Rental Car Accident: Whose Insurance Pays?

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When it comes to filing a claim with your insurance company after a car accident, knowing exactly what to do can be confusing. When you’re in a rental car accident, however, the process can be even more ambiguous. If you’ve been in a car accident while driving a rental car in Tacoma, here’s what you need to know about what happens next:

If You Have Personal Auto Insurance

In the event that you have a personal auto insurance policy -- as do most drivers in Washington State -- then your own insurance company most likely will pay for damages if the accident was your fault (Washington State follows a traditional at-fault system). What’s more, if you purchased personal injury protection coverage, or PIP coverage, under your own policy, then it should pay for a portion of your medical expenses, lost wages and even funeral expenses (if applicable), regardless of who was at fault.

If You Purchased Car Rental Insurance from the Rental Company

If you purchased car rental insurance form the rental company and you were at fault for the accident, then the rental insurance should kick in and pay damages up to the amount that you purchased. In most cases, experts agree that if you already have personal auto insurance, you don’t need additional insurance from a rental company. However, rental car insurance can be helpful for paying for damages for comprehensive and collision damages (if these aren’t on your existing policy), you’re driving abroad, you don’t have PIP coverage or if you want to lower your risk of paying a high deductible.

Using a credit card to rent a car may provide additional coverage in what’s called secondary insurance. This means that after your primary insurance or car rental insurance has kicked in, the insurance offered by your credit card company helps to pay for deductibles or gaps in coverage.

If the Other Driver Was at Fault

If the accident was the fault of the other driver, then you should file a claim with the other driver’s insurance company. If you purchased certain insurance types, like uninsured/underinsured coverage or PIP coverage, then you may be able to recover compensation from your own insurance company as well.

Seek the Help of a Car Accident Legal Professional Today

To help you understand with whom you should file your claim and your rights to compensation -- whether you were at fault or not -- call the attorneys at Max Meyers Law PLLC. We can help negotiate with the insurance company and assist you in filing a personal injury claim if necessary. Reach us today to get started at 425-399-7000

Max Meyers
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Max is a Kirkland personal injury attorney handling cases in Seattle, King County & surrounding in WA State.