Whenever you use a rental car in St. Louis, you are given the option to take out extra insurance to ensure that you are fully covered while driving. When it comes to borrowing someone else’s car, you are typically covered by “vicarious liability.” However, due to the Graves Amendment, rental companies are generally not liable for any damages and injuries caused that are your fault when you are driving a rental car.
The Graves Amendment was a federal law that trumped states’ vicarious liability laws. The amendment essentially makes the driver of a rental car liable for any accident that is their fault. In most cases, when you drive a rental car, your own insurance coverage will cover you if you are at fault in an accident. But you can get in some serious trouble if you assume that your auto insurance will cover your rental car accident if you aren’t sure of your coverage.
Before you decline any rental car insurance, it is imperative that you know the specifics of your auto insurance policy. Don’t just make the assumption that you are automatically covered when driving a rental car. Read through your policy or contact your insurance company to make sure that you don’t have any exclusions on your policy when you’re renting a car.
If you have checked your policy and find that you aren’t covered when driving a rental car, it is usually a good idea to take out the insurance that the rental agency offers you. If you are in an accident in a rental car, you will want to make sure that your liability is limited. You will also want to pay attention to things like collision insurance coverage.
All states require that drivers take out mandatory insurance coverage, which typically only involves liability insurance to cover others if you are at fault for an accident. If you are in an at-fault accident in a rental car and you don’t carry collision insurance, then you might be responsible for covering any damages to the rental car itself. Therefore, without a collision insurance policy, you might have to pay for the damages to a rental car, which can be quite significant.
If you do have auto insurance, it is also important to pay attention to your deductible. If you are covered by your own policy, the deductible is the amount that you have to pay out of pocket for any accident. The minimal amount that you might have to pay to take out additional insurance coverage through the rental company might be well worth it if you don’t carry collision insurance or if you have a high deductible.
When you drive a rental car, don’t assume that your own auto insurance will cover you, anyone you hurt, or the damage that you cause to a rental car; read through your policy or contact your insurance carrier directly to be sure. If you are in a rental car accident and unsure about what your rights and liabilities are, make sure to contact a St. Louis auto accident attorney to ensure that you are protected and that you aren’t left holding the bag for any resulting damages and injuries.
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St. Louis, MO
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