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Hit (not at fault) while driving rented National car: next steps?

Hit (not at fault) while driving rented National car: next steps?

Old Sep 14, 19, 5:33 pm
  #1  
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Hit (not at fault) while driving rented National car: next steps?

Greetings,

I rented a car from National and was sideswiped by another car on the highway.

I have the crash report (from NJ), and it correctly states that the other car made an unsafe lane change and sideswiped my rented car.

The National agent, when I returned the car, said that if another car changes lanes and crashes into you, you're not at fault. That's what happened, and the crash report confirms the "unsafe lane change".

I have non-owned car insurance and World Mastercard accident insurance.

I received a phone call from the National damage department and a letter from National, asking for my insurance coverage (either credit card or regular insurer).

Since it's not my fault, I expect the other driver to pay. The other driver has Geico insurance, which I see from online searching doesn't pay without a fight.

So:

(1) Do I report this to Mastercard and give National the Mastercard claim information?

Or (2) do I just submit the crash report to National and let National deal with it?

I like National a lot and don't think it's fair for National to have to deal with this, or bear any expense; however, I expect that the other driver is at fault so I want to ensure that the other driver's insurance pays. This is nothing personal; from my online research, I see that this is how the law works: if you change lanes and crash, you're at fault.

Thanks.
WeekendTraveler is offline  
Old Sep 16, 19, 6:47 am
  #2  
 
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My recommendation is that if you have a local.agent, you call them to advise of the situation. That way, if a claim is filed against you, you will have someone who is aware of the situation. Ultimately you and your insurance would be responsible if the other driver for some reason fails to do so. The police report in your favor is going to make it hard for the other company to refuse the claim. However, if for some reason it happens, your insurance will likely pay, and then go after the other company to recover the cost. It's a pain, yes. But it sounds like you have every thing lined up. Good luck!
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Old Sep 17, 19, 5:48 pm
  #3  
 
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Originally Posted by duxfan View Post
My recommendation is that if you have a local.agent, you call them to advise of the situation. That way, if a claim is filed against you, you will have someone who is aware of the situation. Ultimately you and your insurance would be responsible if the other driver for some reason fails to do so. The police report in your favor is going to make it hard for the other company to refuse the claim. However, if for some reason it happens, your insurance will likely pay, and then go after the other company to recover the cost. It's a pain, yes. But it sounds like you have every thing lined up. Good luck!
This. It's called "subrogation" and it happens every day. They are used to it. Just give them your insurance info and let the insurance companies battle it out.

As far as responsibility for damages is concerned, it might be helpful to think of this in terms of a chain of liability:

* You borrowed (rented) a car from National, and agreed to bring it back undamaged.
* You didn't (because you were hit by a 3rd party)
* You are responsible for making National whole
* The other guy is responsible for making *you* whole.

Say I borrow your fishing pole. I'm down at the dock fishing away, and some dude brushes by, bumps my elbow, and knocks your pole in the water. Would you be ok with me coming back and saying "hey, your pole is gone, but some dude (who you don't know, and have no prior relationship with) says he will buy you a new one"? Or would you expect me to replace it - and work it out with Mr Clumsy myself?

Another, more extreme example, that actually happened to my wife:

Wife is on her way home from work, & is sitting still in rush-hour traffic. A construction worker is cruising along at freeway speed in a pickup truck, with its bed completely filled with stacks of roofing shingles. The driver, who later freely admitted that he wasn't paying attention, rear-ended a stopped car. We will call that Car #6 . Car 6 was shoved into Car 5, which was shoved into Car 4, which was shoved into Car 3 (wife), which was shoved into Car 2, which was shoved into Car 1. All 7 vehicles were totaled. Amazingly, no one was seriously hurt.

The damage to our car was paid by the insurance of the car behind my wife, and the damage to the car in front of us was paid by our insurance, etc, etc. Once all of impacted (ha!) drivers were taken care of, their insurance providers went after the insurer of the guy who caused the accident. Our insurance told us later that he didn't have sufficient liability to cover the entire loss, so his company just paid up to his policy limits and walked away (and probably non-renewed him at the end of his current policy)
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Old Sep 17, 19, 5:53 pm
  #4  
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MasterCard insurance might not be primary since you have the nonowner policy too.

Make sure that you don't miss any deadlines to report the accident to MasterCard and your own insurance agent/company.

Can we assume that this was not a business trip?
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Old Sep 17, 19, 7:12 pm
  #5  
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You are personally responsible for the damage because you are the renter. You are off the hook when someone pays National. Whether it is the other guy's coverage or yours is irrelevant to National.

One of the benefits of standard coverage in the US is that all of the who pays what is dealt with in the background by the two carriers.

Do remember that most policies require that you notify the carrier in fairly short order. If you don't and it turns out that the other guy is not at fault or that he has insufficient coverage, your own carrier(s) may deny coverage.
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Old Sep 18, 19, 4:46 am
  #6  
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Thanks, everyone: your responses are all very helpful! This was a personal trip.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 7:35 am
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Thanks again for the responses.

To recap: another driver did an "unsafe lane change" as per the police report re: the accident, changing from the left lane and sideswiping my rented car in the center lane. Based on what the National agent told me and what I found online, I'm not at fault due to the other driver changing lanes, crashing into me.

National sent me a bill for the repair to my rented car. The bill is due immediately and includes instructions for remitting payment. It also includes a form to give National my insurance information.

I'm sending a check to National today, but I'm confused by National (1) requiring payment from me but (2) asking for my insurance information. Clearly National isn't going to go after the other driver, but what's the point in asking for my insurance information since National is requiring payment from me? I assume that I need to just submit this to my credit card (for rental car accident coverage) and hope for reimbursement, or sue the other driver in small claims court?

I have no problem paying National but don't think that I or my insurer should have to incur the loss--the other driver should.

Thanks.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 8:01 am
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It seems pretty clear that you are not at fault. Just contact your insurance company and have them reach out to the other party's insurance company aka subrogation. Your insurance company will recoup your deductible from the other party's insurance company. You should recognize that this process requires you to pay money out of pocket initially, but your insurance company will recuperate the costs.
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Old Sep 20, 19, 9:25 am
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When you figure it out, let us know what happened!
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Old Sep 20, 19, 9:44 am
  #10  
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Originally Posted by WeekendTraveler View Post
Thanks again for the responses.

To recap: another driver did an "unsafe lane change" as per the police report re: the accident, changing from the left lane and sideswiping my rented car in the center lane. Based on what the National agent told me and what I found online, I'm not at fault due to the other driver changing lanes, crashing into me.

National sent me a bill for the repair to my rented car. The bill is due immediately and includes instructions for remitting payment. It also includes a form to give National my insurance information.

I'm sending a check to National today, but I'm confused by National (1) requiring payment from me but (2) asking for my insurance information. Clearly National isn't going to go after the other driver, but what's the point in asking for my insurance information since National is requiring payment from me? I assume that I need to just submit this to my credit card (for rental car accident coverage) and hope for reimbursement, or sue the other driver in small claims court?

I have no problem paying National but don't think that I or my insurer should have to incur the loss--the other driver should.

Thanks.
Before you do anything, call your insurance company. They may well take over the entire claim and handle payment to National (after haggling about whether the demand is reasonable).
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Old Sep 22, 19, 12:46 am
  #11  
 
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Originally Posted by WeekendTraveler View Post
Thanks again for the responses.

To recap: another driver did an "unsafe lane change" as per the police report re: the accident, changing from the left lane and sideswiping my rented car in the center lane. Based on what the National agent told me and what I found online, I'm not at fault due to the other driver changing lanes, crashing into me.

National sent me a bill for the repair to my rented car. The bill is due immediately and includes instructions for remitting payment. It also includes a form to give National my insurance information.

I'm sending a check to National today, but I'm confused by National (1) requiring payment from me but (2) asking for my insurance information. Clearly National isn't going to go after the other driver, but what's the point in asking for my insurance information since National is requiring payment from me? I assume that I need to just submit this to my credit card (for rental car accident coverage) and hope for reimbursement, or sue the other driver in small claims court?

I have no problem paying National but don't think that I or my insurer should have to incur the loss--the other driver should.

Thanks.
The reason they sent you a payment form is in case you just want to pay it (not run it through insurance or a credit card benefit). That may make sense for some users for a $250 window chip type situation. If you are planning to go through insurance or a credit card benefit, then you would provide that information, not send payment.

Handle everything promptly and follow up to make sure National is paid timely. I'm not sure how long they will happily wait to get paid, but they are obviously experienced with waiting on insurance payments, etc.
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Old Sep 22, 19, 1:41 am
  #12  
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Originally Posted by WeekendTraveler View Post
Greetings,

I rented a car from National and was sideswiped by another car on the highway.

I have the crash report (from NJ), and it correctly states that the other car made an unsafe lane change and sideswiped my rented car.

The National agent, when I returned the car, said that if another car changes lanes and crashes into you, you're not at fault. That's what happened, and the crash report confirms the "unsafe lane change".

I have non-owned car insurance and World Mastercard accident insurance.

I received a phone call from the National damage department and a letter from National, asking for my insurance coverage (either credit card or regular insurer).

Since it's not my fault, I expect the other driver to pay. The other driver has Geico insurance, which I see from online searching doesn't pay without a fight.

So:

(1) Do I report this to Mastercard and give National the Mastercard claim information?

Or (2) do I just submit the crash report to National and let National deal with it?

I like National a lot and don't think it's fair for National to have to deal with this, or bear any expense; however, I expect that the other driver is at fault so I want to ensure that the other driver's insurance pays. This is nothing personal; from my online research, I see that this is how the law works: if you change lanes and crash, you're at fault.

Thanks.
From what state was your non-owner liability policy issued? If it's New York State, then the policy automatically covers damage to a rented auto with no deductible, so your credit-card coverage is likely to be useless unless your particular card offers primary LDW. I believe that non-owner policies issued in many (most?) other states do not cover damage to the rental car itself, so in those cases, even secondary credit-card coverage would be sufficient.

I would not have sent a check to the rental-car company. Rather, I would have just reported the accident and forwarded the police report, photos, demand letter, etc., to whichever of your insurers (the credit card's or your non-owner policy's) provides coverage in this situation.

Good luck!
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