What Happens If You Wreck a Rental Car without Insurance?

What happens if you wreck a rental car without insurance? In the tourism industry, many safety features have been part of the industry to make car rental safer for tourists. Nonetheless, accidents involving rented vehicles are hazardous and occur far too frequently in the United States — one occurs every fifteen seconds. Every year, 1, 2 million people suffer mortal accidents worldwide.

You should report accidents involving uninsured rental cars to an experienced auto accident attorney as soon as possible.

You might be able to pay for the rental vehicle using your insurance or a credit card.

The majority of automobile insurance policies include rental car coverage. Consequently, you must carefully examine your policy to determine whether or not it covers rental cars and what type of coverage is provided. To be safe, if you’re having trouble figuring it out, you should speak with your auto insurance agent to ensure you understand the details.

Many credit cards offer rental car insurance even if you do not have an auto insurance policy covering rentals. Regardless of who caused the accident, most credit card rental car insurance policies cover all property damage, and some even cover bodily injury damages.

If your primary insurance policy does not cover damages above your credit card’s limits, check your agreement or call the card issuer to determine their coverage for cardholders who rent a car.

Remember that to be eligible for your credit card’s rental car coverage. You must use your credit card to reserve and pay for the rental car and immediately notify your credit card company of any accident or damage. A Step-by-Step Guide on How to Recover from a Car Accident

Is there anything I should do following a collision involving a rental car?

What Happens If You Wreck a Rental Car without Insurance

In an accident, you must notify the rental company immediately. Depending on the severity of the incident, it is their responsibility to guide you through the steps of handling an accident and contacting the proper authorities.

When a rental car has an accident, the customer has the right to receive an identical replacement vehicle. Suppose the car suffers damage due to the renter’s mistreatment or violation of rental conditions. The rental agency might refuse to provide a replacement vehicle and terminate the rental agreement (driving on unpaved roads, driving under the influence of prohibited substances, etc.).

Remember that the renter must receive the accident report or police report for the insurance coverage to be adequate. Unless the rental agreement specifies otherwise, it is advisable to determine whether roadside assistance should be part of the rental price.

Even if it seems obvious, ensure that everyone in the vehicle is okay before proceeding. Maintain vigilance for other cars and the surrounding environment.

In the event of a car accident, it is always best to find a safe place to pull over on the side of the road. If the accident is serious, all injured parties must call 911 immediately. If there’s a chance of an explosion, evacuate the area.

Obtain one another’s contact details.

As soon as it is safe to do so, you and any other parties involved should exchange insurance and contact information. Exchange the following information:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Email address and telephone number
  • Company and policy information
  • Each vehicle has the registration, license plate, and driver’s license numbers.

Ensure that you contact any potential witnesses who can assist you.

If law enforcement is involved, you should present your driver’s license, vehicle registration card, proof of financial responsibility, and address.

When interacting with other drivers or the police, do not admit that the accident was your fault (even if you think it was). Avoid making such remarks while remaining courteous. Use phrases like “Are you okay?” without admitting any wrongdoing.

If the other parties are hostile, one should wait until the police arrive before engaging. You should avoid getting into altercations with other drivers and passengers.

It would be best if you were cautious in your interactions with others. You shouldn’t pay for someone else’s damages or deductible if they offer to do so, and do not sign anything if they say they will cover yours.

Take pictures and notes.

Do not rush to gather accident-related information. Utilize patience. You can record your thoughts using your phone’s notes or take many photos.

Include the following in your documentation:

  • Every pertinent detail about each car.
  • Other interesting information regarding the vehicles.
  • The exact location of the collision, including all details.
  • Communicate with your car rental company.

In a rental car accident, you will need to complete more paperwork than if you were driving your car.

Call the car rental company immediately and provide every incident detail. Check the glove box or rental agreement for the emergency number if you rent a car.

Determine the best course of action through consultation with the company. The car rental company will require you to submit a report containing the same information you gathered during your research.

File a claim with your auto insurance provider for rental car damage.

Notify your auto insurance company as soon as possible if they are your primary source of coverage following an accident.

Consult your insurer about the following:

  • If you need to file a police report.
  • Consider purchasing collision and comprehensive coverage and the legal minimum liability coverage.
  • Determine your tax liability (a deductible is the portion of a loss you must pay out of pocket).

Consider a scenario where your deductible is $400, and you have $10,000 in damages. Your insurance company will cover the remaining amount if you are responsible for the initial $400 repairs. 

Verify that you understand what your claim covers, what your provider may cover, and what the car rental company may cover. Your credit card’s rental car insurance may cover some of the vehicle’s damage in an accident.

Collision-induced damage

It could be part of coverage in rental car insurance policies if you have a personal approach. If your insurance does not cover collision damage, you may be able to purchase a collision damage plan from your car rental agency. You are responsible for the damages if you do not comply.

Others might be injured.

Existing liability insurance typically includes coverage for rental cars. Usually, you can purchase additional liability protection. This one will cover any damage you cause to other people’s vehicles or property.

Avoid using your credit card for this.

Although some credit cards offer coverage for rental cars, liability insurance is typically not part of the coverage. If you do not have auto insurance, you may be responsible for the medical and repair costs of other parties involved in an accident.

Additional rental days are possible:

You may have to “rent” the vehicle for an additional week if it requires a week of repairs. Extra insurance or collision damage waivers from your car rental company are typically the most effective means of avoiding this fee.


As a result, you may alter the products we write about and their placement and arrangement on a page. However, this has no impact on our assessments. So, the perspectives are entirely our own. This webpage explains what we do and how we do it.

When on vacation, the last thing you want to deal with is an accident involving a rental car. When driving a vehicle that is not your own and travelling on unfamiliar roads, you should not underestimate the risk of a car accident.

There are many parallels between a car accident and one in which you are the driver. With the additional layers of your car rental contract, rental car insurance comes with some added complexities.


Adam Grabois is an expert in all aspects of Insurance and Property with 20 years of experience. He is a licensed broker of all lines including property, casualty, life, and health. As a licensed adjuster, he is well-versed in all aspects of insurance, and he owns All Needs Insurance agency in Florida.

He attended Tufts University where he earned his undergraduate degree, followed by a Master's degree from Columbia University.

Adam shares his breadth of experience by helping many businesses and individuals manage risk and protect themselves financially. He now shares this with the audience of the "Pro Insurance Info" website.

Articles: 281
error: Content is protected !!