Here’s What REALLY Happens When You Get In An Accident with a Rental Car
Yes, you should ALWAYS get the rental insurance. Take it from me and my PERSONAL experience.
It's one of those things that you know nothing about...until it happens to YOU. We rent cars often when we travel, and through all of our research, we were advised NOT to pay for the insurance on the rental; it sounded as though most car insurance companies already cover rentals in the fine print.
Let me be the first to tell you that it's NOT TRUE.
Yes, sometimes, your insurance will cover any damage. Sometimes, the credit card company will cover the damage if that's how you paid for it.
But, for the most part, you're on your own - and the rental/insurance companies are NOT nice about it.
We rented a car when we went to Wisconsin to see my family for Easter this year. It was one week after Pat's mom's funeral, so not only were we still grieving, but we were broke as a joke. It was just bad timing all around.
I was parking our rental car behind my uncle's house when I dented the door of a family member's car. In our rental. When we dropped it off at the airport, we filled out an accident report and I called MY insurance and filed a report with them.
And then, I waited.
I heard NOTHING from Hertz. Not even a phone call. Three months later, they sent me a bill that was ALREADY IN COLLECTIONS for $500. I never saw a damage estimate, I never talked to a claims adjuster, I never saw another bill. They sent me straight to collections. I'm paying that bill right now.
Needless to say, I'll never rent from them. Ever.
My car insurance provider, Progressive, has said that they won't cover any of it because it was MY fault...including the damage to the other car. It's September - this "accident" happened in March and everybody is still passing the buck on who is supposed to pay for the dent in the other car.
So now, I'm having to fight with two insurance companies to get SOMEBODY to pay for the dent in the other car. It's not serious and it's purely cosmetic, but nevertheless, it needs to be fixed. Both companies are pointing the finger at the other, and I'm stuck in the middle.
I have a sneaking suspicion that all of my phone calls and emails are in vain, and that I'll be better off just paying for the damage out of my own pocket. I'm not opposed to that, but you'd think that for $169 per month in car insurance and a $500 bill from Hertz, there would be money for that SOMEWHERE.
That's what I thought. I was wrong. So, take my advice - GET THE RENTAL CAR INSURANCE. Because this is NOT worth the hassle, and trust me - everybody will find a way to get out of paying for it, except for YOU.