We tend to hire a car when we go on holidays in the UK, and if we ever manage to leave the country for a holiday too! It’s great to drive a car that you know is reliable and normally a lot newer and more economic than your own car, it gives you peace of mind when travelling which is especially important for us with two young kids, plus means you can hopefully save a little on your fuel costs too. But what happens if you have an accident and someone in the car suffers a personal injury? It doesn’t bear thinking about but here’s what you’ll need to understand and know in case the worst does happen…
Understanding your car insurance coverage in the case of an accident
For starters, before you hire a car or other vehicle, you should check what your existing insurance covers. Some insurance companies will cover a rental car, the same as your own personal car, whereas others will require you to purchase you additional coverage for a rental vehicle. You might also be covered by your credit card company in some cases as well, so it’s often worthwhile calling them as well to see whether they’ll cover you as well.
From there, when you actually go to hire a car or quad or moped, you’ll need to check what the rental company says in their terms, and what kind of insurance they offer or whether it’s already covered in the rental costs. Often you’ll be able to purchase additional cover from the rental company, which can often put your mind at ease when it comes to covering your rental car.
What’s the claims procedure for a car accident in a rental car?
In the event that you do have an accident, you’ve got a couple of things that you need to do. Firstly is to make sure that everyone is okay, and if anyone does need medical attention, that an ambulance is called if needed, as well as calling the police to let them know about the accident. From there, you’ll need to exchange insurance and contact details with anyone involved in the actual accident itself, and get the details of any witnesses and take pictures of the accident scene as well for your own records.
After that’s done, you’ll need to get in touch with your rental company and tell them about the accident. They’ll have a plan put in place for what happens in an accident, so you’ll need to follow this once you’ve told them. If your normal car insurance covers your rental car as well, you’ll need to let them know and they should be able to start an insurance claim.
If you’ve been injured as well in the accident, you’ll want to speak with a lawyer to start a personal injury claim. A law firm such as Hodge Jones & Allen specialist personal injury solicitors in London will be able to tell you what your next steps will be if you have a claim, and how to proceed with the personal injury claim as well as how much compensation you could potentially claim, so it’s worthwhile getting in touch with a lawyer to explore your options going forward after the accident.
Renting in a foreign country – does my insurance cover this?
You’ll need to check if your insurance covers you renting a vehicle in a foreign country. Some insurance companies will let you do this without needing to pay anything extra, but often the insurance company will require you to pay extra to cover this. Always check the terms and conditions first before you rent a car or moped or quad bike, and you should be good to go and enjoy your holiday!