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Car Rentals & The Holidays

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This is the time of year when rental car counters are lined up with holiday travelers. In preparing for this, here are  4 “musts” you need to know when renting a car.

  1. You must be the renter if you’re driving: If you’re driving a rental vehicle, are not the person who rented it and don’t have authorized use of the vehicle, you can be forfeiting your rights as well as the rights of the person on the rental agreement. Check with the rental agency as to what their policy is regarding additional drivers. Some companies automatically allow a spouse to drive the vehicle without specifically naming them on the rental agreement, but every rental company is different. If you have to pay extra, then you have to pay extra.  Understand what risk you take if you don’t and a serious car accident occurs and your spouse or someone not specifically authorized to drive is behind the wheel. The insurance company may then argue that the claim should not be paid.
  2. Check to see if you have collision coverage: If you don’t have collision coverage on your regular vehicle, you won’t have it on your rental vehicle. If you have to pay extra, then you have to pay extra. Accidents happen frequently and you don’t want to be left with a huge damage bill.
  3. Check your insurance policy: Check your regular insurance policy to see if it covers rental vehicles as a “temporary replacement vehicle,” even if you’re on vacation. Some insurance companies will only extend coverage to a rental vehicle if your regular vehicle is in a shop being repaired. If this is true, you will need to purchase liability coverage in addition to the damage loss waiver on your rental vehicle if you’re driving it on vacation. 
  4. You’re responsible for the right coverage: You and you alone are responsible for making sure you have the insurance coverage you need — on your rental agreement and your regular car.   The takeaway is if you purchase coverage for your rental vehicle, you must double-check that they actually gave those coverages to you.  Confirm at the counter and ask the rental car company employee to show you where it is on your agreement before you leave the building and drive the car off the lot.

Whether renting a car for the holidays or any time of year, be sure you have the proper insurance in case of an accident.  

If you or a loved one is injured in an accident, contact the attorneys at LDM&M.   Acting promptly to preserve your rights is essential after any accident.  For over 40 years, the attorneys at LDM&M have been helping individuals across Wisconsin receive the legal satisfaction that they deserve.  Contact our offices for a free, personal consolation.