How Rental Car Insurance Works in Thousand Oaks

Quirk Accident & Injury Attorneys, APC represented anyone that’s been hurt in a rental car accident in Thousand Oaks. You never want to be in a car accident of any kind, even if you have insurance. This can get even more confusing when the car involved is a rental. Since rental companies offer additional insurance, you might be wondering how that factors into the legal process. Our team can answer these questions and more. Contact us today for a free consultation.

Should You Get a Lawyer?

A rental car accident isn’t necessarily all that different from a regular car accident in terms of the causes or injuries. But where it is different is that it’s going to involve a rental car company with its own insurance carrier. Basically, there’s going to be extra people involved.

But whether or not you need to get a lawyer depends on your specific situation. Hopefully, your accident is minor, in which case you probably don’t need to worry about legal action. However, any car accident carries with it the possibility of more serious injuries. The more hurt you are, the more help you’ll need. Our team can be very beneficial to you in this situation. Here’s what we can do:

  • We figure out who caused the accident and who should pay for it.
  • We gather and look at all the evidence to make your case stronger.
  • We talk to everyone involved so you don’t accidentally say something that could hurt your case.
  • We deal with the insurance companies to get you the best offer possible.
  • If we can’t get a fair deal, we get ready to take your case to court.

How Does Rental Car Insurance Work?

Regardless of the rental car company you choose, they’re most likely going to offer additional insurance while you have the vehicle. Think of it as extra insurance on top of what you already have. You don’t have to accept it, but rental companies offer it in the event of an accident.

Generally, rental car companies offer insurance for the following:

  • Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) or Loss Damage Waiver (LDW) – These waivers cover damage to the rental car itself. It can also include theft protection.
  • Liability insurance – This is meant to cover damage you cause to other people or property.
  • Personal Accident Insurance (PAI) – This is additional coverage for any medical expenses for injuries to you and your passengers.
  • Personal Effects Coverage (PEC) – This policy covers theft of personal items from the rental car.

The way these extra policies work is, obviously, that they kick in if something happens while you’re in possession of the rental car. Still, there’s certain procedures in place if you take the extra coverage. Generally, you’ll do the following:

  • Choose the coverage – Decide which type of insurance you need. You can use your personal auto insurance, credit card coverage, or purchase from the rental company.
  • File a claim with the carrier – If an accident happens, follow the rental company’s procedures for filing a claim. This usually involves filling out forms and providing necessary documentation.
  • Pay the deductible – Depending on the coverage, you may need to pay a deductible before the insurance pays for the rest of the damages.


Remember, these extra policies are only in place if you sign for them at the time you get the rental car. This also applies if you’re driving your own car and you’re in an accident with someone who’s driving the rental car.

At that point, it brings in yet another insurance company into the mix, along with your regular auto insurance carrier and the carrier of whoever else is involved in the accident. With so many different parties squabbling, it can make the process more confusing. So, it’s important to know what to do to protect your claim.

What Should You Do If You’re in a Rental Car Accident?

Dealing with a rental car accident can be frustrating, whether you’re driving the rental car or involved with someone else who is. Simply having the right to file an injury claim doesn’t guarantee you’ll get financial support. You need to actively support your claim. Although rental car accidents add extra steps when there’s additional insurance, many actions are similar to those for any car accident. Here’s what you should do:

  • Get medical help – Immediately assess yourself and others for injuries and call 911 if necessary. Accept care from emergency medical technicians (EMTs) when they arrive, and seek further medical attention at a hospital for any lingering injuries.


  • Report the accident to the police – Notify the local police (usually the Thousand Oaks Police Department) department or the Ventura County Sheriff’s Office to handle the scene. They will collect essential information. Also, tell the rental car company about the accident right away to receive necessary instructions.


  • Gather information about the rental car and driver – Collect names, contact information, and insurance details from all involved parties, including the rental car and company representatives. Try to get contact information from any witnesses also.


  • Document the accident scene – Take photos or videos of the accident site, capturing damage, road conditions, and visible injuries.


  • Be cautious when making statements – Exercise caution when discussing the incident with insurance companies, as they may try to get you to say something that could harm your claim. Avoid posting about the accident on social media.

With potential legal action, it’s important to understand that you have to take these steps to strengthen your potential claim.

How Does the Legal Process Work After a Rental Car Accident in Thousand Oaks?

Legally speaking, it doesn’t matter how many insurance companies are involved when you want to file an injury claim. You still have the same options as a regular car accident. That said, the process can be a bit more complicated with more insurance companies. Each carrier will perform its own investigation into the accident. What’s important for you to remember is that the person that’s legally responsible for your damages is whoever acted negligently. This could be a driver who was distracted and hit you, the car maker if a part failed, or even the rental company if they didn’t vet the driver properly.

Whether you decide to file an insurance claim or go with a full lawsuit, your main legal protection against a car accident is the ability to recover “damages” from the responsible party. These can include:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Repair/replacement costs for your car, the rental car, or any other damaged property
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of enjoyment of life or companionship


There’s a lot of different things to be worried about in any car accident, and having extra insurance or a rental car involved only adds to it. Our team has the experience and resources to make the process easier for you and your family.

Dedicated Thousand Oaks Rental Car Accident Lawyers

At Quirk Accident & Injury Attorneys, we know how tough any car accident can be. If you or a loved one have been injured in a rental car accident, our team of dedicated Thousand Oaks rental car accident lawyers will be there to explain your rights and stand up against any insurance company to make sure you get what you’re owed. Contact us today for a free consultation to get started.