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Do I need to get the extra rental car insurance if I get a rental following an accident?

You’re standing at the rental car counter at your local rental company. You’re sore and exhausted following an accident. All you want is to get your car and head home to rest when the agent asks if you want to buy insurance on your rental, your shoulders sag even more. The at fault party has refused to cover the rental insurance, only the car you’re renting. You’re afraid to decline, but you’ve also heard it’s a waste of money. And that’s a pretty big chunk of cash you’d be spending: Insurance can run you up to $40 extra per day, depending upon the coverage.

For years, savvy individuals declined the rental car insurance. They figured their regular auto insurance would cover them. Today, the question remains: Do you need rental car insurance? Like the answer to many legal questions, the answer is “it depends.”

First look at the insurance you already have. Many insurance policies will cover an insured if they hop in a rental car. Make sure the read the fine print or call your agent because while this is the norm it is not guaranteed. Next make sure you have adequate coverage to pay for damage to the rental no matter the case. The majority of drivers in California carry the state minimum in insurance coverage which is usually sold as “full coverage”.

What this means is that your auto insurance will only cover damage to someone else’s car is you get into an accident. This can be troublesome if you are at fault for an accident, are a victim or a hit and run, hit by an uninsured motorist, or have something fall on your car. To make sure you are covered in the event of one of the aforementioned scenarios make sure your policy includes comprehensive and collision coverage. These coverages will cover damage to your car in the event of almost any type of accident.

If you would like to speak with an attorney about the specific details of your case, and get advice about how to proceed in negotiating a settlement with an insurance company, please call us at 888.JLF.FIRM or (562) 418-6880.