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The Run Down on Rentals

Whenever you are involved in an accident it’s likely you will have to get a rental car either while your vehicle is repaired, or if it is determined that your vehicle is unsafe to drive. The use of a rental car is an optional coverage on your insurance; however in accidents where you are deemed to be 100 per cent not-at-fault, you should have a rental car at your disposal.

With that said, it is important to confirm with your insurance company before you proceed with a rental. If you don’t have coverage, you’ll be left covering any costs. You should also check to see if your insurance coverage has any limitations. If so, any charges that exceed the maximum limit may be charged directly to you.

Fortunately, most reputable body shops will arrange the rental for you, when required, but you will be responsible for signing and taking possession of the rental. In order to do so, you’ll need your driver’s license and a credit card to cover any after-the-fact charges such as tickets or toll charges. You will also want to check with your insurance company about your coverage in a rental vehicle. It may be in your best interest to take out additional insurance with the rental company.

Most rental companies will provide courtesy pick-ups and drop-offs, but before you take final possession of the rental, you will be required to complete a visual inspection of the vehicle. This will make you and the rental company aware of any marks, nicks, or bodywork issues on the car prior to your rental. This will be signed off by you and the rental company employee assisting you.

Another post-possession inspection will also be done. Any new marks, nicks or bodywork issues will be notes and repair costs will be attributed to you, or whatever insurance you have on the rental vehicle. It is important and in your best interest to pay close attention during both the pre-and post-inspections.

Should you encounter any issues with the rental car, inform the company immediately. Waiting until you return the vehicle to report issues could result in possible extra costs to you. 

Many insurance companies deal with preferred rental companies and may direct you accordingly. If you want to use another company, speak with your adjuster first. If you are not processing your claim through your insurance company and the other at-fault driver is paying for your repairs, and you require a rental, ensure the other party pays in advance for the rental. If your body shop arranged the rental, ask them to include the cost in the estimate and /or invoice. It’s important to note, all tickets and toll charges and rental vehicle damage will still remain your responsibility.

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