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What happens if you crash a rental car without insurance? Who is liable?

Rental car accidents are inevitable. For that, many devices have been designed to make rented cars safer for travellers who decide to get a vehicle on rent. An event like an accident in a rented vehicle may look very dangerous. It happens quite often in the country- a car accident happens every 15 seconds in the United States. Yearly, about 1.2 million people lose their lives due to traffic accidents.

Well, that is a jaw-dropping figure, and, unfortunately, we see the consequences of such accidents almost every day. Want to learn what happens if you crash a rental car without insurance? Find out in this write-up.

What Is Auto Insurance?

Personal auto insurance is a compulsory requirement of a majority of states in the US. It gives the holder some financial security in unfortunate events like accidents. It is a contract between the policyholder and the insurer protecting you against any fiscal loss due to an accident or theft. The insurer assures you they will compensate you for the losses as agreed upon in your policy. But you have to pay a monthly premium.

What does it cover? A basic auto insurance policy offers coverage for property damage, bodily injury, and medical expenses.

What Is Rental Car Insurance?

Rental insurance is another protection coverage plan that protects you and the rented vehicle in complex situations. Many car rental service providers do not demand rental insurance before the clients hire a car for rent. In addition, some provide rental insurance and other protection products.

How much does this insurance plan cost? Are you looking to purchase optional rental insurance and protection products from a service provider? Then, the cost may differ depending on the vehicle type and many other factors.

What are the Major Reasons Behind a Rental Accident?

Over the years, there has been an increase in the number of rental cars. This has inevitably resulted in increasing traffic accidents in rented vehicles. Here are some of the biggest reasons for rental accidents:

  • Over speeding

  • Driving under the intoxication of drugs or alcohol

  • Not checking the rental vehicle properly before taking the keys

  • Not following the traffic rules

  • Using a cell phone while driving

  • Ignoring the pedestrians

Rental Car Damage When You Don't Have an Insurance

No doubt, renting a car is quite risky. Your exposure to road risks starts as you grab the car keys and sit in the driver's seat. If you already possess car insurance, you must speak to your insurance provider and file a claim. Your coverage plan may extend to your rental insurance up to your policy limitations. Don't have coverage at all? Thinking of what will happen?

Also Read: How to avoid paying deposit on rental car?

You Might Have To Purchase A Replacement Car Forcefully

If you wrecked your rented car severely, there is a chance you have to purchase a replacement car forcefully. A great majority of rented cars cost around $20 to $40. So, you may get into big trouble when you have an accident and don't have accident coverage. So, it is wise to buy the most appropriate accident coverage plan. With this, you can breathe a sigh of relief.

The Rental Company May File A Case Against You

If the rental car accident is your fault, you might also be responsible for injuries due to the car crash. Most states let the drivers file a claim against each other for damages sustained in an accident.  

Therefore, if you are found guilty of a car crash and don't have insurance coverage, you will pay the damages. This is when the court makes an unfavorable judgment against you.

This can entail obligations for the other party's physical injuries, as well as medical costs, lost earnings, and other expenses.

It won't matter if you were driving in a fault or no-fault region. This is because the difference between no-fault and fault jurisdictions would only be applicable when you have insurance. If you are driving with no coverage, you won't have a car insurance company to claim a reimbursement. You are responsible for whatever damage you cause out of your own pocket.

You May Have to Pay For the Rental Expenses

You'll be in great financial loss if you are involved in a mishap like an accident and wreck of your rented vehicle. This is most probably when you don't have rental insurance coverage. This may be costly, and you must avoid it at all costs. If you can't bear the cost of rental car repairs, it would be good to have rental insurance before getting onto the wheels.

Is There a Need to File a Police Report After a Rental Car Accident?

Reporting the rental car accident to the police is what you should do as early as possible. No matter whether you have endured minor or major damages. A police report can be a valuable piece of information that you should file with your insurer. It will state the details of the incident and decide who was liable for the crash. Don't forget to request a copy of the report after the police official documents it.

Can The Rental Company be Proven At-Fault?

There is a vast number of rental vehicles hired with an insurance cover. They safeguard the driver in various consequences, including situations where you might run out of insurance.

For instance, an accident happens when you are driving under the influence of alcohol, and it is proven. In such a situation, you won't be liable to get coverage for the losses. Moreover, your rental company will charge a full amount of damages.

The negligence of the contract holder, like fueling the car with the wrong fuel or losing keys, is another damage that insurance won't cover. Sometimes, a rental company may deliver you a car with mechanical problems. So, they can be held liable for the damage if you submit a claim.


Read all the ins and outs before signing a rental contract. Check whether it has details regarding insurance coverage for car damage and physical injuries. Are you searching for the best car rentals for your upcoming trip? Fulfill all your demands at Bon Voyage Car Rental. We are the pioneers in the travel industry, offering impeccable services to customers. For more details, contact now at 202 696 6487.