Dealing with a rental car accident might be the last thing on your mind when you’re on vacation in Crete, Greece, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be prepared.
Sadly accidents can happen to anyone, so here’s what to do if you’re unlucky.
Before you do anything else, make sure that everyone in the vehicle of your family, friends is ok. Check the surrounding scene and any other cars involved. If someone is hurt, call 166 immediately. If there’s a danger of explosion, clear the area and go far away from your vehicle. Set up emergency flares if necessary or call the police ( tel. 100 or 112 ) to help redirect traffic. Just bear in mind that you don't have to move anyone if they’re in a lot of pain, or if they’ve broken their leg, or if you think they’ve injured or broken their back.
Some other useful telephone numbers to call below :Police – 100; Ambulance – 166; Fire – 199; Forest fire – 1591; Coast guard – 108; Counter-narcotics – 109; Tourist police – 171; Social aid – 197.
Or alternatively, just dial 112 from any mobile phone or landline, and you’ll be put directly through to the local police, ambulance or fire service. The number is free to use.
As soon as you’ve determined that the everyone is safe and the emergency services are on their way, the next thing to do is exchange your name and contact details with anyone else affected by the incident. This applies whether you’ve crashed into another vehicle or someone else’s property, and whether or not they were on the scene at the time of the accident.
If you hit a parked car, leave your details in a note under their windscreen wiper. If there are other people and/or vehicles involved, make sure everyone at least exchanges car registration numbers, names, addresses and telephone numbers. If possible, take photos of the scene and any damage as soon as you can, and make a note of the following:
Call the rental company (number will be on the rental agreement or confirmation by Crete-Car-Rental.com) and explain the situation. They should then handle recovery, repairs and replacement of the hire car if necessary, and deal with the insurance companies or anyone else involved in the accident.
Normally, rental companies won’t refund anything you’ve paid unless you cleared it with them beforehand. So if you do pay someone directly, you’re not likely to get your money back from the company.
Inform your own insurance company of the accident and ask whether they’ll take care of filing an accident report with the local police or whether this is your responsibility. If you don’t already know, ask your insurance company whether you have collision and comprehensive coverage in your policy in addition to the liability coverage required by law. Collision and comprehensive coverage protects the car you rent.
You’ll also want to find out your deductible. A deductible is the portion of loss that you have to pay out of pocket. For instance, if your deductible is 400 Euros, and you incurred 1000 Euros worth of damage, you have to pay 400 Euros in repairs, and your insurance company will cover the rest. Most rental companies require you to have a deductible of 500 or more or will ask you to buy extra insurance when you rent the vehicle. Be sure to inform your insurance company of any additional insurance you purchased with the rental.
If you didn’t purchase extra insurance or a collision waiver when you rented the car, your insurance company is responsible for paying the rental company for the car only if your active policy provides first-party coverage. The payments will still be subject to the terms of your policy. This means that whether or not you were at fault, you must pay your deductible directly to the rental company, as the company is entitled to have the car fixed as soon as possible. Your insurance company is then responsible for going after the responsible party – if you were not at fault for the accident.
If you don’t have rental coverage on your policy, you will owe rental expenses to the rental company as if you were still renting the car. This means that if it takes four days to repair the vehicle, you will owe four days of rental. Even if you do carry loss of use coverage in your policy, you’ll have to owe the difference to the rental company if the limit is below what the rental car would usually go for.
Your accident claim will be handled differently if you purchased extra insurance or a collision damage waiver.
If you bought extra insurance (either from the rental company or your credit card company), be sure to read the fine print on both the additional insurance and your own policy.
Some rental insurance policies provide complete coverage in any accident as long as you pay the premium. This means that they would cover the cost of the car that you hit (if you were at fault) and the rental car damage. However, you might still have a deductible from your own insurance policy, which will usually serve as a secondary form of coverage if the rental car insurance policy limits are low. Read both policies together to see who will pay first and who second.
A collision damage waiver releases you from the agreement you make when you rent a car that you are responsible for paying for the car in case of an accident. However, even if you purchased a collision damage waiver, you must still file a claim for your medical bills in case of injury and for the car you hit if you were at fault.
Crete-Car-Rental.com offers two type of insurances for peace in mind.
Wishing you a splendid stay in lovey Crete, Greece and absolutely any car rental accident.
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