Rental car damages: What happens if you damage a rental car without insurance?

Renting a car without insurance is a risky business. 

The moment you get behind the wheel of a car, your exposure to road hazards begins. Consider the statistics: approximately 10 car crashes occur every minute. Your risk increases significantly when driving in a rental car you’re not used to, on unfamiliar roads.

Now, what if you figured in one of those unfortunate incidents?

If you have personal auto insurance, you only need to contact your car insurer and file a claim with them. Your coverage will likely extend to your rental car insurance up to your policy limits. 

But what if you don’t have any car insurance coverage at all?

You know the term "that sinking feeling?" Well, that's what you get if you damage a rental car without having rental car insurance. 

You will bear the cost of repairs

If you get in an accident and damage a rental car that you don't have insurance for, you will be financially responsible for the entire cost of repairs. This can be a very expensive proposition, and it's one that you should avoid at all costs. If you can't afford to pay for the repairs yourself, your best bet is to find a way to get insurance before you rent the car.

You may be forced to buy a replacement vehicle 

If you cause major damage to a rental car, you may be forced to buy a replacement vehicle. Most rental cars are valued at $20-$40K, therefore having an accident without insurance could really set you back financially. That's why we strongly recommend buying sufficient levels of coverage, to ensure you have peace of mind.

You could be sued

If you are found to be at fault for the accident, you may also be liable for any injuries that were caused by the accident. In most states, drivers are allowed to file lawsuits against each other for damages sustained in an accident. So if you’re found at fault for an accident without any insurance policy - and you get an unfavorable judgement, the court will expect you to pay for damages. This could include obligations for personal injuries sustained by the other party as well as medical bills, lost wages, and more. 

Would there be a difference if you were driving in a fault or no-fault state? Well, probably not. That’s because the distinction between fault or no-fault states would only apply if you did have car insurance. When you drive without an insurance policy, you wouldn’t have a car insurer to seek damages from. You have to pay whatever damage you’re liable for out of your own pocket.

Protect yourself against unexpected financial loss

Now that you know the possible scenarios when you drive a rental car without any car insurance coverage, you know just what skipping out on rental car insurance can entail. That little extra insurance coverage may cost you a bit more per day, but it could end up saving you a lot of money and hassle if you have an accident in your rental car. 

Protect against yourself against heavy financial loss by getting covered. Check out Bonzah’s rental car insurance policies before you rent and drive a car.