Many people in the US hire or rent a car to travel to a new place. Granted, it is much more cost-effective and stress-free than taking your car, but problems may arise. Over the past years, many instances of rental car thefts have occurred. Moreover, after the vehicle is recovered, it is seen in a heavily damaged state. In such a scenario, the question of what to do if a rental car is stolen is bound to arise in your mind.
Let us tell you beforehand that rental car theft will make you incur a huge bill. You can alleviate the monetary impact with rental car insurance. Keep reading as we detail the key steps to take to recover your stolen rental vehicle.
What to Do if a Rental Car Is Stolen – Key Points to Note
- Upon finding out about your rental car theft, report it to the police immediately.
- Connect with the rental company.
- Request the accident report form from your vehicle rental agency.
- Call the credit card company if the card was used to pay for the vehicle but didn’t choose theft coverage.
- Connect with your car insurance company for assistance.
- Request for a rental car replacement
1. Report to the Police Upon Discovering Rental Car Theft
When you get the unfortunate news of your rental vehicle being stolen, you must hurry up and report it to the police. Do tell them that the vehicle is a rental. It’s best to have the rental contract handy. Through it, you can access all important information about the car.
In case your personal belongings were inside the vehicle at the time of the theft, notify the police about it. Calling these authorities promptly is important because your claim may be nullified without it.
2. Connect With Your Car Rental Company
Now that you have notified the police, it is important to call your car’s rental company too. When you call the company, inform them that you’ve notified the police about it. Tell them that you require car data such as license number, tag, and vehicle identification number.
Most rental cars have a GPS tracker, letting the company find its location. When you talk with the agents of the company, ensure to get their title, name, and phone number. Ask the company if you have opted for coverage with the car. The loss damage waiver or the collision damage waiver reduces your responsibility for the theft. Remember that your rental vehicle won’t be covered by personal accident insurance.
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3. Complete the Accident Report Form
This is a vital step for drivers who find their rental car stolen. Request the accident or incident response report form from your car rental agency. Ask the rental agency about the liability insurance you have chosen. You will usually find three types of rental insurance at a car rental agency.
- Liability rental insurance secures you from accidents. If you have sufficient insurance on your personal car, you don’t need this protection.
- Personal accident insurance imparts coverage for you and the passenger. But this isn’t needed if you already have sufficient health insurance or your car insurance offers adequate personal injury protection.
- Full coverage insurance restricts your monetary responsibility in case of car theft.
Ask the rental car company about the coverage you have chosen. You must look for a collision damage waiver or loss damage waiver, as it will practically remove you from being responsible for the loss.
4. Call the Credit Card Agency
Did you employ your credit card to pay for your rented vehicle? Your company can help you determine secondary coverage options. If you have car insurance, your credit card company may give you coverage options, so you must connect with them to get the details of the covered services.
5. Contact Your Car Insurance Company for Assistance
If your car has been stolen, your insurer will give you a check for the existing worth of the car, provided you possess comprehensive coverage. This coverage covers the repairs if your vehicle is recovered.
There are insurance policies of some insurance companies that cover when you get a car on rent.
6. Request for a Rental Car Replacement
If you’ve followed the steps till now, your car agency will close the contract on the rental car. Now, you will not have any rented vehicle. So, use this time to get a replacement vehicle if it is necessary.
Your vehicle rental company can assist you in this process. Note that rental insurance is necessary to get a replacement. Otherwise, the rental company may not rent you a new vehicle.
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Car Rental Insurance – Things to Remember
Here are some key car rental insurance things for rental car owners to know.
- Before going to the rental car counter, go through your auto insurance policy. If you have any apprehensions, speak with your insurance agent.
- In case your insurance policy doesn’t cover the rental vehicle, find out whether you can add an insurance rider. You may need to give a specific fee for this purpose.
- A majority of credit cards offer some degree of theft and collision protection. These are secondary to your auto insurance. It implies that the credit card company will offer these benefits only after your coverage has ended. You can enquire about these benefits by calling your credit card company.
- You can also buy collision damage waivers and liability insurance at the rental counter. This is for those who don’t have personal auto insurance, and no benefits are provided by the credit card company.
- Your insurance coverage might have some limitations if it’s a week, month, or longer-term rental. You can enquire about this by calling your insurance agent or company.
- If you are not a vehicle owner, buying a non-owner auto insurance policy is an ideal option. It gives benefits besides the usual coverage for the vehicle.
- The personal auto policy isn’t applicable if you are traveling for an official purpose. You can get more data about it by calling your employer.
- If you find some aspect of vehicle rental insurance confusing or have doubts about it, connect with your state insurance department.
Many people underestimate the event of their rental car getting stolen. So they behave carelessly. However, the consequences of rental car theft can drain your finances. Knowing what to do if a rental car is stolen will help you navigate the tough times and minimize the monetary blow to some extent.