How to Settle With Rental Car Damage


Being prepared for an accident is the best way to remove stress from a vacation. When you know what to expect, you can take a few easy steps to avoid possible problems in the future. For instance, when renting a car, follow the rental agent as he performs the pre-rental inspection; point out any marks, dings, dents or other damage you spot and be sure he makes a note of it. Most of all, be aware of your own insurance's coverage and be sure to buy supplemental insurance from the rental agency to cover what your policy does not cover.

Things You'll Need

  • Automobile insurance
  • Insurance claim form
  • Vehicle registration card
  • Copy of driver's license
  • Medical report (if injury occurred)
  • Loss or damage report
  • Rental agreement
  • Pre-rental inspection report
  • Police report
  • Damage inspection report
  • Damage estimate invoice
  • Itemized repair list
  • Repair receipt
  • Contact your insurance provider, whether it is an automobile insurer, a credit card company or the rental company's insurance broker.

  • Request an insurance claim form from the insurer, or download one online if possible.

  • Fill out the claim form and submit it to the insurer along with appropriate documents requested by the insurer (which may include the vehicle registration card, a copy of your driver's license and a medical report if injured during the accident).

  • File for loss or damages suffered by the rental car. To do this, you will need the rental agreement, the rental company pre-rental inspection report, a copy of the report filed by the police, sheriff's department or highway patrol, a copy of the rental company's damage inspection report made upon return of the vehicle to the renter, a copy of the rental agency's damage estimate invoice, including an itemized repair list and a repair receipt.

  • Mail the claim to your insurance company, your credit card company or to the address provided by the rental company for their insurer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Your coverage may not include towing expenses, or inspection, administration and appraisal fees, nor may it cover storage fees, if any. Before buying insurance from an automobile insurer, a credit card company or a car rental agency, read the fine print.
  • The insurer may send a claims adjustor to scrutinize the vehicle prior to repairs if they wish to dispute the repair charges.

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  • Photo Credit Crash on the street. German auto model 2007. image by Dariusz Kopestynski from
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