you. They will fill out a damage claim, which you will have helpfully collected all the information for in Step 1. In my case, they swapped the car for an undamaged one, but I took lots of photos before returning the damaged one.

Step 3: open a claim with your insurance company. You don't have to fully go through with it, but it gets the process rolling. I did this, but I ended up closing the claim with no payment, because the other party paid. Add photos from Step 2.

Step 4: open a claim with the other driver's insurance. Your insurance company may help you do this, by looking up information about the other driver. Add photos from Step 2.

Step 5: the rental company will eventually, within 1-2 weeks, send you a billl and an itemized list of the damages and repair work. You can hand this directly over to the claim in Step 4. In my case, the other party's insurance took it from there, and paid the bill.

Hope this helps! Thankfully, I didn't have to pay anything extra in my case, and I hope the same for you.
posted by jason6 at 1:06 PM on August 15, 2018 [1 favorite]

when someone in Vancouver bc decided that the red light didn't apply to him and totaled my car the police never came. I called the # on my hertz rental form and was told to fax an accident report. it was never received and several days later I began to receive threatening phone messages until I was able to speak to someone else at hertz and let her know where the car had been towed.
posted by brujita at 4:02 PM on August 16, 2018

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