Lease and Rental Vehicle Accidents


The debate over whether it is a good idea to purchase rental insurance or not, is riddled with pros and cons. Does the rental or lease company make money when you purchase an insurance policy from them for the vehicle you rent or lease? YES.

If involved in an accident, is the minimal charge for insurance worth it? Usually it is.

Because even a scratch that requires painting generally will cost at least a few hundred dollars. The expense goes up from there if there is a dent or, something is definitely broken.   One option that many consumers overlook is to check your credit card terms and see if paying for rentals with that credit card includes insurance for your rented or leased vehicle. Many credit card companies do offer this as one of the perks for using their card. BUT, be sure you read and understand the terms. If after reading the terms you are still unclear about some of the wording, simply call and speak to a representative for the card you plan on using and ask them to explain those terms.

If you are renting a commercial truck and you do have an accident or incur some damage to the vehicle, consider the following options:

 If Renting the vehicle, you usually incur daily charges. In this case, it would generally be more economical for the customer to let the rental company handle making the repairs, especially if it is insured. What you will need to decide is if the cost of daily rental charges while the vehicle is in your possession will justify going on your own to get the vehicle repaired before returning it to the rental/lease company.

If you are Leasing the vehicle, sometimes it will be more economical to get a few estimates from different commercial body repair shops  before involving the lease company (Save yourself some time by having an estimator come to you. Many shops offer free estimating). Be sure to specify that the repair shop will use original factory replacement parts and that the repairs made DO NOT void the vehicle or cargo bed/box manufacturer’s warranties. IF it does, the Lease company can refuse to accept the repairs resulting in possibly thousands of dollars more in correcting the “repairs”.

But getting an estimate beforehand from at least two different shops will allow you to compare the actual cost of repairs with what the rental or lease company charges for repairs. This will help you to determine if the rental company is inflating the cost of repairs.

Hopefully this information will allow consumers to have a better insight when entering into a rental or lease contract and prove helpful in formulating questions ahead of time. In any event being insured will, in the least, provide ease of mind.

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