When people think of renting a car or car shares, the only thing they generally think about is the convenience of temporarily accessing a car to get from one location to another. Plus, car sharing and car rental companies make it easy to access a temporary car and be on your way. However, it’s important to know about the procedures and policies in place for accidents in car rentals. The goal, of course, is to never be involved in an accident. However, it’s a good idea to make sure you know about these procedures and policies so that you’re prepared in case you ever are involved in this type of accident. It’s important to know what to expect so that you can protect yourself.
Car Share Accident Procedures
Every car share company is different when it comes to the specific procedures regarding car share accidents. What one company has set up in terms of how insurance and liability is handled will likely be different from another company. This means that if you are aware of the policies and procedures of one company, you cannot assume they will be the same with another company.
One consistent procedure with all car share companies is that the driver of the vehicle involved is required to let the car share or car rental company know about the accident as soon as possible.
Here’s a couple of examples of what could be differing policies and procedures between car share companies. Let’s say Company A has arrangements that you are responsible for a deductible of up to $500 if you get in an accident. With this company, the deductible amount goes up to $2,000 if you allow an unauthorized driver, even a fully licensed unauthorized driver, to get behind the wheel of the car share or car rental that is in your name. Just because Company A has these policies and procedures, doesn’t mean Company B will as well.
In this example, Company B has a deductible of up to $1,000 per accident and the option to legally go after a driver for related expenses. That is why with Company B you should have additional insurance coverage to pay for the damages not covered under the included comprehensive, liability and collision coverage.
Company C may have different policies and procedures from the first two. Company C may offer the purchase of an optional waiver allowing the deductible fee to be waived in an accident. Conditions for something like this would be that if the driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol or found using a cellphone, then the damage fee would not be waived.
What to Do in an Accident
It’s important to know the policies and procedures of each company you rent or share a vehicle from. Besides that, if you get in an accident, you should get as much documentation as possible at the accident scene. If possible, take photos of the damage and your surroundings. Hire a Car Accident Lawyer in Cambridge to collect contact information of witnesses. Additionally, you or your lawyer should report the accident to the car share company directly. To further protect yourself, it’s a good idea to carefully look at the vehicle for damage before driving off.