minor fender bender while driving rental: pay for damages out of pocket?
May 29, 2019 8:13 AM   Subscribe

Pretty much the title .. I was driving a rental and got in a very minor accident. I always turn down the rental company's coverage, I have a car and my own policy that covers me. In this case the damages are likely less than my deductable, and I'd like to avoid filing a claim - if possible - and pay out of pocket.

Currently working on getting a straight answer (because at the branch i rented from, they first said no, you must file a claim amd go through your insurance, but then when I asked "where in your rental policy is that stated" they .. couldn't say) from the rental company on this question.. curious to hear some data points from you all - have you done this (paid out of pocket for minor damages to a rental)? A police report was filed and i immediately reported the incident to the rental co.
posted by elgee to Grab Bag (6 answers total)
Did you rent with a credit card? Most (if not all) credit card companies have insurance for just this situation. It should be already included in your account and can be used at no cost. At least the last time I had to use it it was.
posted by Sphinx at 8:16 AM on May 29 [3 favorites]

Do you know how much they will ding you for the money they lose while the car is out-of-service? That can end up being more than the repair bill.
posted by jacquilynne at 8:31 AM on May 29

Make sure you keep records of their availability of cars (for the exact type you rented) when the car is in the shop. I believe they can only charge you for loss of rental if they are all sold-out. If they still have similar vehicles available, then they can't claim loss of rental, as they didn't lose any business.
Use the website of the rental company and take lots of screenshots.
posted by WizKid at 8:53 AM on May 29

Most insurance companies will not pay for loss of use for a rental car only repairs. My wife just rented a car and I called our insurance company to confirm that she would be covered and they very specifically pointed out that loss of use was not covered.
posted by jmsta at 9:12 AM on May 29

According to my research, if you have an auto policy, that is the first go to before any policy associated with the credit card you used to pay for the rental. An auto policy - again just according to what I've read - will generally offer more extensive coverage than your credit card.

That's a good tip, re checking to be sure any "loss of use" charges are fair - thanks : )
posted by elgee at 10:07 AM on May 29

I went through this. I had to file a claim with my main insurance, and the credit card service covered the part the insurance didn't pay for -- the deductible. The credit card service required the main insurance claim to show what dollar amount wasn't covered.
posted by amtho at 10:29 AM on May 29 [1 favorite]

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