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Thomas DeLattre and Glen D. Wieland

What happens if I crash my rental car on vacation in Florida?

On Behalf of | Nov 13, 2023 | Motor Vehicle Accidents |

The state of Florida is one of the top vacation destinations in the United States. Many people choose to drive a rental car around while on vacation to avoid spending money on rideshare or taxi services. However, driving in Florida can be challenging, especially for out-of-state drivers who have not driven here before.

Who is liable for a rental car accident in Florida?

If you are driving a rental car and end up in a car accident, you should notify your insurer and the rental company as soon as possible.

There are several parties who may be held liable for the accident including the driver of the rental car and other drivers involved in the accident. The at-fault party’s insurer will be responsible for injuries and damages caused by the accident.

Under the Graves Amendment, car rental companies are typically not liable for any accidents caused by the drivers of their rental cars. However, there are some exceptions. A car rental company may be held liable for an accident if it was negligent in:

  • Failing to properly maintain the rental vehicle.
  • Entrusting the vehicle to a negligent driver.
  • Entrusting the vehicle to an unlicensed driver.

Rental companies have a maximum liability exposure of $10,000 per person/$20,000 per accident.

Will insurance cover rental car damages if I am at-fault?

Rental car insurance is not required and is often not necessary. Your personal car insurance likely has extended coverage that includes rental cars and will cover damages to the rental. However, if you do not have auto insurance or your personal coverage is insufficient, rental insurance coverage you purchased from the rental car company may cover the damages. Your rental insurance may include:

  • Liability coverage: If you are at fault for the accident, this will cover third-party property damages and injury.
  • Collision damage waiver or loss damage waiver: Covers damages to the rental car.
  • Personal accident insurance: Covers your and your passengers’ medical expenses.
  • Personal effects coverage: Covers theft of your items from rental car.

Rental car accident claims can be more complicated than standard car accident claims.  A personal injury attorney in your area can review your case and help make sure you recover the damages you deserve following an accident.



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