If you’re in an accident with an Uber rental car (or other type of rideshare rental vehicle), you may have a lot of questions about how to handle insurance, contacting the rental company, and more. We had RSG contributor Chonce Maddox Rhea look into what you need to know about if you are in an accident with a rideshare rental car.
Getting into an accident with an Uber rental car (or other rideshare rental vehicle) may seem like a complex situation to navigate through. Once you determine that everyone involved is okay, it’s time to think about insurance and the correct protocols the rideshare car rental company would have you take.
We do have a checklist to guide you through the steps to take if you’re ever in an accident while driving for Uber or Lyft. However, we understand this situation is a little trickier to navigate when you’re talking about a rental car like the ones listed on our Vehicle Marketplace page.
So if you ever get struck with bad luck and get into an accident with a rideshare lease or rental, here’s what you need to know.
What Should You Do When You’re in an Accident with a Rideshare Rental?
Getting into an accident with a rideshare rental can seem like the worst possible scenario when driving but it’s important to stay calm and take careful action.
You want to make sure you take clear images of the vehicle and collect information from the other driver if this applies. Take screenshots as you file your claim and return the car ASAP or work with your rental company and insurance to take the car in for repairs. This can lessen your chances of getting charged for the vehicle while it’s being worked on.
If the other driver is at fault, you can go after lost wages, your rental car fee, etc. since you will likely lose out on money by being unable to rent another car during the claims process.
Bryant Greening of Legal Rideshare encourages drivers to move swiftly and avoid keeping the rented vehicle in their possession for an extended time after an accident.
“It does get pretty complicated with rentals, as it’s tough to know who to call. Generally, you want to get the car out of your hands as quickly as possible to avoid being charged the rental fee.
It may be best to go directly to the facility/dealership where you picked up the car. You should be able to return the car, or get instructions on how to do so.
If you need to make an insurance claim, contact the at-fault driver’s insurance company and explain that you need repairs based on an accident their insured caused. Being a rental car, this is the last option.”
If You Get Into an Accident While Renting with HyreCar
Hyrecar is a carsharing platform for rideshare drivers that allows you to request a vehicle to drive for Uber or Lyft. You can drive for a few hours a day or several hours per week and there’s a daily rental rate that comes with a mileage limit. If you want to drive more miles, you will have to pay a little extra.
You can search the site to find cars in the area that are available to rent for ridesharing. Once your rental request has been accepted, HyreCar will purchase a custom insurance policy with your name that is good for 30 days.
If you get into an accident while renting with HyreCar, the rental policy requires you to pay a $1,000 deductible if you are found at fault. HyreCar provides secondary full comprehensive coverage that is already included in the rental price. This covers Period 1 and when your rideshare app is off only as your rideshare insurance through companies like Uber and Lyft will cover Periods 2 and 3. While this insurance helps bridge the Period 1 coverage gap, HyreCar’s deductible is still pretty high.
Get started with HyreCar using our link here.
If You Get Into an Accident While Renting Through Fair
As we’ve mentioned in our Fair app review before, Fair is an Uber rental car program that lets you borrow a car to drive for a weekly price of $195 (depending on where you’re located). In addition, Uber offers a bonus for completing a certain number of trips in a week.
According to Fair reps, drivers who get into an accident while using a Fair rental are liable for payments until either repairs are completed or a total loss is deemed.
However, some of the drivers on Fair’s new $195 a week program (like those in California) can have their Fair vehicle marked ‘returned’, which stops payments immediately after a claim has been filed and the vehicle is returned.
According to a Fair representative: “We do have procedures in place as well if the driver [in California] does not feel safe driving to the lot after the claim is made to get the car to one of our preferred shops. So yes the car would be damaged if they drop off themselves and feel comfortable doing so.”
If you get into an accident while renting through Fair, it’s important that you be very proactive during the process to get the car repaired and returned to Fair ASAP if you don’t want to keep getting charged.
Try to file a claim as soon as possible and work with Fair’s insurance to see who you can take the car to for repairs and how long it will take.
You can sign up and get started with Fair here.
If You Get Into an Accident While Renting with Maven Gig
Maven Gig is a car sharing service that allows you to rent vehicles by the hour for rideshare driving. You can also keep renting the same vehicle long-term as long as you bring it in once a month for an inspection. With Maven Gig, you can rent out regular gas-powered cars and electric cars (for a higher fee) in a select number of states.
If you rent with Maven Gig and get into an accident during Period 2 or 3, make a claim as you normally would through Uber or Lyft since you’re naturally covered during these driving periods.
If the incident occurs during Period 1, you can fill out a report and call Maven’s partner, Element (800-572-2936), to see where you can take the car for repairs.
Outside of Period 1 accidents, Maven does encourage drivers to file a claim through their rideshare app.
It can take some time to get through to Uber and Lyft with an insurance claim and Uber may even deactivate you, so be diligent in terms of getting your claim in early and following up often.
Maven also offers their own Damage Protection Plan that you can add to your car rental. If you have a Full Protection Plan, you won’t be responsible for paying a damage fee. Maven’s team will review your claim and allow you to reserve another car in the Maven app.
With a partial protection plan, you will have to pay $1,000 as part of your damage liability fee. Once you’ve paid this fee and your claim has been reviewed, you will be able to reserve a new car in the Maven app.
If you opt out of the protection plan, you’ll be responsible for paying damages up to the full cost of the vehicle. Maven does state that their claims process takes up to 20 days so you can expect to wait a few weeks until you can rent another car through them even with the Damage Protection Plan.
Get started with a Maven Gig vehicle here.
If You Get Into an Accident While Renting with Lyft Express Drive
Lyft had partnered with Hertz to offer their Lyft Express Drive car rental program. In California, if you do 70 rides per week or more, the rental fee of $180 is waived.
Lyft partners with several insurance companies like Allstate, Atlas, MetLife, Paragon, Travelers, and Zurich to handle claims if you get into an accident while renting with Lyft Express.
In general providers will offer coverage regardless of fault and covers the repairs or cost to replace the vehicle (whichever is less) with a $1,000 deductible for who is at fault. This insurance covers you from the time you accept a ride request until the ride has ended in the app.
To obtain coverage during the Period 1 gap when you’re waiting for a ride, prioritize getting rideshare insurance. You may even get a lower deductible with your own rideshare insurance.
Once the accident happens, there’s not much you can do but work to resolve the situation as quickly as possible. Again, understand the terms and insurance options when renting a vehicle for rideshare driving.
Be proactive in contacting the company. Submit a claim through their app if possible and follow up with a phone call. You may even want to go to the location where you picked up the car or their main offices if you can’t reach someone.
Feel free to reach out to Bryant Greening if you have questions or were in an accident and want to talk to a rideshare lawyer.
Also, remember that our rideshare accident checklist can come in handy during a situation like this. Download it here.
Readers, have you ever been in an accident while driving a rental car? What was your experience?
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-Chonce @ RSG